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Queenstown bungy to get innovations with $500,000 government funding


Queenstown's AJ Hackett bungy will receive $500,000 to develop an innovative bungy launch system as a part of a $12 million government tourism boost. 

At the TRENZ tourism conference in Rotorua on Friday John Key said $20 million would be invested to support tourism across New Zealand over four years - including the $500,000 for the bungy company.

New Zealand AJ Hackett Bungy owner Henry van Asch said the new bungy launch system would be 140 metres above ground at the Nevis Bungy site. It would combine height, speed, and flight.

Bungy-to-get-innovations"The Nevis Thriller will attract visitors to New Zealand to experience an extreme activity that is not available anywhere else in the world," he said.

Van Asch said the company started working on the project 18 months ago and was now at the refining stage. More details were not available.

The new launch system would start operating next year, once all the safety requirements are completed. 

The government funding would not cover all costs, and the "substantial" project would cost around $3 million, van Asch said.

Key said the $12 million funding boost would help communities with small infrastructure projects "that enhance visitor experiences", helping them cope with growing tourist numbers.

"We recognise that some of our smaller communities need extra facilities to deal with the increase in tourist numbers, and in particular manage freedom campers," Key said.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay said the bungy innovation would keep Queenstown at one of the top positions in adventure tourism.

"Tourism Queenstown is at the forefront of adventure tourism and this new product will help cement the Nevis Valley as one of the world's most remote and extreme adrenalin pumping adventure tourism destinations.

"We want to more visitors coming to Queenstown and New Zealand and projects such as this help us do that," he said.

Another two project to receive funds were New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua and a lodge at Timber Trail cycleway at Piropiro, Waikato.