The Tourism Industry takes and gives little back


The Tourist tax should be far higher than $35 to truly build the infrastructure our rapacious tourism industry floods us with annually.

I see little benefit to the average Kiwi who has to live with the overcrowding tourism generates, the industry seems to be of loaded economic benefit.

Take the situation at many major ports right now. Normally access to our waterfront is guaranteed, but when those bloody cruise ships come in to town, much of that access is shut down to locals to process the ships, and the amount of days that occurs is steadily rising.

This influx of cruise ship tourists with large wallets leads to retail rents in the area spiking and the cluster of luxury brand shops to explode.

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Some will call that progress, I call it economic segregation.

The industry claims that International tourism brought us $14.5 billion in 2017 with 3.5million tourists.

That’s almost the entire domestic population of NZ visiting us.

While I certainly believe NZ businesses do well from tourism, and that it will continue to play a vital role in our economic future, I don’t believe this unsustainable level of tourism has been properly provided for in terms of the infrastructure necessary to carry the current level of visiters.

It’s time for those visiting us to not only be paying for a Tourist Tax for infrastructure, Australians included, it’s time to start thinking about what peak tourism would be because right now, NZ is at risk of killing the very thing that is attracting those 3.5million to us.

There’s little point in making $14.5b from International Tourists each year if they are eroding the natural and pristine environment they are all coming to see.

TDB Blogger, Christine Rose, summed up the dilemma in a blog from 2016

New Zealand’s natural environment and associated ‘brand’ provide our tourism industry with a competitive advantage, according to the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand. At least 35% of international visitors come here primarily to experience our natural landscapes and other values, and most of these are associated with the public conservation estate managed by the Department of Conservation. Our natural heritage shapes the Kiwi identity, and underpins much of the rest of our economy, such as primary production. However, lack of infrastructure and Department of Conservation funding deficits threaten to kill the golden tourism goose and to trample on its eggs.
Our biodiversity is already declining and visitor pressures exceed capacity, and when this is set in the context of wider environmental damage and enclosure of the commons, it’s hard to see how the tourism growth model can be environmentally or economically sustainable. 

…our clean green myth is driven by LOTR cinematography that is at risk of being degraded by the huge influx of visitors.

The Tourist Tax is a start, it needs to be higher and this targeted funding most be used to upgrade tourism infrastructure while we ponder how many tourists are too many tourists.

Tourism NZ has been allowed to bowl along without much forward thinking, we’ve allowed Dairy and the International Education Industry to do that too.

It’s time to start rethinking that.



  1. I fully agree here as we are susidising a private industry here and getting nothing back for it.

    When we tried to get the National Governmet to fix our Gisborne rail washed out in a one km section in 2012 the National Government said;

    “we need to protect the taxpayers money and spend it wisely and not subsidise services that dont pay their way.”

    Tourism is not paying its way either, so we need to make them pay as we should(according to National Party ideology) ‘pay their way’.

  2. Any country that has so far heavily relied on tourism, largely a low wage economy, has not gained all that much, but servitude, prostitution, destruction of its own culture and environment, so why should the BS ‘clean green’, ‘100 percent’ and otherwise fake NZ Inc beat that tradition?

    Look at the liabilities of tourism world wide, pollution, crime, corruption, slavery, prostitution, economic over dependence, social and economic deterioration and more, and the best solution is to find other ways of running the economy.

    It is NOT worth going down this way, and the ‘industry’ is of course one like any pimp that may find a way to extort money out of any client’s pocket, no matter how and how much.

    NZ is becoming ever more so screwed up, but the government is too business friendly and only sees an opportunity to raise more bucks, by levies and taxes.

    You have ALL sold out.

  3. $200 to enter the country and DOC huts and tracks should be paid for by tourists…not in a small way

  4. The growth in tourism was encouraged to prop up the National party with no thought to ongoing planning or consideration of consequenses. We who live in tourist areas with a small ratepayer base have been used for the profit of others. Not only have our rates been used to subsidise the tourist industry but in many ways our way of life and our freedom has been changed. Freedom to enjoy peace and solitude and to walk without haveing to avoid human s… is becomng more and more difficult. Low paid jobs often working split shifts with the profits going elsewhere as largely been the result. If camper vans had been parked outside of John Keys house changes would have been made.

  5. It is not the tourists’s fault that infrastructure and facilities are insufficient. How can it be? What a cheek! Isn’t NZ$ 14.5 billion income from tourism enough for greedy NZers? It a something for nothing mentality here, closely aligned to that miserable NZ trope “She’ll be right”.

  6. Two things to say about tourism.
    In my experience, most of the tourists off the boats don’t go to the local gifts shops and buy anything substantial.
    They mostly go to New World, PaknSave, Countdown, K-Mart, McDonalds etc to buy loads of chippies, soft drinks, chocolate, other snacks and condiments because they cost a small fraction of the prices charged on the boat.
    Most of our tourist towns have become car and camper van cities with all the charms of peak time rush hour in Auckland.

