Hawke's Bay Tourism has being criticised over the lack of growth for Māori tourism in the region.

At the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's corporate and strategic committee meeting yesterday , committee member Toro Waaka said there needed to be more accountability as to where the funding was going.

Waaka is also a director of New Zealand Māori Tourism, and chair of Hawke's Bay Māori Tourism.

"What strategy have you got to engage with Māori, and what are the key performance indicators that you have to do so, and who are you engaging with?" Toro asked representatives of Hawke's Bay Tourism at the meeting.


He said Māori made up roughly 20 per cent of the Hawke's Bay population, and therefore 20 per cent of the funding should be directed into growing Māori tourism.

Waaka told Hawke's Bay Today he wanted to see support for current Māori tourism operators to grow, for example the operators who run waka tours on the Clive River and the estuary.

He wanted to see performance indicators so there was a level of accountability around the where public money is going.

"It's very cavalier to be giving away money to people and not having performance indicators."

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas told Hawke's Bay Today the body is a marketing agency.

"So our job is to get visitors to Hawke's Bay to experience our tourism experiences and stories. This includes all visitor experiences that deliver for visitors.

"Hawke's Bay Tourism works closely with a number of Māori tourism operators in Hawke's Bay and has done so for many years," she said.

"We are always keen to engage more widely and with new businesses in tourism."


Regional council chairman Rex Graham told the meeting he felt Hawke's Bay Tourism had done a lot of work on Māori tourism.

"I know Toro is not as happy as he could be, but nevertheless we are starting to build that.

"It's a huge opportunity for Hawke's Bay to build Māori destinations."

Councillor Tom Belford felt it was more of an issue of supply and demand.

"I think Hawke's Bay Tourism is legitimately confused as to what the expectation is here. Are they expected to create a line of business where there is no consumer demand?

"That has to be seriously looked at."

Belford said as far as he could tell there were only two Māori tourism businesses in Hawke's Bay.

He said councillors needed to, at some point, have a discussions around their expectations.