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Tairawhiti voyaging project to go to next level

23 March 2005

Tairawhiti voyaging project to go to next level

The Tairawhiti museum is developing a unique voyaging centre that will celebrate the sea journeys made by Maori and European people to New Zealand. $110,000 of funding from the Ministry of Economic Development's Regional Initiatives Fund, will support this initiative.

The Labour Progressive government contribution was today announced by the Minister for Industry and Regional Development, Jim Anderton at the museum in Gisborne. The funding is for concept development and an economic impact study.

“Gisborne has some of New Zealand’s most significant historical sites, and these will form the basis of a voyaging centre, where the common history of voyaging, shared by all New Zealanders, can be explored. It will become a key tourist attraction for the country,” Jim Anderton said.

"The centre will also act as a gateway to the rich heritage of Tairawhiti, from the landing place of the Horouta canoe (mother waka) in the great migration, to the site of Captain James Cook’s first landing in New Zealand, and the site of the first greeting between Maori and a European," Jim Anderton said.

The voyaging centre is expected to be an attraction for independent travellers who have an interest in New Zealand’s culture and heritage and who wish to explore those parts of New Zealand which are away from the main tourist routes. An economic impact study is going to assess the potential benefits of the project, and it is anticipated that the development of cultural tourism products in Tairawhiti will create employment opportunities.

“The Tairawhiti Museum has already undertaken a wealth of work to get the project this far, and $140,000 has been contributed over the last three years mostly from local sources.
"I am pleased that the Regional Initiatives Fund (RIF) can be used to complete an economic impact report and to fund the detailed concept design. This will provide information, which is critical for enabling the Museum to implement the project. The Museum will consult widely with local communities following the outcome of the Economic Impact Report,” Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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