Business Scoop
Network

International visitor levy an opportunity

Press Release – Northland Conservation Board

International visitor levy an opportunity to boost Northland conservation funding, add urgently needed infrastructure to fight kauri dieback The Northland Conservation Board is calling on the Government to target portions of the proposed new international …International visitor levy an opportunity to boost Northland conservation funding, add urgently needed infrastructure to fight kauri dieback

The Northland Conservation Board is calling on the Government to target portions of the proposed new international visitor levy towards urgently needed conservation and tourism infrastructure funding in the region.

The Minister of Tourism, Hon Kelvin Davis, and Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, have announced a proposed new visitor levy which will bring in an extra $57m to $80m a year, to be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation. It is likely to be in place by the end of next year.

Outgoing Northland Conservation Board chair, Nicole Anderson*, said the board supports the Government’s proposed new international visitor levy and urges this new funding should be used to:
• Provide urgently needed and significant funding increases to establish infrastructure and protective measures to prevent further spread of the kauri diedback disease pathogen in Northland.
• Increase Department of Conservation (DOC) operational budgets throughout the country to further protect New Zealand’s natural heritage, which is one of the major drawcards in attracting international visitors.
At the announcement of the proposed tourist levy, Minister Sage said tourist numbers were expected to increase to 5.1 million by 2025, and six of the top 10 attractions for tourists to New Zealand were in the natural environment.

Ms Anderson said the board also called on Minister Sage to be flexible in any changes the Government planned to make in changing charging policies for international visitors to the DOC estate.

“Any changes need to be flexible so that regions – such as Northland, which does not have national park status – must not be excluded from this opportunity to improve conservation outcomes and tourism infrastructure on the DOC estate.

“Also, we call for a fair allocation model that takes into account low rate-payer bases and both domestic and international visitor numbers to a region.”

Ms Anderson said the Northland Conservation Board would be making a formal submission on these matters to the Government as part of the national consultation process.

* Nicole Anderson has been appointed to the New Zealand Conservation Authority, and therefore stepped down as chair of the Northland Conservation Board. The new chair of the Northland Conservation Board is Adrienne Tari.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url