The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment published its draft national tourism strategy and invited consultation.
The FMC submission on the draft explained our values and policies, and articulated how those values must be upheld in any government strategy which can influence the preservation of our wild places, and our ability to enjoy recreating in them.
The submission reminded the Ministry of the law within the National Parks Act 1980 and Conservation Act 1987, in particular section 6(e):
“To the extent that the use of any natural or historic resource for recreation or tourism is not inconsistent with its conservation, to foster the use of natural and historic resources for recreation, and to allow their use for tourism.”
Our submission goes on to explain the significance of our mountain recreation culture, and calls for a ‘supply-side approach’ to management of tourism, rather than simply playing catch-up where the demand seems to be greatest. We explain our belief should aim to deliver more than just short-term financial gain. That tourism development and income be used for the best preservation of our wild lands and betterment of our communities, our culture and local infrastructure.
It calls for clearer definition of the ‘sustainability’ buzz word within the draft, and challenges the ministry to acknowledge that ‘accepted practice’ is not always ‘best practice’. The submission reminds the ministry that wilderness is very rare internationally and therefore requires the highest standards of protection. We assert that New Zealanders exploring Aotearoa are not ‘tourists’; we’re exploring the place that makes us who we are.
We discuss the need for urgent infrastructure to mitigate the current impact of tourism, especially with regard to public transport options to reduce the reliance on self-driving holidays and toileting.
The submission goes on to outline our thoughts on Great Walks, seasonal destination development, value over volume mindset, and our views on any international visitor conservation levy.
We invite you to read the whole FMC submission to understand fully how we are representing our members in the consultation on this critical strategic document.