DOC to get $76 million boost in funding.
"The Department of Conservation would also receive a $76m increase in funding to upgrade and develop facilities on conservation land and expand the great walks network." http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/92463533/tourism-industry-gets-178m-government-funding-for-infrastructure-projects No idea over what time scale they would get the funding.
Also note that the money is for upgrade and developing facilities, not for conservation work. Any guesses as what is meant by "expand the great walks network"? Does it mean more tracks are going to be upgraded to "great walk" standard or simply more huts on popular tracks are going to become bookable?
Well for starters, the Pike 29 Memorial Great Walk is due to come online next year. I'm sure some will filter to the Coast. In that exact area there's also Kiwi work going on. So.... Disseminated funds may benefit conservation efforts in a secondary manner, if not directly. More funding for DOC is a DEFINITE win, no matter what!
I suspect the expanded funding for great walks would be for both new tracks and to further upgrade/maintain existing tracks. It sounds like the funding is spread across four years. So $19m a year would not go far.
We were just joking the other day that the underlying reason for finding Powell hut unable to withstand 180kmph winds and therefore needing to be replaced next year was beacuse they really wanted to turn the Holdsworth Jumbo circuit into a Great Walk.....
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11853796 The funding is made up of $44.6m operating funding over four years and $31.3m capital and includes: • $23m for improving visitor experiences throughout New Zealand. • $11.4m for improvements to DoC's online services to the public and introduce more customer-focused technology and a new booking service. • $12.7m towards the expansion of the Great Walks network. • $5.7m to develop Great Short Walks and Great Day Walks. • $19.8m for upgraded tourist facilities. they want to build a day walk in taranaki national park... and looking at building more infrastructure around the north of the north island.
We keep on getting drip fed more information. "The great walks network would be expanded, with two new Great Walks, and the development of day and shorter walks."
the govt are focusing on spending on eco tourism, the FMC have come out saying, this money should have come from the tourism budget and all the money should have gone on actual conservation, conservation isnt getting any more money
"Great Short Walks". Yeah okay. That just gives me more questions than answers.
Maggie Barry says DOC will introduce higher charges for overseas tourists in their booking system by next April http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201843517/govt-injects-$178m-to-manage-tourism-influx
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