  7. In addition to the very visible effects it is worth noting that international tourism, especially that involving commercial airline flights and car rentals, is one of the most effective ways of depleting precious fossil fuel reserves and pushing atmospheric chemistry even further from the pre-industrial norms. In other words, tourism is major contributor to bringing forward collapse of the global economic system through energy starvation and to bringing forward collapse of the global environment via excess CO2 loading.

    However, tourism does bring in quick, short-term profits for opportunists. And that’s what it’s all about these days.

  8. $35 is not enough — this is a tiny fraction of the cost of the air fare to get here (given that we are so far from anywhere other than Oz), which they’ve already been able to afford. Say $100. Tourists put off by that amount would not be the sort spending much when they’re here (see Mike the lefty above). Sounds elitist, but speaking selfishly, we really only want the “better class of tourist”, well-heeled and free-spending, and not too vastly numerous; the hordes of backpackers add little to the economy and clog the countryside (not to mention their informal toilet habits).

  9. Oh ! But I thought tourism was our wonder economy? I thought they brought $-trillions into our economy? Money falls from their awful, ubiquitous back packs as they trudge from one view to the next? That’s why we’re flush with cash?

    No longer need the dirty, filthy, worthless, greedy, tax bludging old NZ/AO farmer who feeds and clothes us anymore then.

    As commented on re @ Frank Macscasy’s Posting re M.Bovis.
    Ah, God. I feel like a worry free criminal returning to the scene of the victimless crime.
    I’m going to spell this out in as simple a terms as possible, so pay attention kiddies.
    I’m going to speak broadly. When I write the word ‘farmer’ I mean all those poor bastards who decided that working the land, in all permutations, was a worthy and noble occupation.
    Here goes ‘sigh’.
    NZ/AO Farmers do what they do and as a consequence of that, they make stuff and things that earn our foreign money. Y’know? By trusting scum bag, down-stream others to export farmer produce to sell, in good faith, to make a reasonable $-return for the good of us all. ( Bahhahaha ahaha aha a ahahahaha ) Sorry about that.
    Here’s how it goes. In my view and please, don’t be shy to try and prove me wrong, and good luck with that.
    Back in the day when men were men and dinosaurs roamed the cities, NZ farmers worked like the dickens to get wool, meat, dairy etc to foreign markets. Which they did alarmingly well. See refrigerated shipping + wealthy, winter bound Northern Hemisphere markets?
    Amongst those farmers were other farmers who knew how to dodge their moral obligations, lets say, and went about to wedge themselves between the righteous farmer and their markets. The rise of the ‘Producer Boards’. Look it up.
    And then… The dreaded National party wove the farmer into their dirty cloak of lies and head fuckery to where most farmers find themselves immeshed in today.
    National. The Farmer Party. What a load of wank.
    Now, here’s where it gets a little more sketchy. Bear with…
    NZ Farmer earns our money from selling their product off-shore, right?
    The National Party, in part comprising of days-gone-past crooked old cockies ran with the farmer and hunted with the banksters, lawyers, accountants, money lenders and sundry narcissistic egomaniacs now ensconced in grand old buildings like our Parliament Buildings, whoring, boozing, swindling, lying and cheating.
    The problem for them, however, is the likes of me.
    So, for everyone of me, they must come up with ever more creative ways to protect the lies, cheating and vast wealth creation they’ve been used to having virtually unimpeded access to for generations.
    That must stop, and they know it.
    National MUST keep the Farmer reigned in. National must maintain psychological control over their farmer serfs and crush any dissent.
    One of the ways they do that is to infiltrate opposition political parties, like Labour.
    It’s my view, that Labour has been infiltrated by confederate National spooks to demonise farmers to make sure farmers cling to National like a Syrian refugee does to a life raft.
    National parasitise farmers so when farmers look elsewhere for support, and who can blame them? They get smacked down by Labour and it’s hangers on parties , like NZ First and the Farmer hating Greens. That means, farmers only have their abusers to go home to.
    To support my theory one only needs to go into the countryside to see for one’s self how isolated, culturally deprived and frankly, ( No pun intended ) simply lonely it is out there. The little farming towns and communities are desolate and deprived yet provide huge wealth down the line. The internet is slow at best, the cops patrol like the Stasi looking for pissed cockies weaving home in the flat deck after trying to socialise at the pub and the costs of rates, electricity and the raft of absurd on-farm restrictions and OSH requirements are simply control mechanisms to protect the lies were told about farming and farmers and all lapped up by you who don’t mind eating and wearing what Farmers produce yet you spit in their faces in your determined ignorance.
    The upshot of ‘all this, is that I don’t trust a soul who drafts farmers out of the social, day to day running of NZ/AO.
    It’s vital that Farmers are somehow welded to the down stream service industry who deliver their products to markets both here and off-shore. When you go to the supermarket it wasn’t bankers, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, landlords, politicians, social workers, Dr’s, nurses or artists who put that food there. It was farmers. 52 thousand of them.

