9 Jun 2011

Government rejects biosecurity levy

5:59 am on 9 June 2011

Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister David Carter says a suggested biosecurity levy is not on the Government's agenda.

Accountancy firm KPMG, has suggested in its second Agribusiness Agenda report that visitors and returning New Zealanders should be charged a fee that would help fund incursion research.

The minister, David Carter, says that New Zealand, as an exporting nation, should be wary of such a levy given it argues against other countries imposing barriers, tariffs and levies on goods.

Mr Carter says a cost sharing agreement between the Government and exporters is a far better option.

New Zealand's top two foreign currency earners, the agriculture and tourism sectors, have taken opposing views over the suggestion.

The Tourism Industry Association says it is already a challenge to attract international visitors, and a new tax would be another barrier.

Federated Farmers suggests it would be logical to have a fund, similar to that of the Earthquake Commission, in the event of another incursion like kiwifruit vine disease PSA.