$3m request for hard-hit areas

The Southland District Council has asked for more than $3million from the Government’s tourism package to help hard-hit regions.

Councillors will be asked today to retrospectively endorse the applications that were made to the Tourism Infrastructure fund for projects in the Te Anau Basin and for Stewart Island/Rakiura.

In March, Tourism minister Stuart Nash announced a $13million package to all councils and community groups aimed at improving tourism infrastructure, especially in areas under pressure due to Covid-19.

Fiordland was identified as one such area.

A letter from council chief executive Cameron McIntosh stated council’s priorities.

He said the community was enormously impacted by the outbreak.

‘‘This comes at time when council has been working hard to resolve infrastructure deficits without placing significant additional strain on our ratepayers,’’ the letter said.

The council asked for $1.5million for the Te Anau wastewater project; $1.1million for the Manapouri visitor and infrastructure and facilities upgrade; and $440,000 for the Te Anau visitor boat ramp and toilets.

It also applied for $600,000 for the demolition and replacement of the wharf at Ulva Island and $99,125 for the Observation Rock platform.

If applications were approved, it would be matched by council towards the total amount of the project.

A report from council’s community partnership leader Simon Moran stated the exception to this scheme was the Te Anau Wastewater application.

Staff will advise the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment of council’s decision.

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