Big savings on ACC levies

By Matthew Martin


Rotorua adventure tourism operators are happy with the Government's new ACC levies - which could save them thousands of dollars a year.

The announcement follows on from a review of adventure tourism risk levels, instigated by the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIA).

Hundreds of adventure tourism operators around the country will benefit from the reduction in ACC levies - some seeing a reduction from $3.48 to $0.84 per $100 of payroll in the 2013/14 financial year. These businesses are classified by ACC as "Amusement and other recreation activities".

White water and alpine recreation operators are in line for a levy reduction, from $3.48 to $2.56 per $100 of payroll from April 1.

Raftabout director Justin Hutton said the savings would more than likely be spent on other regulatory requirements, such as drug testing staff, but he welcomed the decision.

"It's nice to be able to spend it on other things, like the new laws they have brought in in other areas like drug testing.

It's a bit of give and take."

Mr Hutton said the risk factors relating to white water rafting were minimal and very well controlled.

"We are a very well regulated industry and audited every year by the regional council and Maritime New Zealand, we also do an annual environmental audit," he said.

TIA chief executive Martin Snedden said the levy reductions come after the TIA worked with ACC to conduct a comprehensive review of how levies were set for operators in the adventure tourism and outdoor activity sector.

This involved analysis of the actual risks and several hundred historical claims made by businesses.

"We really appreciate ACC's willingness to work with us on this issue," he said.

"These adjustments will make a huge difference to the profitability of many of our member businesses. It also fairly reflects the nature and level of risk of these businesses," Mr Snedden said.

Operators can calculate their 2013/14 levies by using ACC's online calculator at www.acc.co.nz/Calculator/index.htm.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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