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Shotover Jet in happier days before it was mothballed. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Shotover Jet in happier days before it was mothballed. PHOTO: ODT FILES
A surge in support for Shotover Jet has seen Ngai Tahu Tourism announce a July date for its restart.

Shotover Jet in Queenstown and Hukafalls Jet in Taupo are the first of ten Ngai Tahu Tourism attractions to gear up for action again after being mothballed.

The iwi previously announced 309 job losses across its New Zealand operations, but said it had retained key staff at Shotover Jet.

Ngai Tahu Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio said it had always been the company's intention to open the two attractions first.

"There has been a surge in support from our valued partners, especially in Queenstown, and from Kiwis wanting to and being able to travel, as well as greater potential for the transtasman bubble, so our jetboats are returning to the water."

Shotover Jet is planned to return on July 3, but Hukafalls Jet was given the green light for this Saturday.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai said it underlined a commitment to tourism in the resort.

"We are delighted we are now in a position to reopen these businesses and we are looking forward to supporting the regeneration of tourism in Queenstown and Taupo, where our partners and the communities have been very supportive of us resuming operations."

The news was welcomed by Queenstown-Lakes mayor Jim Boult, a former employee at Shotover Jet, who said he was "delighted".

"Shotover Jet is an iconic tourism business that represents innovation and adventure in our stunning natural environment.

"I am confident Kiwis, and soon hopefully visitors from our trans-Tasman bubble, will jump at the opportunity to experience Shotover River canyons."

Both attractions would be open four days a week, Friday to Monday, with discounts and social distancing measures.


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