The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help take Te Apiti – Manawatū Gorge area one step closer to being a major tourist destination with investments in two projects, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.
A unique tourist trail between Woodville and Ashhurst to showcase Māori culture will be investigated with the support of $100,000 in PGF funding. A further $100,000 will go to the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) to evaluate a range of new tourism experiences.
“Te Apiti is a key landmark in the Manawatū-Whanganui region. This funding will help the region take the next step in maximising tourism opportunities in the region, thereby enabling it to grow,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“The proposed tourist trail has the potential to showcase rich Māori culture through virtual reality. If realised, the project will be a great example of the use of old and new to tell the story of Māori gods and their place in Te Ao Māori.
“The funding for CEDA will help the region to scratch beneath the surface on some exciting tourism ideas, including activities relating to ecotourism, culture, education, as well as on-water experiences.
“The people of the region have a vision of turning Te Apiti into a major tourist destination and we’re proud to be coming to the table to support that vision.
These investments will help revitalise towns like Woodville, which have been negatively impacted by the Gorge’s history of closures due to slips,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
Mr Tabuteau will be visiting the area today to hear from local players such as CEDA and Ngati Kahungunu. He will also travel to Feilding to receive an update on the PGF-funded National Driver Training Centre and employment hub at Manfeild.