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$75,000 grant for Puke Ariki, New Plymouth

Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Tourism
7 July 2003 - Media Statement

$75,000 grant for Puke Ariki, New Plymouth

New Plymouth MP Harry Duynhoven today presented a cheque for $75,000 on behalf of Tourism Minister Mark Burton to help fund the development of the ‘Glass Mountain’ interactive display at Puke Ariki in New Plymouth.

The funding comes from the Minister's Tourism Facilities Grants Programme and will help extend the tourism opportunities in the Taranaki region. The Tourism Facilities Grants Programme was established to develop nationally significant tourism facilities that enhance our international visitors’ understanding and enjoyment of New Zealand.

The recently completed Puke Ariki complex is situated in the centre of New Plymouth and combines the Visitor Information Centre, Taranaki Museum, and the New Plymouth District Council. The Glass Mountain is a feature within the complex that tells the story of Mount Taranaki through a series of glass panels printed with the varied textures and colours of the mountain.

Mr Duynhoven said the Glass Mountain project fits perfectly with the objectives of the grants programme.

“I am pleased to be able to present a grant that recognises the contribution that Puke Ariki and the Glass Mountain makes to our visitors’ experience of New Zealand.

“The interactive ‘Glass Mountain’ will provide a focal point for visitors to Puke Ariki and greatly enhance their experience of the region. We will be able to share with our visitors the story of Taranaki Maunga through different seasons and weather in a visually compelling way.”

The Taranaki region is a developing tourism destination, which has experienced steady growth over recent years. The region's strengths lie in its rich cultural heritage and natural tourism resources such as Mount Taranaki and its abundance of outdoor activities.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton says the tourism forecasting programme run by the Tourism Research Council New Zealand shows that visitor numbers to the Taranaki region are forecast to increase 22 per cent, from 550,000 visitors in 2001 to 675,000 visitors in 2008. Total arrivals to New Zealand are expected to increase by an average of 6.6 percent per year over the same period.

Mr Duynhoven said that with attractions such as Puke Ariki, Taranaki is developing its position to enable it to capture its fair share of the benefits of the forecast growth of New Zealand’s tourism industry.

“The relationship that New Zealanders have with their natural heritage is a special part of our national identity. I believe the Glass Mountain here at Puke Ariki will play an integral part in sharing that relationship with our international visitors.”


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