New Zealand departure tax

I am glad to announce that travellers will have less departure tax to pay in NZ airports in 2012 comparing with last year, so travel experience to New Zealand is getting less annoying. In the second half of 2011 Dunedin airport joined Auckland and Christchurch airports and replaced international departure fee passenger service charge (PSC) of NZ$12.78 each way which is now included in ticket price.

In 2012 Queenstown and Wellington airport also wiped departure taxes, so at the moment only two airports in New Zealand (Hamilton and Rotorua) still have departure taxes you need to pay in airport “to receive a cheerful little sticker on their boarding pass”(*). Here is table with current departure tax at airports in New Zealand:

Name of Airport Arrival fee NZ$ Departure fee NZ$ Where to pay
Auckland airport 12.50 12.50 included in ticket price
Christchurch airport 12.50 12.50 included in ticket price
Dunedin airport 12.78 12.78 included in ticket price
Hamilton airport - 25.00 at airport
Palmerston North airport - 25.00 at airport
Queenstown airport ??? ??? included in ticket price
Rotorua airport - 25.00 at airport
Wellington airport ??? ??? included in ticket price

As you can see from this table your total payable tax can go up to NZ$37.50 if you are arriving to Christchurch(NZ$12.50 passenger services charge) and departing from Queenstown (NZ$25.00 departure fee). But if you are doing opposite your total taxes would be only NZ$12.50, i.e. arriving to Queenstown (NZ$0.00 passenger services charge) and departing from Christchurch(NZ$12.50 passenger services charge). For one person may be it is not big saving, but for families or frequent fliers it can make difference.

Also you should know that at Hamilton and Rotorua airports there are domestic departure tax too, not only international departure fees. You need to pay a NZ$5 departure fee on domestic services out of these airports.

UPDATE April, 2012. International Departure Fee is no longer applicable at Wellington Airport. If you have pre-purchased an International Departure Fee you can obtain a refund from Travelex at Wellington Airport by presenting your sticker.

UPDATE September, 2012. Somehow we missed this news but Queenstown Airport has wiped its NZ$25 international departure fee at the end of June. As airport chief executive said: “Removing the fee will greatly improve the experience international passengers have when leaving the airport.” He is so right!

UPDATE October, 2012. It looks like this year is tax cut year. From 1st of October passenger won’t need to pay NZ$5 domestic departure tax at Palmerston North Airport, but landing fee will be increased by NZ$3 and will be included in the ticket price, so Air New Zealand wasn’t happy about it.

UPDATE April, 2013. Talk about new departure tax in Christchurch started. Lets hope it will be only talk.