Wednesday, 30 June 2021 01:05

Push continues for refund scheme changes

Travel agents and suppliers continue to call on the Government to allow them to access to what remains of a fund that has helped them recover hundreds of millions for Kiwis who have had travel cancelled due to Covid.

As part of the effort, the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) members have been sent a draft letter which they can amend to make relevant from their perspective and send to their local MP. 

‘We are looking for support to have two small tweaks to the scheme approved  –amend the start date back to 5 June and adjust the credit payment from 5% to 7.5% given the complexity and ongoing nature of credits),’ says Brent Thomas, TAANZ president.

‘We were grateful when the Government set up the $47.2m Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme (CTRS) last year, following engagement with the industry. It has helped the industry recover more than $350 million for consumers so far,’ Thomas says.

Due to some of the rules about what agents and suppliers can claim, approximately $20m (of the total of $47.2m allocated) remains unclaimed.

‘We have been engaging with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Minister about small changes to these rules that would allow the remaining $20m to be accessed,” says Thomas.  ‘So far, they have been unwilling to consider any of the changes we have put forward.

“Instead they have just extended the scheme for six months, which we have reiterated in multiple letters and meetings won’t solve the issue. They agree the scheme has been a great success and that it would be good for consumers if the remaining $20m was used, but they won’t consider anything that will actually make that happen.’