22 Mar 2010

Tainui eyes tourism as a money-spinner

8:57 pm on 22 March 2010

Tainui is eying tourism as a future money-spinner.

The Waikato iwi has put together a development group chaired by former tribal executive head Kingi Porima to coordinate development from Port Waikato to Atiamuri, Waatea News reports.

Member Willie te Aho says the initial focus is developing a brand and

getting operators ready to take advantage of the world rowing championships at Karapiro in October.

Tainui Group Holdings is also looking to build a hotel and a hospitality and tourism training centre at "the Base" - the former Air Force base at Te Rapa.

Chief executive Mike Pohio says the tribe had always intended the former air force base to become a regional centre with a mix of uses.

He says however that the future of the base depends on the outcome of Tainui's High Court challenge to Hamilton City Council's variation 21, which bars all large developments outside the Hamilton CBD.

Mr Pohio says any development larger than a three-bedroom house is now non-compliant.