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A level playing field needed for accommodation

23 May 2013

A level playing field needed for accommodation

It’s time the accommodation sector had a level playing field, with sectors such as holiday homes and Bed & Breakfasts regulated and taxed to the same extent as other commercial providers, says the Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ).

Regulation at both a central and local government level is colluding to create the uneven playing field, with the focus on the ‘traditional’ sectors such as motels and hotels which overlooks the huge growth in the use of private dwellings as commercial accommodation.

“It’s simply unfair that if I operate a motel I’m hit by a raft of taxes, levies and regulatory obligations yet if I rent out my house for short-term accommodation I can avoid all of this,” MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines says.

Not only is this unfair it also raises serious safety questions Mr Baines says.

“If I operate a motel there are a number of requirements I have to meet to protect the safety of my guests, and rightly so. It is important to ensure that the building is up to scratch through a certificate of fitness and a fire plan,” Mr Baines says.

“Yet if I rent out a block of apartments as holiday flats then I avoid all these obligations – the building could be a death-trap and no-one would know. Is it going to take some kind of disaster in which lives are lost before authorities take this issue seriously?”

“It seems that central and local government are happy to sit back and clip the ticket for taxes and levies for motels and let the unregulated side of the sector do whatever they like.”

“We’re calling on central and local government to ensure a fair go for motels and their owner-operators by creating a level playing field. Protect the quality and the reputation of the Kiwi accommodation sector by clamping down on these uncontrolled and potentially unsafe providers,” Mr Baines concluded.

Ends

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