Report shows more options needed to meet cost of tourism

14 March 2017

The $1.4 billion dollar cost of new infrastructure to support the tourism boom shows new funding options are needed to avoid ratepayers being forced to bear the full cost alone, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says.

A new report from Local Government New Zealand surveying 47 councils found nearly $1.4 billion dollars would need to be spent on tourism related infrastructure in the coming years.

“Right now tourism is booming and that’s putting unprecedented strain on mixed-use infrastructure. Under current funding arrangements, that burden is going to hit ratepayers around the country in the back pocket,” he says.

“This report shows why we need to be bold and look at new funding arrangements, at both a central and local government level, and even working between the two. Asking ratepayers to meet more and more of the cost of tourism simply isn’t sustainable.

“We’re already seeing council’s like Auckland taking action and looking for innovative ways to spread the cost more fairly.

“This is something the Government and all councils need to be working closely together on. Without a nationally co-ordinated approach, councils will have to take action themselves.”