The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a finalist in the New Zealand Tourism Awards, going head-to-head with TIME Unlimited Tours of Auckland in the Maori Cultural Tourism Award.

Altogether 28 finalists will compete for awards in two individual categories and eight business categories in the awards, with the winners announced at a black-tie dinner in Auckland on September 29.

The Treaty Grounds is one of two finalists in the Māori Cultural Tourism category and chief executive Greg McManus is thrilled it is a finalist.

"This is another recognition of the hard work the team has put in towards our goal to be a leading New Zealand tourism destination. We strive to offer a world class culture and heritage experience at the Treaty Grounds so making the finals of the New Zealand Tourism Awards shows we are on the right track," Mr McManus said.


"We were also honoured to win the Best Museum Project category at the Service IQ 2016 New Zealand Museum Awards in May so it is hugely rewarding to receive such positive external recognition."

He said the Museum of Waitangi — which opened this February — was the cornerstone project of a major programme of development at the Treaty Grounds aimed at enhancing the visitor experience at our most important historic site.

"The $14 million dollar project took just over 12 months to complete and opened its doors to the public on the February 7. The new Museum of Waitangi attracted over 30,000 visitors in the first seven weeks."

Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, said our tourism industry is enjoying rampant growth.

"It's the country's most valuable export industry and in total generates $30 billion in annual visitor spend. These prestigious awards celebrate the industry's success and recognise the individuals and businesses doing an outstanding job, generating economic wealth and supporting jobs in communities throughout the country," Mr Roberts said.