Tourists to New Zealand are set to be stung with a new tax but Australians have been given a free pass.
From late next year, international visitors heading to New Zealand will pay between NZ$25 and NZ$35 to get into the country, the government announced on Friday.
However, Australian citizens and permanent residents, people from Pacific Islands Forum1 countries and children under two will be exempt2.
The move reflects an ongoing3 debate within New Zealand about the environmental and infrastructure4 pressures put on the country by booming tourism growth.
In the year to April, about 3.8 million tourists visited New Zealand, a country with a population of about 4.7 million.
Of those, the biggest group were Australians, making up 39%, or nearly 1.5m visits.
"It's only fair that they make a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy," she said.
The tax is expected to raise up to NZ$80m in the first year, with the money to be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation funding.
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