The Government has recently been criticised for charging a tourist tax for people who are denied visas. Queen City Law Principal, Marcus Beveridge, was asked by the Mike Hosking Breakfast on Newstalk ZB to comment on the issue.

Marcus defended the Government and the tax as he noted that the fee is fully disclosed by Immigration New Zealand. Marcus went on to say:

“It’s non-refundable, it’s very clearly set out and there’s not really a lot to talk about.”

Marcus Beveridge

If you would like to listen to Marcus’ interview, please click here.

Queen City Law Consultant, Ross Dillon, holds a different view. He has noted:

“Very simple issue.  Charged for a service that will not be received, so full refund should be made.”

Ross Dillon

Under NZ Law, the Imperial Laws Application Act 1988, schedule 1 cites (1275) 3 Edward1 clause 1 – “…that common right be done to all…without respect of persons”.  So prospective tourists who have been charged to use our parks, but who are then denied the ability to do so by act of the same entity who charged them ( the Crown) should get that money back.  Historical note – this clause predates the Magna Carta by 22 years, but is specified in the 1988 Act as still being an effective part of NZ Law.

Accordingly, there is no consensus ad idem or meeting of the minds on this topic. Perhaps a complaint to the Commerce Commission would solve the issue.