Hokitika soon to be "Motorhome Friendly"

“Motorhome Friendly” status a tourism boost for Hokitika

Hokitika is soon to be officially welcomed into the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s nationwide Motorhome Friendly scheme.

On March 22, a longstanding local NZMCA member, Jim Barnes, will present Westland District Council Mayor Bruce Smith with certificates and signs acknowledging Hokitika as New Zealand’s 50th Motorhome Friendly town.

The move is set to provide a healthy boost to tourism spending in the town and surrounding area. Hokitika’s new status is a positive reflection of both Council’s and the Association’s drive to share the benefits of Motorhome Tourism, without adding extra strain to local facilities or heaping extra costs on local ratepayers.

Group Manager for Planning, Community and Environment, Jim Ebenhoh, says: The Council is pleased that its approach to motorhomes has been recognised through Motorhome Friendly Town status for Hokitika. There is a balancing act in allowing travellers a certain degree of ‘freedom’ while protecting an area’s amenity and environment, and the Council believes it has the balance right by allowing certified self-contained motorhomes in most public places in Westland, while requiring non-self-contained campers to use campgrounds. The Council’s provision of dump stations, potable water supplies and public recycling centres also supports responsible travellers.”

The promotion of Hokitika as a Motorhome Friendly town will be funded entirely by the NZMCA, at no cost to local ratepayers.

Bruce Lochore, NZCMA Chief Executive, says: “The result is a win/win for everyone. For Hokitika, official recognition as Motorhome Friendly will encourage more of our members to stop, stay and spend. And for motorhomers, the town’s status as Motorhome Friendly is a clear indication that they can expect a warm welcome.”

Mr Lochore explains that the Motorhome Friendly status offers significant economic benefits to participating communities by attracting more NZMCA members (a total of 80,000 nationwide) and other tourists in Certified Self-Contained vehicles.

“At a time when tourism in this country is enjoying an unprecedented boom, we believe it is vital that the benefits are not confined to the traditional tourist ‘hotspots’ but are shared with Councils and communities nationwide,” he says.

“NZMCA members love to travel and enjoy a wide range of events and activities; A&P Shows, music festivals, wine and food festivals, cycle trails, fishing contests, walking weekends, gardening festivals – you name it,” says Mr Lochore.

“To encourage more attendance at such events, we have initiated a calendar of activities and events – which we have worked with to ensure they all offer free or low-cost overnight parking nearby - to promote to our members. That offers a great opportunity for Hokitika to jump on board with its events and share in the benefits.”

Westland Mayor, Bruce Smith, says:
“It’s great to see this initiative, which was originally put forth by Councillor Carruthers, come to fruition. Hokitika is a tourist town in a tourism region. The Motorhome Friendly status allows us to lay out the red carpet by recognising how important motorhome tourism is, not only to Hokitika, but also Westland as a whole.”

ENDS

Dated at Hokitika this 8th day of March 2018

For further information, please contact:
Bruce Lochore, NZMCA Chief Executive
027 298 5647