Visitor levy vote definitive

Just 1863 people voted against introducing a visitor levy in the Queenstown Lakes District.

The council has released the final results of the referendum, which asked whether a visitor levy should be introduced as an additional charge on short-term accommodation throughout the district.

The figures showed 8032 votes, or 81.17% of respondents, were in favour of the levy proposal, while 1863 votes, or 18.83%, were not. Following the result, the council was set to seek Government support for a legislation change to enable a 5% levy to be introduced.

A total of 9920 votes were cast, including one informal vote and 24 blank voting papers.

That was 42.04% voter turnout, up slightly from the provisional count of 41.45%.

Voting closed on June 5.

After the provisional count, mayor Jim Boult said the result ''unequivocally'' sent a ''definitive message'' from the community.

''The support shown for the proposed visitor levy says this is something that locals recognise is desperately needed.

''I am delighted that our community was motivated to vote on this issue.''

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