Kapiti Island gets cheaper

July 1st, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Nick Smith has announced:

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced a reduction to permit fees to come into effect from tomorrow.

“Kapiti Island is an iconic landmark which deserves to be enjoyed by as many New Zealanders as possible. will drop the permit fee for adults from $28.75 to $10.00 and waive the fee for all children aged 17 and under from tomorrow,” Dr Smith says.

The change, announced by the Minister this evening in Paraparaumu, follows an independent review of Kapiti Island visitor management which was undertaken at the end of the 2013/14 summer season. DOC commissioned the review to address the steady decline in the number of visitors to Kapiti Island in recent years.

“It was particularly concerning to see that only 402 people visited the island in January this year, compared with 1569 in January last year. The Kapiti Island tour operators have raised concerns about ongoing declines in visitor numbers following changes in how visits are run and increases in DOC’s permit fees. These fee changes will cost DOC $59,850 per year.

“The Kapiti Island tour operators and Ōtaki MP Nathan Guy have raised concerns that the fee structure was causing a decline in the number of visitors. DOC does not believe this is the only factor contributing to the declining numbers in that the trend precedes the fee changes, and that the operators and DOC also need to up the marketing effort for the island experience.

“There is a real lesson for DOC as there has been for Zealandia in Wellington that there is significant price sensitivity to these sorts of sanctuary experiences. The reason I have backed the fee reduction is that I want as many people as possible to enjoy and experience the unique birdlife that defines New Zealand but which is so rare on the mainland.

It was costing $300 for a family of four to visit the island. They had priced themselves out of the market.

“The decision to waive the fee for children aged 17 and under is because I particularly want DOC to connect with young people. We need to educate our young people of the vulnerability of our native birds and the work DOC does to ensure their future survival.

A great way to get kids over there to appreciate it.

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14 Responses to “Kapiti Island gets cheaper”

  1. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    >It was particularly concerning to see that only 402 people visited the island in January this year, compared with 1569 in January last year.

    Remember that last summer was the best in living memory and we went about a month with hardly a drop of rain. While this summer was horrible.

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  2. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Will Forest & Bird and the Green Party oppose the measure? :-)

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  3. anonymouse (705 comments) says:

    Here’s the media report on the original increase in 2013

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8041670/DOC-hikes-Kapiti-Island-fees-to-increase-returns

    “A rise in DOC landing permit and access fees from February 1 will take the cost of a trip to the island for a family of four from $190 now to about $300″

    “This means the cost of a day trip by boat from Paraparaumu will increase from $71 for an adult to about $105, and from $41 to about $55 for a child,”

    Good to see the department admitting that it screwed this one up…

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  4. Colville (2,149 comments) says:

    I would like to know the split between what DOC gets and what the boat owners get.

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  5. mikenmild (11,193 comments) says:

    I think you could work that out from the information in the two articles.

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  6. Judith (8,226 comments) says:

    Kaching!!

    I love election year!

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  7. trout (914 comments) says:

    Do local Maori get to clip the ticket? Koha of course.

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  8. mikenmild (11,193 comments) says:

    There is a Maori owned lodge on the northern part of the island. It’s the only place you can go for overnight stays.

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  9. Maggy Wassilieff (310 comments) says:

    I originally supported those who set up Zealandia as I was told that access for all children would be free. That never happened. So even though the Karori Sanctuary Trust have locked up publicly owned land and received millions of dollars of public money they still expect school-aged children to pay $5 to walk through the bush and pay an extra $4 to see the exhibition hall.

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  10. dirty harry (444 comments) says:

    Nats are feeling generous..must be an election on the horizon.

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  11. thedavincimode (6,578 comments) says:

    Well, if nobody wants to go there, can’t we find another use for it? Our own Devil’s Island perhaps, or maybe there’s something in it we can dig up and sell??

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  12. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    The fee change will cost DOC $59,850 year.

    Oh really… As Daniel points out! the drop in fees is likely to boost their revenue.

    Bloody socialists, only just over 2 weeks ago they were pondering the loss of revenue publicly, now they are claiming reducing the fees will cost them. Disgraceful.

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  13. RightNow (6,780 comments) says:

    “Kaching!!

    I love election year!”

    You crack me up you dozy old bint. The most rational of business decisions and you imply it’s an election bribe.

    Three more years luvvie. Don’t choke on your own bile now, I expect a lot more laughs at your expense :)

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  14. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    DOC should build up a herd of Trophy Moose on the Island and charge hunters $30,000 for a good Bull. That would get their financial situation up to speed in a few years! :)

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