Visitors to New Zealand are are going to have to pay a new tourist tax, however Australian citizens and permanent residents, people from Pacific Islands Forum countries and children under two will be exempt from the new tax.
The move reflects an ongoing debate within New Zealand about the environmental and infrastructure pressures put on the country by booming tourism growth.
In the year to April, about 3.8 million tourists visited New Zealand, a country with a population of about 4.7 million. Australians made up 39 per cent of this figure.
New Zealand’s Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, said she hoped visitors would understand. “It’s only fair that they make a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy,” she said.
The tax is expected to raise up to NZ$80m in the first year, with the money to be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation funding. It will be collected through a newly proposed electronic travel registration process.