Anger at the government's new border tax is building with airports joining tourist groups and airlines in their objection to Budget plans to introduce new charges.
Travellers leaving and coming to New Zealand will be forced to pay $22 for a return international trip under the plan.
Auckland Airport said today that the new tax could impact New Zealand's competitiveness as a tourist destination, especially for those travellers who are price sensitive.
"It is regrettable that the implementation of this new tax happens at a time when the tourism industry is starting to experience solid growth, following many years of average performance," the airport said in a statement.
"Auckland Airport has been working very closely with the Government to remove barriers to tourism and travel, so this announcement is disappointing."
The statement said the airport would continue to work with Customs and the Ministry for Primary Industries to find process efficiencies and to improve productivity, which will in turn deliver cost savings to the Government.
The government estimates it could raise an extra $100 million a year from the new charge which it plans to introduce next January.
"It is essential that any revenue from the new levy is used for initiatives that protect New Zealand's borders and improve the experience of the travellers who will be paying it."
Airports New Zealand, which represents all airports, said it was a border tax masquerading as a bio-security and customs levy.
"We are very disappointed about this announcement which has come as a complete surprise to the airport sector," said chief executive of the Airports NZ, Kevin Ward.
"There has been no consultation with the sector on the introduction of this tax which has the potential to negatively impact NZ's economy.
"As a country we need to do all that we can to encourage an increase in visitors to our shores. These visitors contribute billions of dollars to New Zealand's bottom line and help support more than 120,000 jobs in this country."
The new tax which is made up of $16 for arriving passengers and $6 for departing passengers, when combined with existing Government charges will cost around $36 for a return journey, he said.
It would provide a potential barrier to visitors wanting to visit our country.
Ward said the announcement was a backflip from December 2011 when Prime Minster John Key, who is also Tourism Minister, vigorously opposed the British Government's decision to increase departure tax for air travel from Britain to New Zealand.
"The Government has stated that there will be a chance for feedback on the decision next month," Ward said.
"The airport sector welcomes open dialogue and will be participating in these discussions."
Air New Zealand has questioned how the proposed $6 charge on outbound passengers strengthens border security.