Māori Tourism wants government funding boost

By Mānia Clarke

Māori Tourism is the fastest growing sector in New Zealand, which is being promoted and lead by New Zealand Māori Tourism, but despite that the industry only gets 1% of the government's annual budget. 

A Māori promoter says it's time Government invested more in its biggest attraction. 

Māori Culture – it’s the uniqueness that sets New Zealand a part from the rest of the world, and it's one of the main reasons our visitors come here.

Regardless of its popularity, funding is still minimal. 

Glen Katu from Māori Tourism New Zealand says, “New Zealand Tourism receives $160 million, but we only receive $1.6 million.”

New Zealand Māori Tourism was established in 2004, to provide an overarching direction and focus for Māori tourism, and is endorsed by the Minister of Māori Development.

Te Ururoa Flavell says, “Māori Tourism is under my portfolio, they have their own autonomy, and they receive government funding through Te Puni Kōkiri to grow Māori Tourism.”

According to the latest statistics, a record three million visitors came to New Zealand, and Māori culture is one of the main attractions.

Katu hopes that each year the funding will increase, as they make the most of the funding they do receive.

And it seems their request maybe met, the Māori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell is open to assessing their needs, and finding a way to help them achieve their goals.