Auckland Council has proposed an anchorage tax on foreign-flagged superyachts longer than 40m

Opposition is growing to an Auckland Council proposal for an anchorage tax on foreign-flagged superyachts longer than 40m that moor in waters off the city. If the levy is imposed, the New Zealand Marine Industry Association believes it would cut into the estimated NZ$360m that superyacht visits contribute to the national economy.

The move is estimated to add as much as NZ$1,495 a day to anchor off Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

The most recent to join the fray is Team New Zealand, the defending America’s Cup champions. “Owners will simply choose to go to other destinations around the world out of principle at being unnecessarily gouged,” said the team in a statement, according to Estimates are that up to 160 superyachts could attend the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021.

NZ MIA executive director Peter Busfield is quoted by the website, saying the government hasn’t done its homework. “In Sardinia they imposed an anchoring levy and there was a significant level of disgust, to the extent the Sardinian government had to repeal it,” he said. “The superyachts went to Palma Mallorca, which is now a major superyacht hub.”

In its statement, Team New Zealand said the impact of taxing superyacht owners has been seen in earlier regattas. “As well as the Sardinia example, we saw at the America’s Cup in Valencia in 2007 and Bermuda in 2017, that attempts to gouge the superyacht owners meant they simply didn’t come,” a spokesman said.