The announcement that Tararua District will receive funding from Central Government’s ‘Tourism Infrastructure Fund’ is great news for the district.
Earlier this week Tourism Minister, Kelvin Davis, announced the projects that received support as part of the $19.3 million second round of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, with much of it going to wastewater, sewerage schemes and public toilets at tourist hotspots throughout the country.
Of that amount, Tararua District Council will receive $102,404 for the provision of freedom camping facilities at Mangatainoka Reserve.
It will also enable Council to install solar-powered waste compacting rubbish bins at Waihi Falls, Akitio and Herbertville.
While Council had already allocated $100,000 towards these projects, it is estimated that it will cost in the region of $200,000 and the funding allocation has now made it possible for these projects to be carried out.
Council places a high priority on promoting the district to visitors, especially visitors with motorhomes or caravans. This promotion has been further helped by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association actively promoting Tararua in their own publications, which has resulted in a noticeable increase in visitor numbers.
PHOTO: Mangatainoka Reserve is a hot spot for motorcaravans.
This increase in the use of camping sites throughout the district is what prompted Council staff to assess the facilities needed across the district.
A significant problem across the district at freedom camping sites was the inappropriate disposal of rubbish by visitors, and the lack of toilets at the Mangatainoka Reserve.
With funding now approved this situation can be remedied, with purpose built facilities for freedom campers installed at the Reserve.
Mark Maxwell, Economic Development and Communications Manager for the Tararua District Council, says the funding application was submitted after conversations with Tui Brewery, who had already organised a number of tree plantings at the Reserve to enhance its appearance.
“This is a key partnership between Council, who will provide the capital for construction and Tui Brewery, who have agreed to maintain it.
“This is a great example of council and businesses working together to achieve positive outcomes for the community.”
Rosie Rogers from Tui Brewery says it’s been a positive step working with the Tararua District Council to see that the offerings for freedom campers are improved to meet demand.
“The hope is the whole community will benefit from this funding, and we are grateful to our council for their efforts to get this over the line.”
Labour list MP, Keiran McAnulty, described Tui Brewery as one of the region’s most popular attractions and said the team there - led by Nick and Rosie Rogers - did a marvellous job of attracting people to the region.
“It seemed logical to me that Government would look to assist in upgrading facilities so that the Mangatainoka Reserve opposite the brewery could cope with the steady increase of visitors.
“I am very pleased for them, and the region, that this investment has been confirmed.”