Tourism worries raised

The topic of economic development and the future of tourism were among concerns raised at the Kaikoura District Council meeting last week.

The council's tourism and economic development committee and Kaikoura Information Tourism Incorporated are under review, with a merger looking possible.

Since the review was commissioned in June the committee has not met, although chairman Geoff Harmon said council staff were keeping on top of tourism.

Members of the council's tourism and economic development committee aired their concerns in the Kaikoura Star last week, saying they had hoped for the committee to be meeting still to address other issues, including economic development, while the review was taking place.

Some members felt they had been left in the dark over the review, conducted by Dominic Moran, of Moran Tourism Group.

At the council meeting last week, Councillor Harmon apologised for the absence of meetings. He agreed it was probably not good enough.

Cr Darlene Morgan said she was concerned that a working group set up to go through the Moran report had not reported to the council. She felt the committee had been cut out of the loop.

The council had commissioned the review, she said, and she was disappointed the committee had not been involved since.

Cr Morgan said she was also worried about where the economic development side of the committee was heading.

Mayor Winston Gray said that until the tourism review process had been sorted out the issue of economic development could not really be addressed.

The future of the committee would be addressed, he said. He was certain interim measures would be put in place, if required, to manage things.

Kaikoura Star