Buzz from the Beehive – PM broadcasts a bulletin about the breakdown of border barriers to boost tourist businesses

Good trade news has flowed from the office of Damien O’Connor in the form of a report showing how this country’s high-tech exports are faring in the United States.  But much better in terms of the immediate economic boost was news from the PM that the Government is bringing forward the date for opening the border to tourists in time for the Australian school holidays.

Accompanying this, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash announced a new tourism marketing campaign is being launched in Australia this week to build demand for travel here.

Nash’s statement gave no hint of the costs involved.  It did say:

  • Historically, 71 per cent of all international tourists who came to ski have been Australians, who generated more than $211 million in winter spending; and
  • The government will keep rolling out direct investment from its two tourism support packages worth $600 million in targeted spending. Further details are due shortly.

These announcements were timely.  The latest official statistics today show the seasonally adjusted current account deficit widened to $6.5 billion in the December 2021 quarter, from $4.7 billion in the September 2021 quarter.  

The deficit was wider than the previous quarter mainly due to an increase in the value of goods and services imports, up $1.5 billion (6.7 percent) to $24.5 billion.

Goods and services exports increased at a slower rate, up $20 million to $20.3 billion.

Another announcement with trade implications – sort of – came from Nanaia Mahuta.  All too briefly taking her focus off the Three Waters programme, she named a new ambassador to the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, accounting for exports worth $6.3 billion in the year to December 2021.

On the home front, Pacific youth are the beneficiaries of a programme launched in Mangere to introduce Pacific youth to careers in New Zealand’s horticulture sector and a trough has been filled for eligible organisations (ethnicity is critical) for funding in the final round of the Government’s Māori Housing Renewable Energy Fund.

Oh – and let’s not forget our health and wellbeing.

The national drug-funding agency Pharmac has secured an agreement for medicines that will help New Zealanders with lung cancer, ovarian cancer and severe asthma and nearly a million more rapid antigen tests are being made available and easier to access in schools and early learning centres.

Finally,  Andrew Little – as Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiatons – gave a progress report on the passage of legislation to settle the Ngāti Rangitihi claim.

The new economic report that triggered O’Connor’s statement, from the NZUS Council, is titled The NZ-US trade relationship: stability and diversity in a time of change. You can read it HERE. 

It shows that while the primary sector remains the top NZ exporter, digital services have become a major contributor.

“The United States is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner overall and it is now our largest destination for services – receiving over 22 percent of our total service exports.

“Digital services are a major contributor, with NZ$682 million worth of exports to the US spread across computer services and software license exports. US trade and investment has also played a key role in the development of the New Zealand space industry.”

The PM’s news was that from 11.59pm Tuesday 12 April, Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand isolation-free, and from 11.59pm Sunday 1 May, vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries such as the large tourist markets of the UK, US, Japan, Germany, Korea and Singapore, and those with valid visitor visas, will be able to arrive.

Prior to COVID-19, tourism contributed 5.5 per cent to GDP, bringing in about $41 billion altogether, international making up $17 billion of that. It was also responsible for 8 per cent of our national workforce.

Trans-Tasman travellers have historically made up 40 per cent of our international arrivals, with around 1.5 million Australians visiting each year.

The PM (who perhaps hadn’t seen the latest balance of payments figures) said:

 “We can see from our record export prices for our goods that New Zealand is in demand internationally at the moment. A big focus of the rest of this year will be encouraging the world to buy our goods and to visit.

“During my international engagements throughout this year, I will be helping to lead the charge to accelerate growth in our top export sectors – primary industries and tourism – by encouraging people to buy New Zealand made, and to come and enjoy our hospitality.

 “An earlier reopening for tourism, and the air travel that brings, also increases capacity for our exports, helping to lower freight rates and the flow-on costs of goods that stems from that.”

 Traveller numbers would be below pre-COVID levels for a while, she said, and tourism globally would take time to rebound.

Under the new policy tourists will not need to isolate on arrival, they will be required to have had a pre-departure test, with two further rapid antigen tests on day 0/1 and 5/6.

 Latest from the Beehive

16 MARCH 2022

‘Within your wildest dreams’: new tourism campaign launches in Australia

A new tourism marketing campaign launches in Australia this week to build demand for travel to New Zealand, as we prepare to open borders to our first international visitors.

Government reopens New Zealand for tourism

The Government is bringing forward the date for opening the border to tourists in time for the Australian school holidays, in a move that will help accelerate the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Pharmac deal good news for New Zealanders

The Government is welcoming news the national drug-funding agency Pharmac has secured an agreement for medicines that will help New Zealanders with lung cancer, ovarian cancer and severe asthma.

New programme launched to attract Pacific youth into horticulture careers

A new programme launched today in Mangere aims to introduce Pacific youth to fruitful careers in New Zealand’s horticulture sector.

Rapid antigen tests more widely available in schools and early learning

Nearly a million more rapid antigen tests are being made available and easier to access in schools and early learning centres, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

More Māori households to benefit from low-cost clean energy fund

Eligible organisations can now apply for funding in the final round of the Government’s Māori Housing Renewable Energy Fund, which for the first time is opening the door to larger-scale projects.

Exports to the USA show success of New Zealand’s emerging high-tech sector

A new economic report shows the important role the United States plays as an export market for high-value and high-technology New Zealand products as the country builds its COVID-19 recovery.

15 MARCH 2022

Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading – Kua pahure te Pire Whakataunga Kerēme a Ngāti Rangitihi i te pānuitanga tuatoru

Kua pahure te Pire Whakataunga Kerēme a Ngāti Rangitihi i tōna pānuitanga tuatoru i te Pāremata, koinei te pae whakamutunga o tā rātou hātepe whakataunga kerēme hītori Tiriti o Waitangi.

New Ambassador to ASEAN announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Stuart Calman as New Zealand Ambassador to ASEAN – the Association of South East Asian Nations based in Jakarta.

One thought on “Buzz from the Beehive – PM broadcasts a bulletin about the breakdown of border barriers to boost tourist businesses

  1. I thought Grant , said we have our debt under control, and we will be in SURPLUS SOON? who is lying?? from Trevor.

    Like

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