Tourism Minister undermines operators

The Tourism Minister’s recent comments that New Zealand is being hit with extreme pricing from tourist operations is undermining an industry already doing it tough, National’s Tourism spokesperson Joseph Mooney says.

“Tourism Minister Peeni Henare’s recent comments in NZ Herald suggesting that tourism operators reduce their costs for Kiwis because ‘things are expensive’, is completely out of touch.

“Tourism operators around the country are still recovering after our borders were closed. They are struggling to find staff and they are facing the same cost-of-living crisis as everyone else.

“Labour’s policy decisions have kept a handbrake on the tourism industry. Labour’s failure to change the immigration settings has contributed to New Zealand’s workforce shortage. 

“Labour has also failed to address the cost-of-living crisis and instead have contributed to soaring prices in food, rent and interest rates.

“While the Minister tries to play the blame game, National has a plan to get tourism back in business.

“National will refund application fees to people who arrive before a certain date, allow multiple applications for those working in industries where there are significant shortages, scrap the median wage requirement and replace it with an industry average that reflects skills and experience, and we will focus Immigration NZ on processing visitor and work visas as fast as possible.

“The tourism sector needs support from the Government, not suggestions from Labour on what they should be charging their customers."