Comment of the Day: Are we heading for 0% New Zealand?

The opening ceremony of a giant rugby ball for Tourism New Zealand in front of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, Friday, October 05, 2007. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Sally writes:

South Islanders you are overrun by tourists.

After a few days down there doing all the tourist things I felt like a foreign tourist in my own country.

Really good for the economy but sometimes I wished that there were more NZers employed in the hospitality and tourism trade. Read more »


A sensible idea: One tourist visa gets you into both New Zealand and Australia


The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) is backing calls for a trans-Tasman tourist visa to cover international visitors.

It would allow visitors to travel between Australia and New Zealand on the same visa – a concept first trialled during last year’s Cricket World Cup. Read more »


Government steps up, a little, for mitigating a problem it created itself


Tourism is booming, but local councils aren’t all able to cope with the increase in visitor numbers. Their infrastructure is creaking at the seams, especially while the lower end of the tourism market places pressure on limited facilities.

Freedom campers will benefit from this year’s Budget with Prime Minister John Key revealing money will be allocated for infrastructure improvements.

Mr Key told The Nation the growing tourism industry is putting pressure on local councils.

“There’s an infrastructure deficit for the backpacker end, where people are staying out there, [they’re] not necessarily staying in a motel or holiday park and that’s a real issue for local councils,” says Mr Key.

He did not reveal specific details of how much spending would be allocated, or which facilities it would be spent on. Read more »

Builders and Wreckers: Key and Little

Last week could not have provided a more obvious contrast between the choice that voters face.  Key worked hard to earn money for us all by charming the pants off existing and new trading partners in China. Little, on the other hand, ran smear after smear.

Prime Minister John Key is due to arrive back from his trip to China [today], but it is already being hailed as a success in terms of trade.

China looks likely to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its market, opening up valuable trade opportunities.

It could be worth hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our economy. Experts say exporting chilled meat to China will open a whole new market.

On his last day of a week-long visit to China, Mr Key said the first shipments could be on the way within a couple of months.

That’s a huge win for beef and lamb farmers. Read more »

$1.5 million is owed just in freedom camping fines

Ah yes.  The NZ disease strikes again – lack of enforcement.

Currently many overseas drivers leave the country without paying fines.

Local councils say that over $1.5 million is owed just in freedom camping fines and the Ministry of Justice estimates that the total amount of fines owed by people who are now overseas could total up to $30m, including New Zealanders who have left the country.

For councils the fact that overseas tourists often ignore fines means that enforcement is becoming increasingly difficult.

In Queenstown, the council is issuing up to 50 freedom camping fines every night but the lack of an effective fine collection system means the problem continues to get worse. The council’s response has been to start clamping vehicles.

That’s one way around it.   Read more »

McIvor behind the move to reign in Wicked Campers

Kerry used to be quite the party girl back in her day.  It seems age has made her sensible curmudgeonly.

This statement was posted on the Wicked Campers’ website last year after a complaint from Women’s Refuge: “We employed a team of highly intelligent, socially conscious super monkeys to closely monitor the subject matter featured on our vehicles and scream loudly when offended. Moral Monkey Squad are dedicated to satisfying the whims and wishes of the humour-inept, self-righteous moral majority while wearing little monkey tuxedos and funny hats.”

That’s his strategy and it’s not a bad one. If you don’t find the “Lads! Lads! Lads!” type of puerile, sexist humour amusing, you’re a thin-lipped prude who is either not getting enough (women) or is gay (men and women).

You find yourself having to defend your own sense of humour and that always sounds a bit desperate.

The “hey, chill out, bro” faction advises people to just ignore the vans and their slogans.

It’s a little hard to ignore a large slogan painted all over the back of a van when you’re crawling along in Easter holiday traffic.

Imagine heading away with the family this weekend, getting stuck behind one of Webb’s campers for 40-odd minutes and having to explain to your 7-year-old daughter what various sexual acts are. Or explain the meaning behind: “In every princess there’s a little slut who wants to try it just once.”

Or why every third ad on the car radio is about men’s sexual dysfunction, or why some streets seem to have an awful lot of masseurs.   Or why most of their friends live at two houses with mum and someone and dad and someone.   Read more »

Well done Paula and all you other SJWs, now innocent tourists are being victimised

Paula Bennett started a war on Wicked Campers and, as a result, copped some pretty disgusting attacks against her.

But her own actions have now seen innocent tourists cop a flogging from Social Justice Warriors emboldened by official support to perform their own vigilante justice on tourists.

They wanted to see New Zealand on a budget, but they have also received some cheap shots in response to the slogan on the back of their rental van.

Dahman Soraya and Rossano Antonini ​admit they are not a big fan of the slogan – Virginity is curable– painted on the back of their Wicked Camper but say it was not like they had a choice.

“We wanted to see New Zealand and this was the cheapest way for us to do that,” Antonini said.

“It’s not like we had a choice of slogan you just turn up and you get given one. Some are rude and some are more profound.”

Read more »

Richard Harman: time to charge tourists to access our national parks?

With Government funding for the Department of Conservation (DOC) effectively frozen since 2009 it is increasingly looking to private sources for money to do its job.

And the pressure on the conservation estate from tourism means that one of those sources could soon be foreign tourists asked to pay to visit our National Parks.

Since the 2008 Budget, funding for DOC has increased by 8% – but over the same period inflation has gone up by 11.2%.

At the same time overseas tourists have increased by 27% to 3.1 million a year.

This means more pressure on the conservation estate as the tourists flock to Mt Cook or Fiordland or other prime tourist spots.

Conservationist and businessman, and New Zealander of the year nominee, Rob Fenwick, says that DOC has changed its attitude and now recognises it cannot manage all this on its own.

Read more »

Our success with tourism will end up with Kiwis having to pay to use their own country

Charging tourists will inevitably end up with citizens having to pay to walk their owr national parks.

International tourists may have to start paying to visit our national parks as the Department of Conservation struggles to cope with the tourism boom.

Concern about pressures on conservation land from swelling international visitor numbers has prompted the Conservation Authority to start investigating “charging mechanisms” to pay for the increasing costs of handling those numbers.

Last year, tourism replaced the dairy industry as the top foreign exchange earner for the first time in five years, bringing in $13.5 billion, compared with $13b for dairy.

A total of 3.1 million tourists visited New Zealand last year, but the tourism sector predicted numbers to grow by nearly another million in about five years.   Read more »

Don’t just suspend their licence, stick them on the next flight home


What is the problem with dickhead tourists coming here thinking they are immune from the law?  Would it be because, in a way, they are?

A UK tourist had his licence suspended on the spot after police clocked him driving at 150kph in a rental car.

He was caught near Kumara Junction Highway, on the South Island’s West Coast. Read more »