Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

Local visitor levy

Member support and advocacy regarding the local visitor levy has been occupying a large amount of my time over the past month. In such a charged scenario as the current Visitor Levy / Bed Tax referendum, there is no one right answer that fits everybody.

The Chamber has been in support of a visitor levy for the Queenstown Lakes district for many years, and with QLDC, commissioned a report on its application several years ago. To view this report, click here.

However, we also recognise the concerns of the accommodation sector who are being designated the role of collector. We support the right of those businesses most affected being involved in the tax design process and we are working to facilitate transparency and open dialogue between these parties and the Council.

Some of the questions we have raised, in consultation with our members, are answered by QLDC CEO Mike Theelen in the following link. You can view these questions and answers by clicking here.

This referendum is the start of a long process for essentially designing a new type of tax (for New Zealand) and there are steps and balances along the way in which we expect to be engaged, representing the various views of Queenstown Lakes’ businesses. We continue to welcome this conversation and the relationships we have that allow us to engage, debate and represent as we go forwards.

But before work begins on implementation, we need to get the mandate to make the legislative changes required to charge a local visitor levy. We urge you to get your referendum vote in today or tomorrow to meet the June 5th deadline.

Housing

I was beginning to get quite concerned about the impact on staffing with over 300 people looking for new homes as a result of the campground closures and other ownership changes of poor quality (non-compliant) housing. However it appears that there is a general improvement in the number of rental properties available on the market, both here and in Wanaka, driven by new housing stock coming into the market.

Chamber board member Hayley Stevenson from Housemart (residential property managers) advises that at the beginning of the winter season, there are certainly a lot more accommodation options available for long or short-term tenants.

Last winter property management companies were at the stage of letting the last few properties. This year there are still a variety of properties available, from one bedroom apartments to large homes available in Jacks Point, Lake Hayes and Arrowtown. Rental property agents are also still receiving new rental accommodation listings on to the market weekly.

Demand for downtown apartments is still strong but we are experiencing rental properties on the market longer, rental rates are not increasing and in some cases there is a slight decrease to meet the new market rate.

Membership survey

Big thanks to the 145 people who have responded to our membership survey. The results of this survey will help me, a very new CEO, target our approach to meeting your expectations with respect to advocacy, education and support.

I know filling in yet another survey can be a bit of a chore and finding 10 minutes in a busy day can be hard. So we are really grateful to our members Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat for generously donating a night in a gorgeous premium room as a prize draw. To give us your thoughts and enter the prize draw click here.

This week’s Building Block – Marketing law

The old saying "don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story" may be true for after dinner conversations, but can get you into a bit of strife when it comes to advertising. Send your marketers along to this week’s building block for a 90 minute tune up on marketing do's and don’ts. Click here to sign up.


Kind Regards
Anna Mickell
Ph: 021 488709
Email: anna@queenstownchamber.org.nz