Supporting local tourism in the Waitomo District

Tuesday, 01 August 2017

Waitomo District Council aims to support the benefits that visitors bring to the District.  Visitor spend funds jobs in our local adventure tourism businesses, retail businesses, supermarkets, petrol stations, restaurants and cafes, besides the money spent on accommodation and travel spend. The estimated visitor spend in the Waitomo District for the year ended 30 June 2017 was $87 million.

With its central location Te Kuiti is the main trading centre in the Waitomo District. We want to attract visitors by providing access to an overnight and short-term accommodation option in Te Kuiti that will complement the many successful hospitality businesses already operating in the District.

Council has signalled since about 2012 that it has a clear view the existing Te Kuiti Campground business model delivered under the existing month to month tenancy arrangement, plus the site location, accessibility and scale of the site does not meet the needs of the travelling visitor.  The location of the camping ground and the footprint does not lend itself to further development to support the local visitor needs.

For the past five years WDC has had a month to month tenancy arrangement with the Te Kuiti Camping Ground business owner.  Discussions regarding ending the tenancy arrangement commenced earlier this year and the month to month tenancy arrangement with the Te Kuiti Camping Ground business owner John Te Huia will end on the 31 August 2017.

Council is investigating the potential development of a new motorcamp to serve the needs of visitors to Te Kuiti. Any proposal will be discussed with the Waitomo District community through the upcoming 2018-28 Draft Long Term Plan process. The timeline for the establishment of a new motorcamp would depend on the outcome of that process.

Council intends to retire the existing site used by the Te Kuiti Camping Ground business, and return the land for use by the Waitomo District community as a recreational reserve.