A Tourist Tax on beds?

The new mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff, has suggested a $5 visitor tax on each night a visitor stays in a hotel in Auckland. He says this could raise $30m a year and would help to fund advertising and attractions for tourists. He wants to keep rates rises to last year’s 2.5%. The council, however, will make the decision next year.

All councils are finding it difficult to keep rates increases low. Infrastructure is a major cost for cities but it is more of a problem for small towns. The small community of Franz Josef on the West Coast of the South Island with 300 ratepayers is facing the cost of many millions of dollars for an improved sewerage treatment plant. A flood damaged their oxidation ponds which were built long ago for a population of 500. However, these days Franz Josef is a very popular town with as many as 3,000 visitors staying each night during their busy season. Think of 3,000 people all having showers and flushing toilets.

The Prime Minister said that if Auckland has a visitor bed tax, the rest of New Zealand probably needs to do the same.

What are rates? Listen to July 19 2015

Note: Tourists visit Franz Josef to see the glacier.


• sewerage system – treats sewage from baths, toilets, washing machines etc
• oxidation ponds – sunlight, bacteria and algae break down waste water
• infrastructure – basic structures and facilities for a town or city. It includes roads, transport, electricity.


  1. Great news again. By the way, do you by chance know the meaning ” throw someone off the guard”
    I came across this today, and I got confused.

  2. “to throw someone off guard” is to surprise someone with some news that he or she didn’t expect and didn’t know how to respond.

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