“The Waikato River is our unique selling proposition which no other region in the country can lay claim to”. (?)
(x – Press statement in Waikato News on Tuesday – front page headline by Garry Farrow):
River is the heart of tourism.
Hamilton and Waikato Tourism Chief Executive Jason Dawson called it his “game changing” project:
“The Waikato River is at the heart of the 10 year plan to boost tourism and visitor numbers to the Waikato” said Dawson. “The Waikato River is our unique selling proposition which no other region in the country can lay claim to”. (? That is both a lie and a sick joke really – see below)
Part of the councils’ Tourism Opportunities Plan was to reflect the”mighty Waikato River” coursing through the other tourism game changers, including Maori tourism…
Well, if we are to be honest, if we have a social conscience, we could not let him get away with that!.
The Waikato River catchment, the original source of the Waikato River, is south from TRM where the snow-melt stream called Waikato River runs underneath SH1 (Desert Road) before it joins the world famous Tongariro River to flow past Turangi into Lake Taupo. Then, after we have used it for everything imaginable, our “second hand” used re-cycled brown/grey water eventually flows down the Waikato River where it is filtered through turbines in about seven hydro power stations long before Hamilton. By the time it arrives there it can hardly be described as ‘water’? (i.e. see video evidence by a Waikato ratepayer below)
The local tourism agency for Turangi is known as DGLT (Destination Great Lake Taupo). Their General Manger (Damian Coutts) has acknowledged that Turangi is no longer a suburb of Taupo for any promotion targeting tourists. Taupo is competing with Rotorua. We love Turangi because is quite unique!
Turangi now has a completely different marketing strategy. It confirms the importance of the Tongariro River which is the fundamental basis for all promotional activity. Just like Mr. Dawson’s false claim in Hamilton – no other region in the country can lay claim to. That includes Hamilton!
Here in Turangi where the Tongariro River – aka “upper Waikato River” – has been the life force of tourism and everything else for the last 100 years, his claim is accepted as a challenge!. Mr. Dawson owes Turangi an official Council apology.
The Tongariro is that famous that a quaint but very popular quirky fishing club, posing as a motel, is even named after it!
North of Hamilton they recently opened a new highway for tourists driving from Auckland. so that they can bypass Hamilton to get down to Turangi and Tongariro quicker to access the world famous trout fishing, best rafting in NZ, best one day walk in NZ, best National Parks, best motels, etc.
The short “slide show” below illustrates some of the attractions within 5 minutes walk from the motel. (It was prepared for fishing tourists from West Island to advise them what to expect.)
How could Hamilton possibly compete?
This is followed by another slide show for Mr. Dawson – on what attracts so many more tourists to Turangi – to illustrate why Hamilton/Waikato cannot compete with a real groovy tourist town – where tourists are attracted by the world famous 100% pure river scenery. (i.e. not second hand pre-used recycled water) OK?
And before Mr. Dawson and his Hamilton Council and Waikato Regional Council legal department instruct their solicitors to prepare a defence, we respectfully suggest they need to seriously listen to the brutally honest opinion from one of their ratepayers in the next video.
They need to consider how their lack of any sensible environment policy has allowed the water quality to deteriorate after it leaves Turangi and Lake Taupo – their mismanagement and unacceptable standards have created another crisis. It is time they were straight up and honest about it. It is time they did something to remedy their unfortunate crisis.
In such sad circumstances, it is quite remarkable then for Hamilton and Waikato Tourism to select the polluted, putrid, contaminated, fetid remains (of what left Taupo in irrefutable clean pristine condition) of the left-overs from the pure Tongariro River (aka Waikato river) as their basis for Hamilton’s tourism promotion. Desperate stuff?!
That is why most tourists flock to Turangi and the 100% pure Tongariro, Trout Fishing Capital of the World.