Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi chair Ngahiwi Tomoana has been appointed to a key role on a national tourism taskforce table.

The Tourism Futures Taskforce will meet regularly and is expected to deliver draft recommendations to Cabinet in December 2020.

The Tourism Futures Taskforce members were confirmed on Saturday by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis at an event at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua on Saturday.

Davis also announced that more than $300 million in funding has now been approved to protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry.

A $400 million Tourism Recovery Package was announced in Budget 2020, and is now fully allocated.

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The package includes $50 million for a Regional Events Fund.

Davis said the " main purpose of the independent Tourism Futures Taskforce was to lead the thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand''.

Joining co-chairs Hon Steve Chadwick and Grant Webster are:
• Anna Pollock – founder of Conscious Travel.
• Ngahiwi Tomoana – Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.
• Nick Judd – former chief strategy, networks and alliance officer, Air New Zealand.
• Sue Suckling, independent director and strategy consultant.
•Takurua (Tak) Mutu – co-owner and director of MDA Group.

"They will advise Government on what changes we can make to the tourism system, so that tourism enriches Aotearoa and the wellbeing of New Zealanders," Davis said.

"Covid-19 is presenting us a unique opportunity to do this and to address the long-standing challenges present in some parts of the tourism sector.

"The Tourism Futures Taskforce will be at the centre of the next chapter in tourism in New Zealand," Davis said.

The Tourism Futures Taskforce co-chairs were announced in June, and bring a deep understanding of the tourism sector to the group.

Co-chair mayor Steve Chadwick described the taskforce as a "visionary piece of work".

Acting as a crucial sounding board for the taskforce is a 34-strong advisory group with representatives from a cross-section of New Zealand's public and private sectors.

The Tourism Futures Taskforce will meet regularly and is expected to deliver draft recommendations to Cabinet in December 2020.

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