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Yesterday afternoon, before the Mayoral debate at Papamoa, I attended Minister Shane Jones announcement to grant $980,000, from the Provincial Growth Fund, towards the $5 million multi-purpose “Te Tomokanga” facility, which will be built on Coronation Park as a cruise ship visitors terminal and welcome centre.

While Te Tomokanga will primarily cater to cruise ship passengers, it will also become an i-site information centre to assist visitors and tourists while in Mount Maunganui.

Tauranga can expect record cruise ships this season, with at least 317,000 passengers and crew expected to inject $54 million into the BOP economy.

Congratulations to Kristin Dunne, CEO of Tourism BOP for her leadership of this project.

I enjoyed Kristin’s speech, and she reinforced to us that, “when we travel we are not just a travelling wallet waiting to be extracted from. We are an adventurer, a traveller who’s seeking to experience different cultures, learn history, see new wonders and have experiences that transform our souls and create a lifetime of memories”.

There is no doubt that stunning #TaurangaMoana is the place to experience culture and create a lifetime of memories.

It was nice to catch up Shane Jones who I’ve known for many years now, and also Garry Webber For Mayor, Mayor of WBOPDC, with whom I believe I could work very effectively if we become Mayoral colleagues. Tourism is one example of why Greater Regional Cooperation is important.

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