New Zealand economy needs tourism

Wed, 16 Mar, 2022

“The Prime Minister needs to open New Zealand up for tourists and international visitors and she should do it tomorrow,” says ACT’s Tourism spokesperson Dr James McDowall.

“Not only do tourists have to keep waiting to come to New Zealand, but those from non-visa waiver countries have to wait even longer because – as the Prime Minister alluded to – Immigration New Zealand isn’t up to it.

“New Zealanders are tired and so is the economy.

“New figures released by Stats NZ today shows the value of imports to New Zealand far exceed exports.

“New Zealand’s current account deficit now sits at $20.3 billion, and widened to $6.5 billion in the December 2021 quarter from $4.7 billion in the September 2021 quarter.

“Strong demand for New Zealand’s milk powder, butter and cheese, and aluminium has helped to keep the economy ticking over, but we can do better.

“We’ve seen New Zealand’s services exports flat-line over the last year, and drop by $4.5 billion (51 per cent) since March 2021.

“It’s been led by a drop in travel and international visitors.

“The Prime Minister needs to answer why we’re holding off bringing tourists back sooner and helping balance the economy.”