Bennett not for tourist tax

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Radio New Zealand

Wellington, April 2, 2017

Tourism minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett does not support taxing tourists to pay for infrastructure.

Some Councils are urging such a tax, with Auckland Council hearing submissions on a plan to levy hotels and motels to pay for tourism projects.

Dialogue with Councils

Ms Bennett said that she was talking to local governments about the need to fund infrastructure.

But she told TVNZ’s Q+A that she did not support taxes that would single out tourists.

“I’m personally not a big fan … because we are really expensive to visit,” she said.

“I mean, I don’t mind us being expensive at all, I think that we are unique, we have got just the best package in the world to deliver to them, but I do not want to be seen as a rip-off.”

Ms Bennett said that tourists were already contributing through GST payments and it was already expensive for people just to travel to New Zealand.

She said there were 188,000 people working in tourism in New Zealand.

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Photo Caption:

Paula Bennett

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