Government funding boost for new Tekapo astronomy centre welcomed

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It’s been quite a week for Tekapo, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says, with the announcement today that $3 million in Government funding is being made available for a new astronomy centre on the shores of Lake Tekapo.

This comes after another $405,000 was awarded to the Mackenzie District Council yesterday for new tourist toilets at Lake Tekapo.

“The Earth and Sky ‘Window to the Universe’ Astronomy Centre is a joint venture between Earth and Sky and Ngai Tahu Tourism and has received $3 million in funding from the Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership.

“I’m delighted and excited for the Mckenzie region that this funding has been allocated.

“It will inject even more confidence into the area and will reinforce Tekapo’s reputation as an tourist destination.

“The Mckenzie district is a high tourism growth area, and it’s important that the Government continues to invest in products that target high-value visitors and encourage them to explore places like Tekapo.

“It’s all about supporting regional development and spreading the benefits of tourism outside of the main centres, to create jobs and support business.

“I recently visited Tekapo to attend a public forum discussing the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and was amazed and delighted at the astronomical wonders on offer.

“This funding will help develop an exciting new centre which will be accessible to the thousands of visitors who transit through the region daily.

“The facility will add to the existing astro-tourism attraction, providing an exciting new day-time astronomy experience, helping Tekapo and its people capitalise on its Dark Sky Reserve status.”