Government Would Be ‘Short Sighted” To Rule Out Visitor Levy

Press Release – United Future NZ Party

United Future leader Hon Peter Dunne says that a failure to introduce an overseas visitor levy to help fund conservation infrastructure would be short-sighted and disappointing.
3 April 2017

Government Would Be ‘Short Sighted” To Rule Out Visitor Levy – Dunne
UnitedFuture leader Hon Peter Dunne says that a failure to introduce an overseas visitor levy to help fund conservation infrastructure would be “short-sighted and disappointing.”
“UnitedFuture proposed a levy of about $25 per visitor could raise around $75 million a year which could be directed towards upgrading infrastructure like huts, tracks and other amenities on the conservation estate, freeing up other DOC resources to focus on the protection of threatened indigenous flora, fauna and marine life,” he says.
Mr Dunne says a $25 per head levy per overseas visitor was a very a small per capita cost – “barely the cost of a meal at a restaurant” – but the overall sum raised would provide a significant boost to the already stretched DOC budget.
“Many overseas visitors are stunned that they are not charged already for access to National Parks, so the imposition of a modest levy is hardly likely to deter them from visiting here away, nor scare them away, but will be positive for the conservation of our environment.
“It is disappointing to see a recent change in messaging to say that New Zealand already costs too  much when the former Prime Minister, John Key, was making much more positive public comments about such a policy in November.
“This is about looking to the future and ensuring we have a conservation estate that is funded to a level that means it can continue to attract the overseas attention it does, bring tourists into our country and maintain its outstanding reputation without shifting that costs exclusively to the New Zealand taxpayer,” he says.
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