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Minister Funds Thermal Explorer Highway

23 January 2001

Tourism Minister and Taupo MP Mark Burton today announced government funding support for the development of the Thermal Explorer Highway touring route.

The funding of $68,832 comes from the Minister's Tourism Facilities Development Grant Programme and was announced in a message from Mark Burton to today's Taupo Tourism Forum at Wairakei Resort.

The Thermal Explorer Highway runs for 450 kilometres from Auckland to Hawke's Bay.

"This will be New Zealand's busiest touring route," Mark Burton said, "comprising as it does State Highways 1 and 5.

"The project is being managed by the Thermal Explorer Highway Marketing Group, which comprises all the Regional Tourism Organisations along the route, namely: Tourism Auckland, Tourism Waikato, Tourism Rotorua, Destination Lake Taupo and Hawke's Bay Tourism.

"Most of the local authorities that lie along the route have also provided funding support.

"The grant I have announced today is a demonstration of this Government's determination to encourage worthy projects which contribute to regional development, and which come from and continue to have the strong backing of local communities.

"With the upgrading of existing signs and the adding of new ones, every traveller on this route will be aware of the Thermal Explorer Highway brand and the touring route concept.

"The Thermal Explorer Highway is an excellent example of what can be achieved when local communities, central and local government combine with a common purpose, and I am pleased to support it," Mark Burton said.


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