It made a stir back in 2016 when it was first proposed, with governing bodies saying it would ‘irritate travellers‘ and outweigh the benefits of online visas.

Now, New Zealand’s tourism leaders say they’re ready to reduce the border travel tax after making a surplus of nearly $21.1 million in its first two years.

Currently, each arrival into New Zealand is required to pay $21.75 when touching down by plane, and $26.22 when visiting via cruise ship.

The government is hoping to reduce this by 1 July 2018 to $18.73 for flyers and for $22.82 cruisers.

While tourism bodies such as Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) welcomed the decision, they said there should have been more consultation in order to ensure the money is spent wisely and on service improvements for travellers.

“We regret no opportunity has been provided to make suggestions for improving border services or to be able to review the planned spending of the two agencies,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said.

“On behalf of the CATT members, we are seeking an urgent briefing with Customs and MPI, and will be expecting more transparency and consultation in future.”


Meanwhile, New Zealand Cruise Association’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Sullivan welcomed the decision, saying it would reduce costs and customs improvements for cruisers.

READ: A ‘small tax is a bad tax’

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What are your thoughts on border taxes?