International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)

From 1 July 2019, most international visitors entering New Zealand will be charged a levy of $35 that will be invested in sustainable tourism and conservation projects.

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) from 1 July 2019 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 NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) fees.

The IVL is an investment in New Zealand. It is expected to raise over $450 million over the first five years, and will help ensure tourism growth is sustainable and continues to enrich New Zealand and New Zealanders. We sought public and industry views in 2018 and public consultation showed strong support for the levy.

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 NZeTA application.

Who will not need to pay the IVL:

  • New Zealand citizens and residents (including all resident visas)
  • People transiting New Zealand on a transit visa or transit NZeTA
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents
  • People from the following Pacific Island countries:
    • American Samoa
    • Cook Islands
    • Fiji
    • Kiribati
    • Republic of Marshall Islands
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Niue
    • Nauru
    • Palau
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Pitcairn Islands
    • Samoa
    • Solomon Islands
    • Tonga
    • Tuvalu
    • Vanuatu
  • Diplomatic, military, medical, and humanitarian visas
  • People travelling to Antarctica under the Antarctic Treaty (including people travelling on the Antarctic Traveller Transit Visa)
  • Recognised Seasonal Employment workers
  • Business Visitor Visas (including APEC business travel cards)
  • Ship and airline crew
  • Most visas for dependants (partners and children) of work and student visa holders
  • Travellers whose visa or NZeTA 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 New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)

The IVL and the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) are separate, but connected government initiatives. The NZeTA is for visa waiver travellers and Australian Permanent Residents (Australian citizens are exempt).

From 1 October 2019, these travellers will be required to hold an NZeTA in order to board their flight or cruise vessel. Requests for an NZeTA can be made from July 2019.

The NZeTA 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 NZeTA platform will be used as a collection tool for the IVL (alongside the Visa application system).

The NZeTA 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 New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy [PDF, 1.1 MB].

The IVL will be split between conservation and tourism, with three areas of focus: conservation, infrastructure and systems.

To help guide investment decisions, an advisory group, with expertise covering conservation, local government, tourism and Māori perspectives will be set up. They will work with MBIE and the Department of Conservation to form an Investment Plan that will support a range of programmes.

The Ministers of Tourism, Conservation and Finance, will approve the Investment Plan, with MBIE and DOC making the final funding decisions on individual projects in line with the Investment Plan.

It’s intended that the advisory group will be up and running from July 2019, with the Investment Plan to be finalised by October 2019.

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:

Fund Description Applications


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.

Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF)

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.

Provincial Growth Fund(external link)

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.

Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail


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 NZeTA

Establishment and consultation

NZeTA documents

Proactive release of key decision documents

Cabinet has approved the changes to regulations needed to introduce the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

This process was supported by a number of briefings and decisions which are being proactively released.

These proactively released papers have supported the process of amending the Immigration Act 2009 and regulations(external link)

Previous proactive releases

MBIE has previously released all the substantive material in the development of both the NZeTA and the IVL.

View all the related documents in our document library(external link)

Last updated: 04 June 2019