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Events and festivals at risk under New Zealand local government bill

Events and festivals at risk under New Zealand local government bill
September 14, 2012

Events and festivals enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors could be at risk if proposed changes to local government law go ahead, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) is warning.

TIANZ Chief Executive Martin Snedden says "the tourism industry is concerned that the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill could restrict councils investing in events, festivals and other visitor infrastructure if it is passed in its present form."

Snedden presented TIANZ's submission on the local government reforms to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee today (Friday 14th December).

Council-backed events and festivals, such as the Ellerslie International Flower Show, the IRB Sevens, Taupo's Ironman NZ, Warbirds over Wanaka, Pasifika and many others could be at risk, Snedden says.

TIANZ is calling for local government to continue to be allowed to invest in the visitor industry, which creates jobs and income in communities around the country. Support from visitors makes possible a range of events and festivals that residents also enjoy, enhancing that community's vibrancy and well-being.

Snedden says "Councils are arguably the visitor industry's most important partner, investing in and supporting infrastructure such as museums and stadia, events and festivals, and the agencies that promote and sell tourism products, such as Regional Tourism Organisations, i-SITE Visitor Centres or economic development agencies.

"TIANZ believes councils have a vital role to play in regional economic development but this Bill does not appear to make allowance for this type of activity. The Bill must be amended to reconfirm and cement local government's role in regional economic development."

Opportunities exist to make efficiencies in current local government investment in the visitor industry, he says. TIANZ is proposing a taskforce comprising representatives from local government, central government and the private sector be set up immediately to find a national solution to investment challenges for the tourism sector.

To read TIANZ's submission to the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, go to http://www.tianz.org.nz/main/local-government

26th July 2012 - TOURISM MUST BE A CORE FUNCTION OF COUNCIL’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ROLE

21st March 2012 - NZ TOURISM WANTS URGENT CLARITY AROUND COUNCIL REFORMS


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