PCE report response – joint media statement from MBIE, MfE and DOC

Published: 18 December 2019

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry for the Environment, and Department of Conservation, jointly welcome the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report into the environmental impacts of tourism.

The comprehensive report builds on our agencies’ understanding of the impacts of tourism growth, and fills in in some areas where our understanding and knowledge is less developed. Addressing these gaps in knowledge is critical if we want our natural environment to remain as the backbone of our economy, culture and wellbeing.

Tourism is important to New Zealand’s wellbeing. It’s our biggest export earner, provides jobs, amenities, and drives opportunities and living standards in the regions. But as acknowledged in the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy, there is a need for a fuller understanding and better management of the impacts and costs of tourism on communities and the environment for tourism to benefit all New Zealand.

The costs of tourism include the broader impacts of visitors, across financial, social, and environmental dimensions. A sustainable funding approach requires that tourism should meet the full costs of these wider impacts. A suite of tools is required to ensure that tourism can do this. Some tools are already in place, including strategic funding through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and grant funding through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.  The PCE report suggests that additional mechanisms may be required.

Our three agencies, and other parts of government and the sector, are working to mitigate the impacts New Zealand communities are experiencing from tourism growth. To ensure that tourism can positively contribute to communities and the natural environment we’re already rolling out collaborative visitor and destination management strategies and campaigns advocating and encouraging responsible visitor behaviour, in addition to creating a sustainable funding approach.

The report will be a key part of continued development of a blueprint for our agencies, and the sector, to work together to ensure that tourism protects, restores, enhances, and champions New Zealand-Aotearoa’s natural environment, culture and historic heritage.

This report will provide additional information, insight and understanding so we can make sure we continue to manage the impacts on the environment while providing access to what makes New Zealand an attractive destination.

We look forward to working together over the coming months to better understand the report, the findings and how we best respond.

Pristine, popular... imperilled? The environmental consequences of projected tourism growth(external link)

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