January 05, 2017
Whale Watch rapt to be back watching whales.
The head of Kaikoura Whale Watch says the Ngai Tahu-owned company has not sought the support offered by the government for businesses in the earthquake-hit town.
Kauahi Ngaporo told Radio Waatea host Claudette Hauiti the company’s focus is on reestablishing infrastructure around the marina.
“We want to get back and operate and rebuild the business,” Mr Ngaporo says.
He says the package is extremely important to other businesses in the town, and will probably have to be renewed when it expires in March.
The company resumed tours this week, using a modified trailer to get passengers on to one of its four boats.
The earthquake pushed up the seabed in the area more than a metre.
Mr Ngaporo says at best Whale Watch can do three trips a day instead of the normal 16, and it will me some months before the marina is in a state for marine businesses to resume full operations.
“We’re just rapt to get out there and take manuhiri to see whales and do what we do best,” he says.
The earthquake also highlighted how important tourism was to the town.
International and domestic visitors are making their way back to the town now the road has reopened to Christchurch, but it could take up to a year before State Highway One north of the town reopens.
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