Nash visits Franz Josef and Fox Glacier: ‘He is left and we’re empty handed’

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash and West Coast Tasman MP Damien O

2021-03-02 12:06:10

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says he will not make any guarantees to struggling communities in Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash and West Coast Tasman MP Damien O'Connor at Franz Josef.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash and West Coast Tasman MP Damien O’Connor at Franz Josef.
Picture: RNZ / Tess Brunton

Nash was on the West Coast at present to talk with companies and residents about their issues after a plea for extra assist and a virtually $35 million wishlist to maintain the communities afloat.

Nash has dominated out funding your complete request, particularly the wage subsidy extension.

He mentioned the federal government is engaged on a assist bundle, however he wouldn’t be pushed on what or when.

He was not in Glacier Nation to make guarantees or announce any assist, he mentioned, and that meant some companies reliant on worldwide guests must face some onerous truths.

“It’s time to have that very troublesome dialogue together with your bankers, your employers, your collectors and your group as a result of we can not save each enterprise.

“We checked out a wage subsidy for the 5 areas that have been impacted probably the most by tourism and the price of that was between $500 [million] and a billion {dollars} – that was until the top of the 12 months – and that is simply not sustainable,” he mentioned.

“Queenstown is not going to get something particular over and above the opposite districts which can be struggling to the purpose that I discussed earlier than – there’s about 5 which can be over 50 % reliant on worldwide tourism for his or her native financial system.”

West Coast Tasman MP Damien O’Connor acknowledged the $35 million wishlist wouldn’t contact the edges of the opening left behind by worldwide guests.

“My view is that they most likely want much more than that, clearly that would not go anyplace close to changing the turnover.

“They put a bundle and a few concepts [together] and we’re engaged on a few of these. What the overall quantum of a few of these, that will depend on quite a few discussions at Cupboard however there are some infrastructural challenge right here that ought to be capable of run.”

The assembly didn’t go fairly as Rob Jewell from Fox Glacier Guiding anticipated – about 97 % of his enterprise is often targeted on worldwide guests.

“I really arrived with excessive expectations that the tourism minister had taken that point to return and journey all the way in which right down to Glacier nation and that he would have one thing for us very tangible by way of assist however sadly he is come down right here, he mentioned the principle goal of his go to was to pay attention and there wasn’t something forthcoming so … he is left and we’re empty handed and there is no extra assist at this level. Dissatisfied.”

He thought 12 months into the pandemic the federal government can be up to the mark.

“We have been hanging on for 12 months, how for much longer do we have to hold on.”

Improvement West Coast’s Heath Milne mentioned he was sadly ready for no assist to be introduced, nevertheless it was nonetheless a sobering day.

He was nonetheless happy the ministers took the time to go to and remained hopeful that among the area’s wishlist may nonetheless get a inexperienced gentle.

“We have not given up, the minister left the door barely ajar.”

Glacier Nation Tourism’s co-chair Richard Benton mentioned he was left with extra questions than solutions at at present’s assembly.

He acknowledged Nash did point out a assist bundle within the works, however mentioned that was almost the extent of their information on it.

He mentioned it was a excessive belief mannequin.

With no authorities assist on the speedy horizon and no agency Trans Tasman bubbles dates, Glacier Nation communities are bracing for much more losses to return.

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