PM backed departure tax plan

By Kate Shuttleworth

John Key. Photo / File
John Key. Photo / File

Prime Minister John Key backed an idea to introduce a departure tax on travellers, which was dumped just weeks ahead of this year's Budget.

Mr Key said he initially thought it was a good revenue generating exercise in order to spend on marketing New Zealand as a destination overseas.

"It's fair to say as Minister of Tourism I was attracted to the idea initially because I wanted to spend more money promoting New Zealand and it wasn't immediately obvious to me that there would be resources available to fund the expansion of our marketing activities particularly into new markets."

The Government had plans to introduce a $35 departure tax on travellers but decided to dump the idea ahead of this year's Budget.

It is believed the Government were considering a two-tiered approach, charging $25 for short-haul passengers on trans-Tasman and Pacific flights and up to $45 for longer haul travellers - earning the Government $143 million.

Reports suggest the tax was opposed by Treasury.

In Australia the charge is A$55 for all departures.

- APNZ

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