Freshwater action needed ASAP, tourism industry says
Freshwater is essential to the continuing success of New Zealand’s tourism industry so the Government must act on the recommendations of the Land & Water Forum as soon as possible, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says.
“Healthy freshwater ecosystems are fundamental to supporting the natural landscapes that are the primary reason visitors travel to New Zealand. They are also integral to many tourism activities such as rafting, jet boating, swimming and fishing,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.
TIA agrees with the Land & Water Forum that a concerted effort is needed at national level to achieve the improvements needed in freshwater management. TIA is a plenary member of the Land & Water Forum, representing the tourism industry.
“Our country needs a clear vision and a long-term strategy for management of freshwater that reflects the values we hold as New Zealanders. We all have an active role to play in ensuring we leave the environment in a better state for future generations of Kiwis and our visitors,” Mr Roberts says.
“The industry is doing its bit, setting itself a goal to lead the world in sustainable tourism. To date, almost 300 tourism businesses have signed up to the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment led by TIA, and new businesses are joining every day. The industry is committed to protecting and enhancing the environment on which it depends, for the benefit of future generations.”
TIA will lobby Government for the Land & Water Forum recommendations to be actioned.
With the Land & Water Forum going into recess, there is a heightened need for a new Land and Water Commission to provide the coordination, resourcing and capability needed to make change, Mr Roberts says.
“If the recommendations are successful, they will help secure a high-value competitive advantage for tourism and many other New Zealand industries, as well as ensuring we can pass on a healthy environment to the New Zealanders and visitors of the future.”