Further boom in tourism forecast, infrastructure warning

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has forecast up to a 40% increase in tourist numbers by 2024 (that’s just 6 years away). The opportunities have been welcomed by Local Government New Zealand, but they have warned that already stretched infrastructure will be put under more pressure.

Tourism Minister Kelvn Davis: Tourism growth forecast to continue

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed new forecasts showing international visitor spending is expected to grow 40 per cent to $14.8 billion a year by 2024.

The New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2018-2024 were released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“New Zealand’s tourism sector is forecast to grow steadily over the next seven years, reaching 5.1 million visitors annually by 2024, up 37 per cent from 2017,” Mr Davis says.

“We expect to see numbers climb fairly rapidly over the next two years, due to favourable economic conditions and better air connectivity, but over the longer term growth will be more moderate.

Mr Davis says a healthy tourism industry is great for New Zealand, though there is work to do to ensure the sustainability of the sector.

“It is important that the Government, councils and industry work together to meet the challenges that accompany the forecast growth.”

It’s worth remembering that John Key was Minister of Tourism for much of the last decade.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ): Predicted tourism boom could push infrastructure to breaking point

LGNZ President Dave Cull says that a new forecast predicting an international visitor increase of 37% to 5.1 million annually by 2024 will be a great boost to regional economies across New Zealand, however infrastructure is already under pressure and much more is needed to ensure a fair funding division is achieved between tourists and local ratepayers.

“The tourism sector is predicted to grow rapidly over the next two years, but as evidenced last summer infrastructure it is extremely stretched in many regions, with provision of public toilets, car parks and basic potable and waste water infrastructure coming at a substantial cost to communities,” says Mr Cull.

“Those communities with scale can share the burden across many rate payers, but smaller ratepaying bases are picking up big bills to accommodate visitor demand and the lack of infrastructure is resulting in tension among communities.”

Mr Cull contends that the increase in international visitor spend should be harnessed to provide tourism infrastructure.

“This is about fairness. It’s not right to burden ratepayers with subsiding the entire cost of infrastructure which is used by tourists, and there needs to be a new mechanism for tourism to support itself.”

LGNZ is advocating strongly to Government on councils’ behalf that the Government introduce a Local Tourist Tax to raise the necessary funding to meet the capital and operating costs associated with tourism mix-used infrastructure future demand, thus alleviating the financial burden on local ratepayers.

Without the necessary funding tools to ensure the needs of both locals and tourists are met, New Zealand faces the prospect of over promising and under delivering in a sector that is so critical to our economic future.

“New Zealand should be known as a high-quality tourist destination with fit-for-purpose facilities to handle the expected increase in numbers and a country that welcomes and embraces their visit.”

The forecast is both promising and challenging.

A bit of a southerly or “four days of hell”.

The weather forecast is for a bit of a southerly over the next few days in what is usually about the coldest part of winter. It could end up being a but more sustained and snowy than usual. That happens sometimes.

Not that headline writers from Auckland would understand that. NZ Herald:

Four days of hell: worst storm of year bears down on New Zealand

The country is preparing for its worst winter storm of the year with rain, snow and gales set to batter much of New Zealand.

Snow is expected to fall to very low levels in the south of the country with potentially damaging gales, torrential rain and snow lashing the country from Gisborne south.

The Milford Rd is closing at 5pm with significant snow forecast to about 500m by tomorrow morning.

This morning’s forecast is for snow to 200 metres in the South Island. That’s not a big deal, it’s common and doesn’t mean it will settle at that altitude.

Over the next few days it could snow to sea level and settle for a day or two. Snow tends to be fickle and regional – it sounds like inland South Island and Canterbury may cop the worst but that’s uncertain.

A problem with the “four days of hell” headlines is that most people will dismiss it as Auckland bull and go about their lives as per normal for this time of year.

Last week’s forecast snow didn’t happen in most places. That’s more common than actually getting snow.

It could be a bit cool at home, there is a scheduled power cut today. But I’ll go to work as usual, and will probably get home again tonight. I have never been unable to get home because of snow. If it does settle it is more likely to come in the night, and a day or two every year or two I get to have a late start, usually getting out by mid morning.

Every few years we get a day or two where we get ‘snowed in” for a day – usually not badly but it is simply unwise to travel unless you really need to. Things can go on a hold for a day without much problem.

