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Recreation and tourism industry groups concern over New Zealand Government’s cuts

Recreation and tourism industry groups concern over New Zealand Government’s cuts
May 26, 2016

The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) has expressed concern about cuts to recreation and conservation in the New Zealand Government’s 2016/17 budget, expressing fears that the decision to spend less on recreation opportunities in the great outdoors would impact negatively on individuals and communities around the country.

Late last year, NZRA identified increased central and local government investment as one of three priorities for the recreation industry. The other two key priorities are higher recognition of the economic and social value of recreation and better development opportunities for recreation workers.

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie stated “today’s budget announcement is disappointing news for Kiwis.

“The government should be spending more, not less on creating recreation opportunities in order to capitalise on the many social and economic benefits recreation provides.”

“At a time when our population is increasing and the costs of providing recreation opportunities are on the rise, the lack of any meaningful additional funding for community recreation and the decline in funding for tracks and huts is very disappointing.”

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has also expressed dismayed by the cuts in DOC funding.

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts stated “the tourism industry makes a significant financial contribution to DOC through concession payments and corporate sponsorship to support its vital work protecting species and habitats.

“Before we start talking about taxing visitors to fund conservation, we need the Government to properly meet its obligations.”

Roberts notes that one area that has been boosted in Vote Conservation is policy advice and services to Ministers, which has been increased from $12.287 million to $12.925 million.

The NZRA’s Leslie conceded that the budget wasn’t entirely bad for recreation, noting “we were pleased to see that $25 million has been allocated in the tourism budget over the next four years to linking up New Zealand’s cycle trails.”

Leslie said there were hundreds of organisations and tens of thousands of people working to improve recreation opportunities in New Zealand, and more needed to be done to support them.

He added “we have a growing, increasingly diverse population. Our lives have become busier, our cities more crowded. More than ever, we need to be identifying and developing opportunities for people’s changing recreation needs.

“Research shows that people who take part in recreation are happier and healthier. There is also clear evidence that a vibrant recreation industry is good for the economy, with clear benefits for areas such as health and tourism.

“A lack of government funding means fewer opportunities for community recreation and sport programmes, and less scope for maintenance and improvements to indoor and outdoor facilities and spaces.”

Images from the NZ Cycle Trail.

26th May 2016 - NEW ZEALAND BUDGET BACKS ELITE SPORT AND TOURISM, CUTS FUNDS FOR CONSERVATION AND RECREATION

14th May 2016 - NEW IDENTITY FOR NEW ZEALAND’S PEAK TOURISM BODY

17th March 2016 - INTERNATIONAL TOURISM BUYERS PREPARE FOR TRENZ 2016

20th October 2015 - CAN OUTDOOR RECREATION CATER FOR NEW ZEALAND’S RECORD POPULATION GROWTH?

3rd September 2015 - SPORT NZ SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF OUTDOOR RECREATION

21st December 2014 - NZRA HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF COUNCIL RECREATION INVESTMENT

17th November 2014 - OUTDOOR SECTOR A KEY PART OF NEW ZEALAND’S TOURISM BRANDING

2nd September 2013 - DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION JOB CUTS ‘A NIGHTMARE FOR NEW ZEALANDERS’

31st August 2013 - TEAM NEW ZEALAND WIN GOOD FOR ECONOMY


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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