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Winter Games show strong confidence in NZ

Hon David Carter
Acting Minister for Economic Development

Media Statement
Winter Games show strong confidence in NZ

A surge in the number of entrants in this year’s Winter Games is a vote of confidence in New Zealand as a major events destination, says Economic Development Minister David Carter.

Around 1000 athletes representing 50 countries will take part in the New Zealand Winter Games 2011 in Otago and Canterbury over the next fortnight.

Speaking at the launch in Queenstown, Mr Carter said the Games are now one of the largest winter sports events outside the Winter Olympics, reflecting New Zealand’s growing reputation as a major events host.

“Winter Games New Zealand is a home-grown event which is proving a huge drawcard for the world’s elite snow and ice sport athletes. Competitor numbers are up by 200 on the inaugural event in 2009,” says Mr Carter.
“The tourism spin-offs are significant, particularly in terms of international media exposure. The Winter Games showcase our spectacular winter landscape and put New Zealand on the map of world-class events.

“The Government’s $750,000 contribution this year through the Major Events Development Fund provides a platform for the event to further strengthen its reputation. This will ensure that in future, Winter Games New Zealand will become self-sustaining and independent of government support.

“I congratulate the organisers on the tremendous amount of work they have done in expanding this year’s events programme, particularly in including Canterbury in competition and festival activities,” Mr Carter says.

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