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Southern snow season opens as Jacinda Ardern drops in on Cardrona

Jacinda Ardern dropped into Queenstown’s Cardrona skifield today to celebrate the opening day of the southern snow season.

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It’s a milestone day for a district whose economy has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Source: 1 NEWS

It’s a milestone day for the district, one of the hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

Coronet Peak Ski area manager, Nigel Kerr says he’s grateful to see a ski season.

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With no international visitors, it’ll be a much different scene on the mountains this year. Source: Seven Sharp

“Very excited but more than that, also relieved to see we've got a ski season and I think we're going to have a great one,” he told 1 NEWS.

The Prime Minister paid her first visit to the area since lockdown ended, also announcing much-needed relief for the region.

“Whilst we're doing a lot of work to support the tourism industry, we also need to create other job opportunities and that’s why it is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to partner with local government here and local leadership here to announce $85 million worth of investment into Queenstown,” she said today.

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However with overseas tourism not on the agenda, the industry is being warned not to rely on the trans-Tasman bubble.

“I don't think we'll be profitable, we're going to be probably 40-50 per cent down on revenue because the Australian market is not going to be here and that makes it really tough for us to turn out a bottom line,” says Paul Anderson, NZSki CEO.