NZ tourist tax to fund new infrastructure
The tourist tax would provide NZ$75 million each year to fund new infrastructure throughout the country, through the opposition’s proposed Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund.
Labour’s tourism spokesperson Kris Faafoi said the country needs more infrastructure to serve international visitors, “especially if we want to attract high-spending tourists”.
“From Northland to Southland, councils are facing increasing pressure to support growing numbers of tourists without the funds to do it,” said Faafoi.
“It’s time for the Government to help ensure we deliver a world-class experience to tourists, without unfairly burdening local communities.”
The proposed fund will contribute $45 million each year to tourism infrastructure and training, and $30 million to protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
Faafoi said there is no evidence that a levy of less than 1 per cent of what the average tourist spends in New Zealand will hurt tourism.
“The Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund will ensure New Zealand has the infrastructure and attractions needed to support tourism, and that our natural treasures that bring so many visitors here are protected and enhanced for future generations,” he said.
Labour has seen a rise is popularity since Jacinda Ardern took over leadership in August, especially among young New Zealanders who have shown support for the party’s plan to introduce free tertiary education.