Councils say no to request for extra tourism funding

By Corey Charlton

Hawke's Bay Tourism will not receive the additional $40,000 of annual funding requested from the Napier City Council as it would be unfair to its ratepayers.

A submission from Hawke's Bay Tourism asked for the extra funding to help with appointing a permanent regional event manager and its associated activities.

The same was asked of Hastings District Council, as well as $25,000 from Central Hawke's Bay District Council and Wairoa District Council.

The Hastings council, which also met to deliberate on its long-term plan, declined Hawke's Bay Tourism's request on Friday.

Also requesting assistance were several people representing the Napier tourism industry, who argued it needed help promoting Napier as a tourist destination, and that a regional approach to tourism in Hawke's Bay was not effective.

Mayor Barbara Arnott raised concerns about the fairness of using rates to boost the project.

"We cannot keep on rating the ratepayer for tourism," she said. "We're still thinking that a bed levy is by far the better way to go."

The council already had an events fund of $15,000, which if used did not affect rates, but this was not given to Hawke's Bay Tourism either.

The Napier City Council also declined to include in its Draft Long Term Plan the $300,000 funding towards Te Mata Park Trust's proposed Visitor and Education Centre at Te Mata Peak.

It said it would discuss the project further with the trust, but wanted to see feasibility studies first.

The trust has also applied for funding from Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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