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Tourism GST Should Be Used to Help Regional Airports

Tourism GST Should Be Used to Help Regional Airports

The government’s gross under-funding of regional airports is why New Zealand First wants GST from international tourists and extraction royalties kept in the regions, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Regional airports at Kerikeri, Whangarei, Kaitaia, Gisborne, Chatham Islands, Hokitika, Masterton, Taupo, Timaru, Westport, Whakatane and Whanganui are facing a crisis and at risk of closure because of government neglect.

“The government will take around $1.5b in GST from international visitors to New Zealand in the current year.

“But virtually nothing is going back to the regions. That needs to change and a good start would be providing money for regional airport infrastructure.

“Also, under New Zealand First policy 25 per cent of royalties from enterprises such as mining, petroleum and water would stay in the region of origin.

“The government collects over $400m in extraction royalties, but nothing from water.

“Under our scheme well over $100m, year on year, would remain in the regions for investment.

“That money would help to regenerate regional New Zealand and keep our airports open,” says Mr Peters.

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