Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Rotorua tourism operators help their Kaikoura colleagues (+video)

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A group of Rotorua tourism operators have banded together to raise funds and supplies for their colleagues in Kaikoura.

Zorb New Zealand has launched a local fundraising campaign to help raise money for the people of Kaikoura affected by the earthquake that devastated the area on Monday.

The campaign, called Kash4Kaikoura, is supported by several leading Rotorua tourism and hospitality businesses all keen to lend a hand in any way they can.

Zorb New Zealand general manager Haydn Marriner said the collection simply involved people popping in to a supporting business to make a cash donation.

"Rotorua is a tourism town, Kaikoura is a tourism town and it's vital that we as a community up here, who are fortunate that this time round it's not us, reach out and help out."

Mr Marriner said tourism turned Kaikoura around in the 1980s through the iconic whale-watching business.

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"It's a well known story throughout New Zealand and tourism and hospitality here in Rotorua can help maintain that story, but maybe add a new chapter of support.

"Whale Watch Kaikoura, like Zorb New Zealand is an iconic tourism brand, we know they would do the same for Rotorua if the roles were reversed."

Kash4Kaikoura is being supported by Base Backpackers Rotorua and Taupo, Rotorua Top Ten Holiday Park, Peterpan's Adventure Travel, Sobar, Downtown Backpackers, Kaitiaki Adventures, The Agrodome, Agroventures Adventure Park, Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar, MacPac Rotorua and Zorb New Zealand.

Any local businesses keen to get on board are more than welcome and just need to make contact with Zorb New Zealand directly.

Mr Marriner said the campaign was phase one of a two-phase campaign to raise much-needed funds and supplies, with phase two being Kans4Kaikoura - which will aim to gather non-perishable goods to be sent down.

All proceeds will go to the Cross Roads Trust Marlborough.

Trust spokeswoman Jannette Walker said workers in the Kaikoura tourism industry were not looking at short-term losses, but a long and slow recovery.

"Any support given from Rotorua's tourism industry will be greatly appreciated by the communities down here as it could take months and even years to restore confidence in the destination," she said.

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