19 Dec 2019

Tourism numbers could 'kill the golden goose'

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 19 December 2019
PUNAKAIKI, NEW ZEALAND, MAY 5, 2010: Tourists photograph themselves while the main blowhole is in action at the Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Tourists crowd in for a selfie at Punakaiki on the West Coast. Photo: 123RF

A major report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment warns tourism – both domestic and international - is putting the country under major pressure and eroding the very attributes that make New Zealand such a draw card.

The report says international visitor numbers could reach 10-13 million a year by 2050.

Simon Upton says this, plus local tourism, places a myriad of pressures on the environment including loss of natural quiet, water quality degradation, solid waste generation and management, biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions.