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Consumer Affairs Minister says $352 mln has been returned for Covid-cancelled overseas travel

Consumer Affairs Minister says $352 mln has been returned for Covid-cancelled overseas travel

The Government says its Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to Covid-19.

That's a bit over half the estimated $690 million that was locked up due to Covid cancellations of overseas bookings.

The scheme, run through the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) was launched in October 2020 and pays New Zealand-based travel agents 7.5% of the value of all cash refunds they are able to successfully recover for their customers and 5% of the value of all credits successfully secured or rebooked for international travel. Details are here.

 Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says the Government is "helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by overseas travel suppliers".

"The scheme has seen millions of dollars locked up offshore returned to everyday New Zealanders, who were at risk of never seeing a cent.

“This means more money is coming back into the local economies as Kiwis now look to holiday domestically supporting the local tourism industry."

Applications to the scheme close on June 30.

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6 Comments

Shame the one Govt Controlled entity UnfAIR NZ doesn't stump up refunds for people that booked directly with them. Just found out my credit was extended another 6months to Jun 2022, so quite clear we are not going anywhere.

Around the time the shit hit the fan, I heard that Air NZ had something like $1.3B cash in the bank, which sounded like a lot. But liabilities for future travel were something like $900M. So there's no way they could ever have refunded it all - and hence why they didn't.

If Air NZ $1.3 billion in the bank and $900 million owing, was that not enough to repay customers?

Well it wouldn't bother me except for the fact as a Tax payer I am bailing them out as well. So they are reaming me from both ends.

Give me my money back, stop taking my taxes. If the business ain't viable shut it down.

And what about all the money owed by Air NZ?

First thought is "how great for the people who have the time and money to spend on overseas trips in the first place, really glad our government went into bat for these people while others took wage cuts during lockdowns".

But I'm guessing a fair chunk of this has since been spent locally and the situation in Queenstown, Taupo etc would have been far worse if it hadn't. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.