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Government support for new Fiordland visitor centr

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

2 November 2006 embargoed 4.00pm Media Statement

Government support for new Fiordland visitor centre


The government will provide $2 million towards the Discover Fiordland International Wilderness Centre, a world class tourism attraction based in Te Anau, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

“This centre will use leading edge, interactive technology to highlight Fiordland’s wonderful environmental, wildlife, and historic attractions," Helen Clark said.

"The $12.3 million centre is a partnership between the Discover Fiordland Charitable Trust, tourism operator Real Journeys, the Department of Conservation, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Community Trust of Southland, and economic development agency Venture Southland.

"NZTE is providing $2 million over three years through its Major Regional Initiative fund to help build the centre, on 15 hectares of DoC land. It is expected to be open for business in November 2008.

"It's estimated that the initiative will boost New Zealand’s gross domestic product by up to $59 million in its first four years of operation and $170 million in its first decade, and create more than 270 jobs.

“Travellers want to be well informed about the regions they are exploring and we benefit from them staying longer in New Zealand. This sort of project helps achieve both of these goals,” Helen Clark said.

“Te Anau is an important gateway to the world famous Milford Sound. Currently, however, many international tourists make only short day trips from Queenstown, creating a bottleneck between about 11am and 2.30pm during the day.

“Establishing this Wilderness Centre in Te Anau will encourage people to visit either before or after the trip to Milford Sound, and stimulate further investment in the town.

“This also helps ensure that this beautiful part of New Zealand is managed in a sustainable way,” Helen Clark said.


ENDS

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