TODAY |

Forest and Bird seek border tax to help NZ conservation

Forest and Bird want a border tax introduced to help the agency, along with the Department of Conservation, care for New Zealand's national parks.

"Maybe we should be having, like other countries do, an incoming tourist tax which goes to providing the infrastructure," Forest and Bird campaigns and advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell said.

Forest and Bird also raised issues with the use of taxpayer funds to buy Awaroa Inlet.

"It's great that it now in public ownership, I understand why it's been done … [the Government] looked at buying that property in 2005 and they decided it wasn't worth purchasing, because a quarter of it is already gone under the water with erosion," Mr Hackwell said.

Awaroa Inlet, which was bought thanks to an online crowd funding campaign, will soon be part of Abel Tasman National Park, which already draws a whopping 220,000 visitors per year.

The Department of Conservation will take over management of Awaroa Inlet.

"With 40,000 New Zealanders who feel they now own a piece of that park, I think we'll see a good number of those try to get there over the next year," Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts.

International arrivals are up more than 10 per cent, and more than three million people visited last year.

"After a five year funding freeze it's clear that DOC needs more government funding," Mr Roberts said.

The tourism industry is calling on DOC to consider charging tourists more than kiwis for the use of its facilities. Source: 1 NEWS