Cruise ships help budget

The return of cruise ships contributed $2.1 million to last year’s Environment Southland budget.

Environment Southland’s financial report to March 31, 2023 showed returning cruise ships as a key variance following a wave of cancellations due to border restrictions.

This contributed $2.1 million in marine fees, against a budget of $150,000.

Environment Southland chief financial officer Tanea Hawkins said the marine fee money helped contribute to the overall financial situation.

The operating result of the nine month budget to March 31 was a surplus of $276,000 versus a budgeted deficit of $5.5 million.

The positive result has reforecast the operating deficit for the budget year ending June 20, 2023 from a $7.7 million deficit to a $3.7 million deficit.

The return of cruise ship income means Environment Southland’s marine coastal work will continue to be funded and transfers back to the marine fee reserve will begin this year.