Ngati Porou Holding Company Ltd is pleased to be launching for the first time, the tourism experience, Maunga Hikurangi - Journey to the First Light.
Tours start from January 3 2019; the experience is a culturally rich and authentic one and offers the opportunity to have guided visits to the iconic whakairo (carvings) on Maunga Hikurangi and watch the sun as it greets the new day for the first time.
Bookings are now being taken for the iconic cultural experience with three Maunga Hikurangi tours being offered: Te Urunga-Tu – The Sunrise Tour, Haramai – The Day Tour and Topa Mai – The VIP Helicopter Tour. Marae stays will also be added to the offerings in the future. Information about these tours can be found on the new website www.maungahikurangi.com
The Maunga Hikurangi experience has been developed by TRONPnui subsidiary Ngati Porou Holding Company Ltd, and has as one of its broader purposes, unlocking tourisms economic potential for the Tairawhiti region.
Ngati Porou Holding Company developed the Maunga Hikurangi products with the support and experience of Amanti Tourism Limited. Local and national organisations have also supported the journey including Activate Tairawhiti, Eastland Community Trust, Te Puni Kokiri, NZ Maori Tourism and Air New Zealand.
The Maunga Hikurangi experience is one of three iconic experiences being developed through this collaboration - the others being the Waka Hourua Tairawhiti sailing venture and Chardonnay Express - to encourage visitors to journey beyond New Zealand’s main tourism track and discover the wonders of Tairawhiti.
Ngati Porou Holding Company chairman, Matanuku Mahuika, says once visitors are here, they will hopefully want to explore even more that Tairawhiti has to offer - the culture, the landscape, the history, the people, and the food and beverages.
“One of the things that the research is telling us about tourism, is when you have an iconic experience such as Maunga Hikurangi, you have the potential to attract interest to the region and to bring people in, and if you are able to do that, then it feeds the development of the broader tourism sector within the region” he says.
The latest International Visitor Survey results released 15 November 2018 by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) shows tourism to be a huge part of the New Zealand economy with impressive growth in recent years.
The survey says international tourism expenditure increased 7% to $11.1 billion for the year to September 2018. That’s an increase of $650 million compared with the year ended September 2017.
An economic overview from the ANZ Research - New Zealand Weekly Focus report published at the end of last month, shows tourism also accounted for a hefty chunk of employment, with 8.4% of total employed persons (230,793 people) working directly in tourism and an additional 6.1% indirectly employed.
“That is almost 15% of all people in a job,” says the report.
At a local level, Ministry of Innovation and Employment figures over the year ended May 2018, placed Tairawhiti in the number one spot for having the fastest growing tourism spend up 14% to $155 million, followed by Tasman at 13% to $329 million and Canterbury at 13% to $3.8 billion.
Mr Mahuika says there is a strong desire to develop tourism because of the opportunities the industry presents for whanau enterprise and local marae.
“We are prepared to make the investment, because for us it is all about creating economic activity within the region which in turn creates employment and new pathways for our young people.”
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