29.1 Introduction

29.1.1 The Waikato-Tainui rohe has significant attributes for attracting visitors both domestic and international. Auckland is the most visited destination in New Zealand welcoming around 70% of all visitors to the country. The region receives approximately 2.8 million international guest nights and 3.5 million domestic guest nights annually. Auckland’s visitor economy was worth $3.33 billion in 2010. Expenditure by international visitors made up $1.96 billion and the remaining $1.37 billion was contributed by domestic visitors. Auckland’s tourism industry supports more than 50,000 full-time jobs. Tourism contributed 11.8% of employment in 2006 within the Waikato Regional Council boundary and contributed $2,557 million in 2006. The Waikato region is the second largest location for domestic travel and hosted 28% of New Zealand’s international visitors in 2006. This is expected to significantly increase 11 .

29.1.2 Although tourism in the Waikato Region is a major generator of employment and wealth, this is focused on Waitomo Caves, geothermal activity around Rotorua, Coromandel Peninsula, Lake Taupoo, and Tongariro National Park. The major tourism attractions are therefore outside the rohe of Waikato-Tainui, though the infrastructure to access the attractions crosses through the rohe.

29.1.3 Waikato-Tainui has considerable potential to develop tourism for both the domestic and international market with a number of attractions such as the rohe being the home of the Kiingitanga, the natural and cultural resources of the Waikato River, recreation potential in the Haakarimata Range, and active recreation such as Rugby League at Hopuhopu and Huntly, rowing and waka ama at Karaapiro, and the teaching of arts and crafts at various marae. State Highway 1 is the major tourism route between Auckland Airport and Rotorua. There is potential to develop an authentic cultural tourism centre based on tikanga rather than other precepts of Maaori culture.

29.1.4 Waikato-Tainui supports sustainable and respectful recreation and tourism activities, particularly when tribal members are involved, or which are tribally owned or operated tourism activities. This is, of course, provided that adverse effects on the environment and culture are avoided.

11 Zahra, A., Walter, W. (2007). The Waikato Region: Major tourism issues and opportunities to facilitate tourism development. Waikato University

29.2 Issues

Adverse Effects

29.2.1 The development of tourism and recreation facilities potentially has positive economic benefits but there may also be negative impacts. Increasing numbers may lead to damage to fragile natural environments, culturally and/or spiritually significant and heritage sites. Tourism infrastructure development in locations that are culturally, spiritually, or environmentally unsuitable put strain on those locations, aggravated by the increased need for infrastructure such as roads, water supply and wastewater in these areas.


29.2.2 Waikato-Tainui cultural and spiritual integrity risks being undermined through commercialisation, particularly if such commercial initiatives are not appropriately led. Waikato-Tainui is keen to ensure authenticity when tourism activities endeavour to portray cultural and spiritual perspectives within the Waikato-Tainui rohe. This is best achieved when the activity is owned, led, operated, or staffed by Waikato-Tainui tribal members with cultural and/or spiritual expertise.

Local benefit

29.2.3 Waikato-Tainui is keen to ensure that there is local benefit from utilising the cultural ‘collateral’ of Waikato-Tainui for tourism activities with benefits accruing to Waikato-Tainui whaanau, marae and hapuu. In the event of the activity being a visit to sites of cultural or spiritual significance, the sites themselves should also be a beneficiary of the activity through site improvement initiatives.

29.3 Objectives, Policies & Methods

Objective – Adverse effects

29.3.1 Adverse environmental effects of tourism or recreation activities are managed to a level acceptable to Waikato-Tainui.

Policy –Adverse effects To ensure that adverse environmental effects of tourism or recreation activities are managed to a level acceptable to Waikato-Tainui.


(a) Tourism and recreation activities are developed or operated in a manner consistent with this Plan, particularly the sections relevant to the proposed or existing tourism or recreation activity.

(b) In collaboration with Waikato-Tainui ensure that the activity does not damage or intrude upon customary activities, waahi tapu, spiritual, or cultural sites.

Objective – authenticity

29.3.2 Cultural tourism initiatives within Waikato-Tainui are developed and conducted collaboratively with Waikato-Tainui.

Policy – authenticity To ensure that cultural tourism initiatives within Waikato-Tainui are developed and conducted collaboratively with Waikato-Tainui.


(a) Current or impending tourism activity operators, within the Waikato-Tainui rohe, that have a cultural component to their activity, confirm with Waikato-Tainui how:

(i) They intend to ensure cultural and spiritual integrity and authenticity is retained;

(ii) The privacy of Waikato-Tainui tribal members is respected;

(iii) The protection and enhancement of cultural and spiritual resources important to Waikato-Tainui is assured; and

(iv) The intellectual property of Waikato-Tainui is protected prior to any commercial tourism or recreational venture proceeding.

(b) Waikato-Tainui retains priority, undisrupted traditional access to and use of cultural and spiritual resources.

(c) Encourage and prioritise Waikato-Tainui involvement in owning, leading, operating, or staffing the tourism initiative.

Objective – local benefit

29.3.3 Utilising Waikato-Tainui cultural collateral results in a direct benefit to cultural and/or spiritual sites and to Waikato-Tainui.

Policy – local benefit Those utilising Waikato-Tainui cultural collateral provide direct benefit to cultural and/or spiritual sites and to Waikato- Tainui.


(a) Those utilising Waikato-Tainui cultural collateral clearly demonstrate the direct benefit that the activity provides to cultural and/or spiritual sites and/or the environment and/or to Waikato-Tainui whaanau, marae, and hapuu.

Note: for clarity, ‘direct benefit’ is not confined to individual benefit by way of employment, contracting, or engagement of local Waikato-Tainui members and businesses.