Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis is proposing a significant new cost on visitors coming to New Zealand to meet Labour’s election year promise to local government, yet he is woefully short on detail and doesn’t think his tax will make any difference, National’s Local Government Spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

Councils around New Zealand deserve better from Mr Davis and he needs to start answering questions with detail.

“When questioned in Parliament about whether he agrees with a recent report from Deloitte, saying that international visitors already make a proportionate tax contribution, he responded acknowledging that a visitor levy will contribute less than 0.8 per cent to the cost required to provide tourism infrastructure and said that ‘the international visitor levy isn't going to make any difference.’

“This is ridiculous and confirms that we have a Government who implements policy without proper analysis.

“If the Minister doesn’t think it will make any difference why is he increasing visitor costs with no benefit to them?

“Councils and communities all around New Zealand are counting on this Government to make good on their election promise to provide revenue to fund tourism infrastructure. It is interesting to see the Minister is now discrediting his own policy.

“The Minister is so vague on the costs of implementing the levy, he needs to explain why his Government is bothering with it”.

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