New Zealand Eyes Tourist Taxes

August 15, 2016 Taxation in New Zealand

WELLINGTON – Despite some initial hesitation, the government of New Zealand has given indication that it may look into tourist taxes to help pay for conservation or upkeep of tourist areas.

Late last week the Green Party of New Zealand put forward a proposal for a “taonga levy” to be levied on flights to and from New Zealand, in an effort to raise funds for conservation efforts, and now the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key has given indication that the plan may come to fruition.

The Green party’s plan, which was announced by the party’s co-leader James Shaw, would see the current Border Clearance Levy raised by NZD 14 to NZD 18 per trip, raising the total to as much as NZD 40.

The extra funds raised from the change would be used to pay for pest and predator-eradication efforts throughout the country.

Initially the ruling National Party indicated that the idea would not proceed forward.

However, over the weekend the Prime Minister John Key spoke at the Chamber of Commerce in Queenstown, and suggested that the government would look at potential taxes on flights or tourists, as in many tourist spots around the country, the payments made by local residents are not adequately covering the cost of infrastructure projects.

Photo By: Nick Kean