International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)
The number of visitors to New Zealand has grown strongly over the past few years, and growth is expected to continue.
The Government is introducing an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) to enable our international visitors to contribute directly to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural environment they enjoy.
From 1 July 2019, most international visitors entering New Zealand will be charged a levy of $35. It will be collected through the immigration system, with travellers paying the IVL alongside visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) fees.
It is expected to raise over $450 million over 5 years, and will help to substantively change the face of tourism in New Zealand.
Projects funded by the IVL will contribute to the long-term sustainability of tourism in New Zealand, by protecting and enhancing our biodiversity, upholding New Zealand’s reputation as a world class experience, and addressing the way critical tourism infrastructure is funded.
Who needs to pay the IVL?
Most people entering New Zealand on a temporary basis will need to pay the IVL. This includes for a holiday (including through the working holiday scheme), some student visas and some short-term work visas.
There are some exceptions, most notably Australian citizens and permanent residents, and people from many Pacific Island counties.
To make it easy for visitors, the immigration system will determine whether a person needs to the IVL when they apply for a visa or ETA application.
Exemptions from the IVL include:
- New Zealand citizens and residents (including all resident visas)
- People transiting New Zealand on a transit visa or transit ETA
- Australian citizens and permanent residents
- People from the following Pacific Island countries:
- American Samoa
- Cook Islands
- Republic of Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Islands
- Solomon Islands
- Diplomatic, military, medical, and humanitarian visas
- Transit passengers, including the Antarctic Traveller Transit Visa
- Recognised Seasonal Employment workers
- Business Visitor Visas (including APEC business travel cards)
- Ship and airline crew
- Most dependent visas
- Travellers whose visa or ETA requirements have been waived by Immigration New Zealand
A full and definitive list of exemptions will be included in the Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010(external link) (anticipated in June 2019)
The Electronic Travel Authority
The IVL and the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) are separate, but connected government initiatives. The ETA is for visa waiver travellers (including transit passengers from visa waiver countries and transit visa waiver countries) and Australian Permanent Residents (Australian citizens are exempt).
From 1 October 2019, these travellers will be required to hold an ETA in order to board their flight or cruise vessel. Requests for an ETA can be made from July 2019.
The ETA will help New Zealand manage the increasing numbers of travellers forecast to come to New Zealand in the future by reducing the time needed for border clearance, strengthening border security and bringing New Zealand's border controls into line with international best practices.
In addition to the border security function, the ETA platform will be used as a collection tool for the IVL (alongside the Visa application system).
The ETA is being developed by Immigration New Zealand.
Where the IVL will be spent
The IVL is a change in the way we invest in tourism in New Zealand. Its aim is long-term, significant change to the way the tourism system works. It is an important component of the (draft) Aotearoa New Zealand Government Tourism Strategy.
Other tourism funding
There are a number of other funding options for tourism related infrastructure and projects run by MBIE. These funds will complement the IVL:
A strategic fund will change that will change the face of tourism by supporting programmes that will deliver a more sustainable tourism system
The Investment Plan will support specific programmes, many of which will have their own governance in place. Mechanisms for specific projects will depend on the programme and may include expressions of interest or tender processes.
The Tourism Infrastructure Fund provides up to $25 million annually to develop tourism-related infrastructure that supports locations facing pressure from tourism growth. This complements the IVL by being a responsive tool for specific pressures
Two funding rounds per year.
Applications open 1 March and 1 August. Councils and community groups can apply.
The Provincial Growth Fund has $3 billion over three years to enhance economic development and employment opportunities in regional NZ. The PGF has a broader remit, and includes tourism, but not direct conservation. Future IVL investment may complement PGF investment.
Applications can be made directly to the PGF by a range of organisations.
Two main funds to build, enhance, extend and maintain the Great Rides.
Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund – $2 million a year to fund projects to maintain the quality of the great rides.
New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund – $6 million a year to extend or improve the Great Rides.
Future IVL investment may leverage Great Rides.
Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund – two funding rounds a year.
New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund – apply online
Documents relating to the IVL and ETA
Establishment and consultation
- IVL Consultation - July 2018
Final decisions on establishing the IVL
Annex 1 - Draft discussion document on IVL expenditure [PDF, 232 KB] - September 2018
Annex 2 - Regulatory Impact Statement for the IVL [PDF, 144 KB] - September 2018
Decisions on expenditure
Expenditure proposal for the IVL [PDF, 588 KB] - October 2018