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Welcome and thank you all for coming here this morning. I would like to acknowledge Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, and give my thanks for the work that the Department of Conservation is doing with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in regards to the tourism sector.

Ni Men Hao. Good evening everyone.

I would like to thank Kerry Prendergast and Stephen England-Hall, and the team at Tourism New Zealand for organising this great event tonight.

Tēnā koutou, e hoa mā. He tino koanga ngākau kua huihui mai tātau ki tā tātau kaupapa.

Ko koutou ngā kaiwhakahaere me ngā mātanga o ngā mahi nei hei hāpai i ngā iwi o te motu, arā ko ngā ākonga me ō rātau whānau tonu.

I’m honoured to be here as the first Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti.

“We can’t keep judging someone by the worst mistake they’ve ever made - or there would be a hell of a lot more of us inside.”

Good morning everyone and thank you all for the warm welcome.

“I had never been hit or abused, until the day the men came to take me away.  I still don’t even know why.”

That’s how Sam began to tell me his story at a marae in Whangarei.

As a Government we need to find a way to provide sustainable funding to invest in both our Tourism Infrastructure and our Conservation estate. We don’t believe that the financial burden should rest purely on the shoulders of New Zealanders. Today I am launching a discussion document on an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.

Today I am announcing that we will build a world-leading 500 bed facility here at Waikeria alongside a 100 bed mental health unit that is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Tourism is an economic bedrock. It’s our biggest export earner, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and the industry is the world’s window into our beautiful country.

I am honoured to be here today to formally close the World Indigenous Tourism Summit, an event which I believe is vital to strengthening indigenous tourism across the globe.