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QE II cancels Waitangi visit - economy suffers

QE II cancels Waitangi visit - economy suffers

The National Party's Northland MP says the local economy's set to suffer after news the QE II has abandoned a plan to visit the Bay of Islands this Waitangi Day.

"Tourism industry sources say the ship is carrying more than 1000 passengers and they were expected to spend an average of $200 a day - that's over $200,000 our economy will miss out on," says Northland MP John Carter.

"It's understood the ship has changed its plans because of protest threats and security concerns," he says.

"The New Zealand Government can't afford to keep letting fringe activists damage our international reputation," says Mr Carter.

"It has also happened in Taranaki in the past few weeks during filming of "The Last Samurai", it can't continue.

"What sort of message will these tourists take home?" he asks.

"As the MP for Northland I'm also appealing to the Government to take a hard line with any lawlessness in the Bay this Waitangi Day.

"Perhaps some assurances on safety could help convince the cruise ship company to re-chart its present course," Mr Carter says.

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