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Election 2020: Who has the best plan for tourism’s recovery?

12 Oct 2020  By Shannon Williams | | @tourismticker

Who will do the best job for New Zealand tourism?

The 2020 NZ General Election is just around the corner.

We’re keen to hear from you to help us understand where the New Zealand tourism industry sits on the challenges that face our sector.

Who do you trust most to deliver on their tourism policies? Who is best suited to be tourism minister? What is the leading issue facing our industry in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis?

We’ve put together a quick survey to find out more about what the tourism sector thinks of these issues. It only takes a minute to complete and we’ll share the results on Friday.

Take the Ticker’s Election 2020 Tourism Sector Survey here.

See below to find out more about what the major parties are promising and read our in-depth interviews of each of the tourism spokespeople from the major parties starting tomorrow.


We are still waiting for a tourism policy from the Labour Party but in his recent Wednesday Letter column Kelvin Davis said the Labour Party shared the industry’s concerns over the future of the sector due to Covid-19.

“Right from the early stages of the pandemic, we’ve been doing what it takes to cushion the blow, support businesses and workers, and position the economy for recovery,” he said.

Labour mandated Tourism New Zealand to focus on the domestic market. Its Do Something New, New Zealand campaign was funded from its $112m budget and would be TNZ’s largest ever market investment with rolling campaigns over 12 months.

“On top of broad-based support like the Wage Subsidy, the Government also agreed to a $400m Tourism Recovery Package, designed to help protect key parts of the tourism system, and to advance our vision for a sustainable, productive and inclusive tourism system.”

Read our Wednesday Letter from tourism minister Kelvin Davis.

National Party

A New Zealand tourism festival and a new contestable Tourism 2025 Fund were announced as part of the National Party’s Supporting our tourism sector policy.

The policy outlines about a dozen measures a National-led government would take to rebuild New Zealand’s tourism sector.

“National has listened to the sector and developed a plan to work collaboratively by partnering with local government, iwi and tourism sector representatives as well as tourism businesses to speed up decision making and cut out the bureaucracy,” the party said.

Among the new initiatives was a New Zealand Tourism Festival “to help local communities and regions across the country and support the domestic tourism market”.

Also new was a Tourism 2025 Fund, made up of unallocated tourism support, to help the recovery of the sector.

Read our Wednesday Letter from tourism spokesperson Todd McClay.

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green’s tourism policy said New Zealand’s “clean, green image and spectacular nature is what draws people to visit” and we needed to “live up to that image and protect those landscapes”.

It said the Government must work with communities, iwi, hapū, and businesses to create jobs that will prepare the tourism sector for a strong recovery.

“Small councils cannot be expected to shoulder all the costs of infrastructure and facilities to support tourism,” said the Greens.

“The work we do now needs to ensure that when international tourists return to Aotearoa, we can live up to our 100% Pure New Zealand brand.”

Read our Wednesday Letter from tourism spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

New Zealand First

NZ First’s tourism policy says that in government, it would continue to ensure resources and funding were focused on the growth of domestic tourism, while remaining committed to ensuring the country could safely allow the return of international visitors.

“We recognise that tourism is the livelihood of many New Zealanders and believe there is more to be done in helping Kiwi’s understand the career prospects and pathways in this exciting industry,” the party said.

“New Zealanders must be put first when businesses are looking to employ. However, as we have already said, where we need foreign labour we will make every endeavour to ensure there are clear pathways to access foreign expertise. Some examples of this are those who work seasonally in rafting or ski fields.”

Read our Wednesday Letter from tourism spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.


The ACT Party’s tourism policy, Backing Tourism in a Covid World, focuses on opening the borders to Australia, modelling its Covid response to that of Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre, lifting restrictions and tax cuts.

“Opening the border to safe Australian States is an example of low-hanging fruit that the Government has been unwilling to pick,” ACT said.

The party believed New Zealand should use the private sector to supplement the MIQ system, like it did with health care.

And ACT would also lift restrictions that “hold tourism back”.

Keep an eye out for our Wednesday Letter column from the ACT Party this coming Wednesday.

Take the Ticker’s Election 2020 Tourism Sector Survey here – it only takes a minute and we’ll publish our findings on Friday.


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