22 Mar 2012

New levy on visitors to Stewart Island

11:20 am on 22 March 2012

Visitors to Stewart Island will be made to pay for their stay under a law passed in Parliament.

The island's community board says current facilities are paid for by the island's 400 permanent residents and Southland District ratepayers.

The legislation's sponsor, Invercargill MP Eric Roy, says each visitor will probably pay about $4 or $5 under the legislation.

Mr Roy says Stewart Island gets more than 40,000 visitors a year.

"You can imagine a cruise ship with 1500 or 1800 people coming in, just toilets alone for that sort of influx creates some interesting challenges," he says.

Community board chair Jon Spraggon says the levy will pay for improving footpaths and roads, as well as for more toilets.

The legislation was passed on Wednesday.