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by Greta Yeoman

Te Manahuna Aoraki’s conservation work is one of 10 projects funded under the Government’s tourist levy scheme.

The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL), which launched on July 1 this year, charges most tourists a levy of $35, which will be invested in sustainable tourism and conservation projects.

Announced by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage last week, the 10 projects will receive $18million between them this year, followed by an estimated $42million over the next five years.

Kaki released through Te Manahuna Aoraki conservation work earlier this month. PHOTO: COURIER FILES

The Mackenzie-focused Te Manahuna Aoraki conservation programme is set to receive $500,000 in its first year.

Funding from the levy is expected to implement 11 projects in the Mackenzie Basin, which will test methods and technology for pest management and environmental restoration work and which could be scaled up to a a 310,000ha project.

An initial investment plan of 10 tourism and conservation projects will receive $18million from the IVL this year, with an expected $42million to be invested in these 10 projects over five years.

Other schemes receiving funding from the levy include an initial $1.2million to develop Northland’s Ruapekapeka Pa into a tourist drawcard and use it as a hub to connect visitors to other sites connected to New Zealand’s Land Wars, while an initial $600,000 will be invested in a trial to enhance visitor safety in the Tongariro National Park.

Increased activity to reduce wildlife smuggling and the importation of banned items will receive $1.7million, while kakapo management and additional habitat sites will be boosted by $1.5million. Tourism in Westland, promoting tourism careers, as well as visitor management and protection of both Arthur’s Pass and Milford Sound, and increasing the predator-free habitat on the Auckland Islands will also be funded.