New Zealand marine industry opposes superyacht tariff

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The marine industry in New Zealand is voicing its opposition to an Auckland Council proposal to impose tariffs on foreign superyachts that moor in the city.

The Marine Industry Association believes superyacht visits worth up to $360 million to the economy could be put at risk if the levy is imposed, according to Stuff.

The levy is one of three marine-related proposals in the council's budget for next year, aimed at bringing in an extra $210,000.

Team NZ is the most recent entity to voice opposition to the proposed levy, arguing that owners will “simply choose to go to other destinations around the world out of principle at being unnecessarily gouged.”

The idea is out for public consultation until mid-March, but the association's executive director Peter Busfield said the council hadn't done its homework.

"In Sardinia they imposed an anchoring levy and there was a significant level of disgust, to the extent the Sardinian Government had to repeal it," Busfield told Stuff. “The superyachts went to Palma Mallorca, which is now a major superyacht hub — we don't want the Queensland government to do the same.”

One marine sector estimate was that the levy, if imposed, would amount to $1495 a day to anchor off Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Economic estimates for the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021, suggested up to 160 superyachts could visit during the racing.

"The benefit is spread from Invercargill to Kaitaia,” said Busfield. “It's not just marine spending, but also tourism spending.”

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