3 April 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: International visitor levy

Enquiry

I'm writing a story today about the  International Visitor and Conservation and Tourism Levy which will see some visitors to NZ pay a small levy to "contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure they use and to help protect and enhance the natural environment they will enjoy during their stay in New Zealand".

For my story I'm going to local tourism operators for their reaction to the levy and whether they welcome it or not. What it will allow them to do etc but I thought the council may be able to provide a bit of comment too.

No update that prompted the story. I was just contacted by a tourism operator suggesting it!

I am mainly getting my information from previous herald stories like:  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12132687

and https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12154996

There is also the official Govt site about the levy https://www.mbie.govt.nz/immigration-and-tourism/immigration/immigration-consultations/border-changes-consultations/international-visitor-conservation-and-tourism-levy/

If it helps, in my draft story I'm explaining it like: 

As of October 1 some visitors and passengers in transit must have an Electronic Travel Authority and pay an International Visitor and Conservation and Tourism Levy before travelling to New Zealand.

The travel authority costs between $9 or $12 while the levy costs $35 for every person travelling to New Zealand.

Both charges are valid for multiple visits and up to two years.

Online the levy is described as a way for travellers to "contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure they use and to help protect and enhance the natural environment they will enjoy during their stay in New Zealand".

Response

From Mayor Steve Chadwick:

“This is something that is very needed with high tourism numbers putting considerable pressure on existing local facilities and infrastructure and creating the need for more.

The burden of that is only increasing and can’t be borne by local communities and ratepayers alone if we want to keep Rotorua as a beautiful place for both locals and visitors.

Central Government investment is needed and the levy provides the mechanism for that to happen.

My expectation would be that Rotorua, as a key tourism destination, would receive a proportionate share of the funding the levy will generate.

The Government has listened and has set a levy and we’re now awaiting the enactment of the legislation.”

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Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Council meeting with Kai Rotorua

Enquiry

Reporter called to ask if she could attend a hui between the mayor and Council staff and the Kai Rotorua collective to discuss their proposal for a local food hub. She was informed it was not a public meeting and then emailed seeking comment following the meeting.

Response

From Mayor Steve Chadwick:

“They are a very energetic, interesting and enthusiastic group with a lovely story around resilience and people learning how to grow, harvest and store food. The meeting represented a wonderful start to something that certainly fits with our district goals around health and wellbeing and having a connected, resilient community.

Kai Rotorua came to us last year wanting a centre for gardens but others had expressed a similar desire so we encouraged them to have a wider conversation and then come back to us. They now have others on board including Scion and Lakes District Health Board and I think there is the potential for this to be another great Rotorua partnership.

What this concept will look like is yet to be determined but at this stage it’s about how and where we get started.

After hearing from them and sharing aspirations we agreed that a site will be secondary to a shared aspiration and together we are going to look into this proposal further.

We haven’t discussed this as elected members yet either so that also needs to happen, once things have been worked through a bit more.”

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Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: World Health Conference

Enquiry

I am doing a preview on these two major conferences (World Health conference and Asia Pacific Security Forum) coming up in Rotorua in the next two weeks or so. I see that Destination Rotorua/the Rotorua Lakes Council have helped organise both, and Steve is speaking at the APSI Summit. 

I am hoping to please get some brief comment from her, about these events. 

My questions are:

What does she hope to say to the APSI Summit in her speech?

What is she looking forward to (for both of the events)?

Why are conferences that draw hundreds of people to Rotorua a good thing for our city?

Response 

From Mayor Steve Chadwick:

“We’re managing some very significant international conferences in Rotorua with organisers choosing to come here to see the cultural point of difference that is making things happen in our community.

It’s not just about our reputation for hospitality, I think there’s been a shift to Rotorua being a venue of choice because of our unique point of difference, including our partnership with iwi and everything that flows from it, including the challenges. The cultural strength of Rotorua and the value that adds and the value we place on it is something that others are keen to understand and explore.

The world is starting to see the value of indigenous inclusion and partnerships in general and that’s what I want to share with the delegates at these conferences. It comes down to localism, working together for shared outcomes that benefit the whole community and make us stronger as a community, more resilient and better able to deal with what comes our way.

We’re evidencing that through our partnerships with iwi, police and other local agencies and groups, taking collective responsibility to find solutions that work locally and where appropriate seeking Central Government support.”

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Media: Stuff
Topic: Larcy Rd Reserve signage

Enquiry

​Reporter enquired about a Council sign at the Larcy Road Reserve asking dog walkers to "pick up your dog's pooh" as part of efforts to reduce the problem of people leaving their dog faeces on the reserve. The reporter specifically asked:

Firstly, can I ask why it's spelt pooh?

Also it had been suggested to me this could have been a chance for bi-lingual signage too, so was using the Māori words for dog or poo considered?

Response

From Animal Control team lead Dylan Wright:

The word ‘poo’ is intentionally spelt with an ‘h’ on the end to draw attention to the sign. We often find that public signage becomes visual noise and ignored so we trialled a different approach to make it stand out so people take notice.

So far feedback has signalled a reduction in dog fouling in the area which may indicate that the signage is getting the message across.

Yes bilingual signage is definitely planned.

Page reviewed: 14 May 2019 3:20pm