By Robyn Bristow
The Hurunui District Council is a benefactor of the Government’s funding for new tourism infrastructure projects.
It has been allocated $224,254, from a total of $970,000 for Canterbury, to build public toilets at Culverden and a caravan dump station.
Since the November 2016 Waiau/Kaikoura earthquakes, and the closure of State Highway 1 north and south of Kaikoura, traffic volumes have significantly increased through State Highway 7 as the alternative route. This has put extraordinary pressure on towns such as Culverden and its infrastructure.
Hurunui Mayor Winton Dalley says the public toilets, in particular, have taken a hammering since November.
“Practically at any time of day or night, there is a line-up of vehicles with people outside waiting to get into the Culverden toilets.
“This funding will ease the situation and provide the quality and quantity of toilets to meet the increased current and anticipated future demand.”
This is the second and final round of the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund as announced at the 2016 Budget 2016 to provide co-funding for infrastructure used by visitors and locals, such as carparks, toilets, rubbish disposal and minor water management projects.
The fund is aimed at helping communities with high tourism numbers but small rating bases and limits funds to improve local infrastructure.
Mr Dalley says without the funding, local communities are those who “potentially suffer” and tourism numbers dwindle.
The other successful Canterbury recipients of the Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, were Ashburton District Council for toilets, $105,000, and Mackenzie District Council for three projects concerning toilets and an effluent dump station, $642,000.