    I became involved in a movement back in the late 1980’s with the help of a fellow farmer and a few others to take direct action to protect ourselves from being bullied and exploited by politicians and banks.
    I spoke to a capacity audience in the Christchurch Town Hall about the above issues I’ve raised here. I told Jim Bolger that he was simply there to further enhance is political career, I told Sir ( Little bit of sick ) Peter Elworthy that he’d achieved nothing for the farmer he was pretending to support and instead made fortunes, by remote control, for his city based cronies.
    I received loud applause with the odd hoot, if I remember correctly. Then? Out came the confederates. One by one and soon those three thousand farmers and their friends and families were lead off down the garden path…
    We had a general meeting out at a farmers property to which we invited a fellow called Collis Blake. A fabulous man, so the media played him up to being. A wealthy, Wellington philanthropist known for buying farmers farms who were doomed with foreclosure from don brash’s 22% interest rates then reselling those farms back at suspended interest rates. He stood up on our make shit stage and began to gust out air like a punctured tyre. He was all for diversification and make-do. I thought “ Fuck this r-unt! He’s one of them!” I stood up and bellowed “ Wait a fuckin’ minute! ? We’re here to talk direct action! We’re here to work up a strategy to strike! We’re here to withhold stock and crops! We’re here to take control of our own industry, not his shit! “
    He changed colour and levelled a look at me and said “No!” That’d be a disastrous mistake and I’ll not have anything to do with it. “
    The dreaded confederate stole the show.
    And now? We’re fucked. Our country’s in financial tatters, our farming ‘ industry ‘ equally so, and you city people have been head fucked into hating on us and The Green Party and The Labour Party, in reality, the farmers best friends are writhing with Spooks who push the farmer back into the abusive arms of the Natzo’s
    Job done.

    • Agree 100% in particular,

      “It’s my view, that Labour has been infiltrated by confederate National spooks to demonise farmers to make sure farmers cling to National like a Syrian refugee does to a life raft.
      National parasitise farmers so when farmers look elsewhere for support, and who can blame them? They get smacked down by Labour and it’s hangers on parties , like NZ First and the Farmer hating Greens. That means, farmers only have their abusers to go home to.”

      Labour and Greens need to look at what would work for farmers and stop all the middle men cutting them out on big salaries and sending them bankrupt and then buying up the farms into big owner lots, instead of the co operative model with their own bad decisions.

      The organic and food quality are big issues to consumers. Sadly I think NZ is doing it’s best to destroy our reputation on that by their deregulation and market forces and globalisation dogma.

  10. Agree 1000%.

    While they are about it, can the the government start employing people to monitor the actual quality of some of the immigration scam hotels and cafe’s popping up, everywhere. Yep we all know that NZ has never been a chef’s paradise but the standards are dropping as fast as the prices are rising and the $2 p/h brigade of employers are expanding.

    Had the misfortune to stay at one hotel, looked like formally it was a 4 – 5 star hotel and the photos made it look great. But funny enough no reviews and a recent name change… hmmm, well if paying 4 star hotel rates, while having what looked like 2 staff members recently arrived from India who although very polite, just referred everything to the absent manager, including stinky fridge, lights not working, bits falling off doors onto your head, threadbare stained carpet, dirty stained toilet, and rat bait under the bed sounds like a great NZ luxury experience then NZ is the new place to come to! They put a new light on ‘adventure tourism’. Some of our NZ venues are more survivor now, than holiday, but at 4 star prices.

    Not only that, if you now eat out in Auckland at your peril. Most of the ‘chefs’ seem to be more microwave artists if they even remember to heat up the food, this is not just the dives you would expect, but right up to waterfront places charging the earth.

    An accountant seems to have been through and run the numbers into many establishment to make meals from 50c and turn them into $20. $1 into $30 and so forth. Soon all you get is Talleys fish and chips in sewer oil reheated

    all for the price of $27. If you can’t afford that then treat yourself to a beaker of smoothie for $8, special glasses to hold as little drink as possible. For the millennial sadly, avocado smash is off the menu, because avocados seem to be too healthy and expensive at many places.

    For our dimwit politicians and industry, people no matter what nationality want quality. In NZ we are not selling that anymore especially not to our own people and tourists. How the Fuck did this happen?

    It also shows how if NZ had got into organics (aka look at the link above about the sewer oil) a lot sooner instead NZ industry could have taken the Chinese market by storm.

    Sadly we got Beingmate instead and our revered dimwits of Dairy lost money in China, possibly because they had yet to hear of the word, Internet sales and thought people still went to stores and confused Beingmate with Beingonthetake instead.

    P.s not sure if true, but someone told me Fonterra pay the farmers the same and hardly any more for their organic milk because they don’t really agree with the concept of organic, but then charge consumers nearly double the price. What a pinnacle of industry!

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