Tourist levy ‘good start’
Tourism is affecting not only sewerage and water and rubbish, it’s also affecting roading, and we also have trouble finding accommodation for workers.
‘‘I’m not sure whether there will be enough money from this levy. We might need to look for other options.’’
South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith welcomed the news.
‘‘We have lobbied strongly for a tax to be implemented and the funds to be made available to areas like the Mackenzie District for essential infrastructure,’’ she said.
‘‘Communities with small ratepayer bases are unable to fund and support the huge growth that has been taking place and the forecast growth that is likely to follow.
‘‘It is essential that a tax of some type is implemented, enabling New Zealand to deliver on a promise to our visitors.
‘‘We have a global brand and a reputation that must be maintained,’’ Smith said.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said tourists would understand.
‘‘Many visitors come to New Zealand to experience our unique and beautiful natural environment. I am sure they will be happy to help protect our special places,’’ she said.
Christchurch NZ, which oversees tourism promotion for the Mackenzie District, also welcomed the announcement.
‘‘Our smaller regional towns are beautiful tourist drawcards but need the right infrastructure for both residents and visitors,’’ general manager of destination and attraction, Loren Heaphy said.
‘‘Therefore, applying this revenue to infrastructure within both the conservation estate and to support infrastructure in regional areas will benefit visitors and locals.’’
However, she said its application might be complex and could be of limited value, given the relatively small amount of revenue it will generate. A Timaru playcentre has pulled out its photo albums and scrapbooks as parents look for the children who attended when it all began.
Gleniti Playcentre will mark 50 years in September with a fun day and wants former children and teachers there to help celebrate.
While the playcentre’s origins began in 1967, it was decided to celebrate the birthday a year later as committee members and families have been busy with a $20,000 building project.
Jubilee spokeswoman Keely Kroening said the centre had a special association with many families, with many second and third generations still attending.
‘‘We have some dads that come along as well and grandparents whose children have come here, now bringing their grandchildren along while the parents work.’’
She said there were many fond memories of the centre, with her own daughter, now 11, still enjoying the occasional visit.
Kroening said while the centre has several old photo albums and scrapbooks from its early days, most of the photos are not named or dated so they have no idea who many of the former children are.
Gleniti Playcentre began at St Stephen’s Church. In 1975 a prefab became the new playcentre.
The jubilee on September 24 will be an afternoon tea and family fun day.
Gleniti Playcentre’s Briar Olds, 4, looks through old albums ahead of the centre’s 50th anniversary with organiser Keely Kroening.