August 2021 - Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy


The survey has now closed. 

Staff are analysing the information received and the next step is reporting to the Stewart Island Rakiura Community Board. All Council meeting reports are publicly available here


Southland District Council is seeking your views on the Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy policy and bylaw.  

The Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy policy:

  • provides guidance on governance and administration of the Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy
  • outlines who pays levies and revenue
  • outlines how levies and revenue will be collected, administered, allocated and enforced.

The Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy bylaw:

  • prescribes the rate of the levy that will be imposed on or in respect of visitors
  • prescribes the means by which is the levy is to be collected.

The levy is the sum of money (inclusive of GST) collected from persons who are visitors to the island.

The levy 

The levy has been set at $5 per visitor since it was established in 2013 (not including island residents and those under 18). Council is assessing whether that should be increased and is seeking informal stakeholder and community feedback now, with a view to consulting formally next year along with the Annual Plan. 

Is there a need for an increase?    

On average, levy funds collected amount to approximately $160,000 per year, which is significantly less than the required spending for the island annually, across community and Council projects that provide visitor-related benefits. 

With such a small ratepayer base, servicing the shortfall is unaffordable from a rates perspective. However, revenue from the levy is one potential source to support required work and activities.  

Revenue from the levy is allocated to groups or organisations by way of application to the Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy allocation subcommittee, so funding for particular projects is not guaranteed. However, having increased funds available would provide further funding opportunities to assist with getting important work and activities completed.

Your views

A survey was undertaken in September as well as drop-in sessions and face to face discussions. The survey is now closed and a report is being prepared for the Stewart Island Rakiura Community Board. 

It is expected you will have further opportunity to have your say during formal consultation in 2022. 

Supporting information


Got a question? Check out the Q&A section

Key documents

Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy bylaw

Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy policy 

Southland District Council Stewart Island/Rakiura Visitor Levy Empowering Act 2012

Drop-in sessions
Kōrero Mai 

Drop-in sessions were held on the dates below: 

Monday 13 September
4pm to 6pm
Stewart Island/Rakiura library

Tuesday 14 September
9am to 3pm
Stewart Island/Rakiura library

Wednesday 15 September
1pm to 3pm
Southland District Council
20 Don St, Invercargill 

(note these sessions are subject to Covid-19 alert levels)