This winter southerly could be worse, it sounds likely to be in some areas, but Metservice is still only forecasting sleet in Dunedin, which looks nice but doesn’t cause any problems.

Some of the highest hill suburbs may get a dump and higher roads are likely to be affected – media will find a road somewhere with some snow on it.

But we will carry on as usual for winter and see what happens without getting too excited about it.

Isn’t hell supposed to be hot, not cold?

The latest from Metservice doesn’t sound particularly concerning, it’s fairly normal for a winter southerly:



A cold front will sweep northwards across the South Island during Tuesday. In the wake of this front, snow is forecast to fall in the south and east, with further snow overnight Tuesday and on Wednesday as very cold air aloft moves over the South Island.

Snow is likely to fall as low as 200 or 300 metres at times from Tuesday until Thursday, with significant accumulations for higher elevations. 20 to 30cm, possibly even more, could accumulate on Otago and Canterbury high country stations. This will affect many higher roads, and could cause problems for livestock from Southland to Banks Peninsula.

This Watch is for the likelihood of significant snow accumulations below 500 metres in the following areas…

Southland and Fiordland: From early Tuesday morning till Wednesday afternoon.

Otago: For a time Tuesday morning, and again Tuesday night till Wednesday evening.

Canterbury and Marlborough: From Tuesday evening till Thursday morning.

People in these areas are strongly advised to stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings, as this event unfolds. Road snowfalls warnings will be in effect and warnings for heavy snow could be issued at a later stage.

This Watch will be reviewed by 10am Tuesday 11 July

US President polls

A bit has been made of a 538 forecast suggesting a Trump win in the presidential election. But 538 run three separate forecasts:

Now-cast: Who would win an election today?

  • Clinton 45.8%
  • Trump 54.2%


That is straight after the Republican convention but before the Democrat convention.

Polls-only forecast: What polls alone tell us about Nov. 8

  • Clinton 53.2%
  • Trump 46.8%

Polls-plus forecast: What polls, the economy and historical data tell us about Nov. 8


  • Clinton 59.6%
  • Trump 40.4%





Ultra long range forecast

I don’t know how many ODT readers will still be around in 2105, and I don’t know how accurate this forecast will turn out to be.

See the sun caption under INSIDE TODAY:


Yesterday was dry and sunny in Dunedin but the weather has been very mixed so far this year – one thing that’s easy to predict about Dunedin weather is it’s variety.

The ODT seems to be suffering from a few time travel gremlins at the moment – their current Opinion:


The ODT also has a 100 years ago section that seems to have been misfiled. The Incident for Victoria story was followed by a medical officer warning that “serious harm is being caused by the cigarette-smoking so prevalent among soldiers”:

• “I have been assured by a medical officer that serious harm is being caused by the cigarette-smoking so prevalent among soldiers, and particularly returned soldiers,” said the Minister of Defence today.

“The statement made to me is that many of the men are absolutely ruining their nerves through this habit. Their hands become shaky, and the men themselves become apathetic. Surgeon-general Henderson, in a report on this subject, says that the Defence Department cannot control cigarette-smoking, except when the men are in hospital. I hope that members of the forces will realise that it is quite possible for them to injure their health and impair their efficiency as soldiers by the excessive use of cigarettes. A soldier has a duty to perform in attaining physical fitness in order that he may be in a condition to meet and beat the enemy, and anything that injures his health is to be avoided.”

• The unloading of Wirth’s Circus, by the aid of four huge elephants, at the Ashburton railway station on Saturday morning, created a great deal of interest to the public, and, incidentally, a great deal of consternation amongst the horses which happened to be in the vicinity (says the Guardian).

There were about five bolts, but the horses were arrested in their career before much harm was done.

In one case, two horses attached to a lorry-load of coke took fright and bolted for about 300 yards, shooting the coke in every direction.

Considerable amusement was caused by the efforts of one of the elephants to help in the reloading of the sacks of coke.

• Some good hauls of flounders have been obtained at Port Molyneux Beach this season.

On Sunday an Acclimatisation Society ranger, in company with the police constable from Kaitangata, appeared at the scene of netting operations, and, as a result, it is stated, a party of fishers, including some well-known Balclutha residents, will be at an early date called upon to answer charges of having in their possession flounders under the regulation size.

The Clutha Leader mentions that the attitude of the police in connection with the matter has come in for some severe criticism from certain quarters. – ODT, 12.1.1916.