TUANZ Media Release : TUANZ Welcomes Kiwis home but not the return of roaming charges


Wednesday 2nd March 2022


With the news that Kiwi’s can now return home to Aotearoa from Australia with no home isolation from Wednesday evening, and the ability of Kiwi’s to travel to Australia, people can now look forward to once again flying across the Tasman to see family, friends and do business.


However, there is a cost to this that many will have forgotten over the last two years – that of International Mobile Roaming Charges even when visiting our closest neighbours. TUANZ is calling on the operators on both sides of the Tasman to do away with this unnecessary charge as travellers start to arrive in their respective countries. This would be in the spirit of the announcements as far back as 2013 by the Prime Minister’s of both countries to empower regulators to ensure roaming prices were regulated.


“Operators over the last two years have learnt to live without this revenue from everyday travellers and so any re-start of roaming will simply be unnecessary. Why not take the opportunity now to agree to not reinstate the charges between our two countries, further reducing the cost of travel across the ditch,” says Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.


Young went on to say “while we recognise that roaming charges beyond ‘Australasia’ would be more problematic to remove, this change between two neighbours should be simple to fix. It would provide a boost to helping Kiwi’s reconnect, and support businesses, including tourism and hospitality.”


Young estimates that Kiwis have saved a collective $180million over the last two years. Telcos in New Zealand receive an estimated $114million from these charges for Kiwi’s and incoming tourists in a regular year. (These numbers are based on the Commerce Commission survey of retail telcos for the 2019 financial year and related to all overseas roaming, not just Australia).


“We have learnt the importance of remaining connected through the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking the opportunity to reduce roaming charges to zero across the Tasman would be a big step to helping us all remain in touch, even now that we can travel.”

A few tips for consumers when travelling:


  • Check the details of your current mobile plan and remind yourself of what charges apply when travelling

  • Utilise over the top messaging services rather than text messaging

  • Set up your voicemail asking for messages rather than phone calls

  • When out of the country, utilise secure wifi networks such as friends, families and workplaces to connect rather than overseas mobile networks

  • If travelling for some time, consider using a local prepaid service rather than roaming

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