Border changes

From 15 June to 22 July 2018 the Government consulted on several changes and proposals that will affect many international visitors travelling to New Zealand.

The Government has now considered submissions and final policy decisions have been announced.


International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

The number of visitors to New Zealand has grown strongly over the past few years, and growth is expected to continue.

Government has now announced a levy so that international visitors will be contributing directly to the tourism infrastructure they use and helping conserve the natural environment they enjoy.

The Government sought public and industry views on the proposed International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy from 15 June to 22 July.

The consultation period aligned with those of the Immigration Fees and Levies Review and the Electronic Travel Authority, acknowledging the cumulative impact these proposed changes would have on some travellers to New Zealand.

Next steps

The Government will now work with conservation, local government and tourism industry stakeholders to decide the best ways to spend the levy’s revenue.

Electronic Travel Authority

The Government is introducing an Electronic Travel Authority facility for some groups of travellers. It is a new security and facilitation measure that will help to speed things up at the border.

The Electronic Travel Authority aims to enhance security and reduce immigration, smuggling and biosecurity risks. It will cause minimal disruption to travellers and enable a more efficient provision of services at the border.

The Government sought public and industry views on the proposal to introduce an Electronic Travel Authority from 15 June to 22 July.

The consultation period aligned with those of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy and the Immigration Fees and Levies Review, acknowledging the cumulative impact these proposed changes would have on some travellers to New Zealand.

Next steps

The Electronic Travel Authority is likely come into effect for air passengers and crew in the second half of 2019. We expect that it will come into effect for cruise passengers and crew in 2020.

Immigration Fees and Levies Review

The Government is increasing some immigration fees and levies so that enough money is collected to pay for the cost of providing services and managing risks related to immigration. These costs have increased as more people come to New Zealand and the risks associated with immigration become more complex. Fees for some classes of visa will increase, while others will decrease. This is to ensure that the fees reflect the cost required to process the different kinds of visa.

Fees are reviewed regularly to ensure they reflect the actual cost of delivering immigration services, with the last review taking place in 2015.

The Government sought public and industry views on the Immigration Fees and Levies Review from 15 June to 22 July.

The consultation period aligned with those of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy and the proposal to introduce an Electronic Travel Authority, acknowledging the cumulative impact these proposed changes would have on some travellers to New Zealand.

Next steps

The new fee and levy rates will come into effect in November 2018.