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Ed Sheeran

Waitangi subsidy after tourists turned away
Photo: Getty Images.

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Four weeks ago Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene was on a COVID-19 checkpoint stopping tourists coming through to Te Tai Tokerau.

Now as chair of the Waitangi National Trust he’s encouraging people to come back to the Bay of Islands and the Treaty Grounds.

He says after 90 years of paying its own way with no help from taxpayers, the trust is grateful for the $4 million it got in the Budget to help it survive the effects of the pandemic.

While the trust accepted a wage subsidy for its 70 workers, it is heavily reliant on fees from international tourists to maintain the country’s most significant historical site.

"It’s making sure that everything else we need to pay for, we can, and to provide for first-class visitor experience, hopefully for the domestic market and hopefully also when we extend out bubble to Australia, that we can cater for those people throughout the winter months," he says.

Pita Tipene

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