Minister’s cage rattled


Tha caused quite the stir, didn’t it?

Mountain Scene‘s Parting Shot last week, an open letter to Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, seems to have captured the zeitgeist of not only Queenstown, but New Zealand’s tourism industry.

By Wednesday afternoon, Scene editor Tracey Roxburgh’s column had been read online almost 43,000 times and shared by numerous news websites and bloggers.

While Davis hasn’t personally responded, he and Roxburgh appeared – separately – on TVNZ’s Breakfast show on Wednesday morning.







Davis defended the work he’d done for the hard-hit tourism sector – but failed to mention Queenstown once – during his seven-minute interview with experienced journo John Campbell, and promised imminent announcements on tourism support.

That appears to be clarification around what the $400 million allocated to the industry in the recent Budget is for, aside from Tourism New Zealand’s domestic marketing campaign.

“The $400m is to help businesses transition and also to protect our strategic assets, and [today] we’ll be making a number of announcements, just getting money out the door and people will be able to see exactly what the fund is being used for,” he told Breakfast

“We understand if people are hurting.”

For her part, Roxburgh told the nation Davis appeared to be missing when Queenstown, and the tourism industry, needed him most.

“We need you in our corner, we need you fighting for us, we need you gloved up in the middle of the ring ready to go 10 rounds for us.

“I know it’s hard, I know it’s overwhelming but burying your head in the sand and pretending this isn’t happening doesn’t solve the problem.

“Right now, the tourism industry at large is on its knees, so we really just need our minister there, fighting.”