PM Irresponsible Encouraging Tourists Off Tour Buses

Prime Minister Bill English is displaying the height of irresponsibility in encouraging Chinese tourists to get off tour buses and travel independently, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Hon Winston Peters.

“Again it’s the National Party being blinded by the dollars and not thinking of the overall consequences.

“Mr English wants Chinese tourists to stay longer and spend more money but he needs to explain what precautionary safety measures will be introduced.

“Statistics from 2016 reveal that in New Zealand at least 22 people lost their lives in crashes where a foreign visitor was found to be at fault. In 2015, the number was 19 and in 2014 it was 25. In 2015, overseas drivers were at fault in 113 serious injury accidents and 616 minor injury accidents.

“New Zealand First has been advised of recent cases of Asian tourists passing on double yellow lines on the brow of a hill or a corner and a camper van being driven down the main street of Alexandra on the wrong side of the road.

“All that the government came up with this summer as a tourist driving campaign was to use billboards, posters, digital advertising and social media which was focussed only on Otago, Southland and the West Coast of the South Island.

“The whole matter needs cleaning up and a good start would be passing New Zealand First’s Land Transport (Tourist Driver Rental Vehicle) Amendment Bill which will ensure tourists hiring rental vehicles are competent drivers,” says Mr Peters.