“Reports that the Government plans to cap daily visitor numbers to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are a kick in the guts to local tourism operators,” says ACT’s Conservation spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“Tourism operators have been doing it tough after two years of lockdown and now a cost of living crisis to contend with. They don’t deserve to have the rug pulled out from under them again with the Government effectively putting a cap on their business.
“ACT has been contacted by frustrated operators who fear this will be the end of their business.
“Correspondence from DOC to concerned operators states the cap is to “protect the dual world heritage values, both cultural and environmental in the Tongariro National Park – and support the kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga functions of mana whenua."
“The timing couldn’t be any worse, why are the Government suddenly worried about degradation when the track has been used less than ever in the past couple of years?
“The Government needs to show clear evidence that this cap is required before they further kneecap an industry that has already been through the ringer.”