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Minister welcomes Northland tourism development

Minister welcomes Northland tourism development initiative

Northland is to receive $2 million under New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme for a major tourism strategy, the Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development Jim Anderton announced today.

Enterprise Northland is to receive the funding over three years to implement its Activate Northland project and develop Northland’s tourism sector.

Jim Anderton said tourism already contributes substantially to Northland’s economy but there is significant potential for growth.

“The result of this initiative will be a stronger regional economy and more jobs,” said Jim Anderton.

“The strength of the project is its focus on developing Northland’s people resource at the same time as efforts go into developing its physical resources.

“Tourism growth nationally is expected to continue increasing and this project will help ensure Northland benefits from that growth.”

The project aims to increase the capability of Northland’s businesses, enhance their web presence, increase visitor numbers, the length of stay and visitor spend within the region.

A pilot, targeting tourism businesses along Twin Coast Discovery Highway, is the first stage of the project.

The pilot group of businesses will be offered management training and upskilling with a particular emphasis on their effective use of the Internet as a destination marketing tool. This is seen as a priority with broadband access due to be rolled out within Northland over the next two years.

The Activate Northland project also aims to increase the consistency and quality of the visitor experience. It seeks to develop unique new Maori attractions and build the education and conference market in the region.

The project will also seek to attract further investment into Northland’s tourism sector.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is supportive of regional approaches to economic development and it is pleasing to see the Northland Regional Council and the Kaipara, Whangarei and Far North District Councils supporting Enterprise Northland efforts to drive economic development in Northland, Mr Anderton said.

Enterprise Northland includes representatives from Kaipara, Far North and Whangarei District Councils, local iwi, business and community representatives.

This is the sixth major regional initiative to receive funding under New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme. All initiatives are a mix of private and public sector funding.

EDITOR’S NOTE

About New Zealand Trade and Enterprise New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand Government's trade and economic development agency, formed from the merger of Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand. Using its network of offices in New Zealand and around the world, NZTE works with businesses to help grow their international competitiveness, profitability and capability. http:// http://www.nzte.govt.nz

The Regional Partnership Programme

The Regional Partnership Programme provides guidance and grants to help regions identify and develop sustainable growth strategies, and put them into action.

Funding of up to $100 000 per region per three years for strategic planning, up to $100 000 per 12 month period for capability building and up to $2 million for Major Regional Initiatives per three year cycle is available to help regions realise their potential.

There are 26 regional partnership groups who can apply for funding. The regional partnership groups include local authorities, economic development agencies, businesses, tertiary institutions, iwi and community organisations one-off initiatives.

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