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New Zealand stays positive after devastating earthquake

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Debbie Summers - 'New Zealand is open for cruise business'
Despite the devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake that rocked North Canterbury on the South Island of New Zealand at midnight on Sunday, damaging Wellington and Picton, the cruise industry is staying positive about the future.

Debbie Summers, chairman of Cruise New Zealand, issued a statement saying that tour operators and communities are looking forward to receiving the scheduled cruise ships coming through their regions as planned over the coming 2016/17 wave season.

‘Wellington has suffered some cruise infrastructure damage, however this is being assessed with urgency in line with the upcoming calls planned and all other ports are open for business of as today,' Summers said.

‘The key message is New Zealand is open for cruise business and looking forward to a great season ahead.’

A Carnival Australia spokeswoman told Seatrade Cruise News that its ships will operate as scheduled.

‘We are operating in the belief that New Zealand authorities would want tourism activities to continue, given the sector’s importance to the economy,’ the spokeswoman said.

‘Holland America Line’s Noordam is currently returning to Sydney following a successful New Zealand cruise. Noordam had departed Akaroa on the night of the earthquake and was well out at sea when it happened.’