Today the Green Party’s conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage went kayaking on Akaroa Harbour to highlight the greater protection achieved for Hector’s and Maui dolphins this term and the Greens’ election commitment to supporting sustainable tourism.
“It’s wonderful to be out on the water in Akaroa Harbour, and to be supporting a local nature tourism provider.
“More people exploring New Zealand on holiday can help support the many small businesses in the tourism sector while our international borders are closed. That’s why the Green Party’s tourism policy focuses on encouraging domestic tourism, to help revitalise the sector whilst reducing our impact on the climate.
“I’m proud of the Green Party’s track record in government in securing the international visitor and conservation levy to help fund visitor facilities and nature protection, launching the Government’s tourism strategy which has sustainability at its heart, and establishing the $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature programme that is already supporting tourism workers affected by COVID-19 and the border closure.
“In Akaroa, Banks Peninsula’s dramatic volcanic landscapes, its two marine reserves, Hector’s dolphins, seals and marine life, a stunning harbour, local walks and friendly people all draw visitors to the area.
“Whether it’s getting out on the water, seeing some distinctive scenery, walking along sandy beaches and a spectacular coast, tramping through beautiful bush, or rafting down a river – Aotearoa’s backyard has so much to offer.
“While some tourism hotspots are bustling thanks to New Zealanders exploring our country, there are plenty of places to visit. With no international cruise ships in Akaroa the town is no longer crowded with international visitors.
“With summer approaching it’s a great time to plan a trip into Aotearoa’s great big backyard,” Eugenie Sage said. “Low impact recreation and tourism where visitors enjoy and respect local places and communities is what the Green party wants to encourage.”
“With nature at heart of the success of the tourism sector it’s important we look after it.
“I’m very pleased with the work the Greens have done to double the size of the area where Māui and Hector’s dolphins are protected from set nets and trawl nets. The Green Party is committed to going further and faster to protect Aotearoa’s oceans with our Thriving Oceans Plan.”
Key points in the Greens’ tourism policy include:
- Encourage domestic tourism to revitalise the sector and reduce the climate impact of international air travel.
- Invest in regional rail and safe cycling so tourists can explore the country using low carbon transport.
- Implement stronger controls on vehicle camping and encourage visitors to use local accommodation providers.
- Review the New Zealand-Aotearoa Tourism Strategy in the light of COVID-19 and strengthen the commitment to sustainability and protecting areas for local communities to enjoy.
- Create jobs upgrading walking tracks, huts and other popular tourism infrastructure.