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Short-Term Visitor Accommodation

Wāhi Noho Pepeke ō-Manuhiri

Find out everything you need to know about providing short-term visitor accommodation (STVA).

Short-term visitor accommodation is when paying guests are hosted at a property for any period of under 90 days. This includes hosting a property on platforms like Airbnb and Bookabach. 

Please note: If the same paying guests stay for 90 days or more, they are classed as tenants and the property is classed as a rental.

How do I operate short-term visitor accommodation within the rules?

There are four things you need to do if you provide short-term visitor accommodation:

1. Find out what type of short-term visitor accommodation you provide.

  • Accommodation is classed as Residential Visitor Accommodation when a residential unit or residential flat is occupied by paying guests for any period under 90 days. 

    A residential unit is a single self-contained household unit (and accessory buildings) with no more than one kitchen and laundry facility i.e. the main house.

    A residential flat is a secondary self-contained flat/unit/standalone structure with kitchen and/or laundry facilities on the same site and in the same ownership as the residential unit e.g. a self-contained granny flat connected to the main house, or a tiny house or cottage separate from the main house.  

  • Accommodation is classed as a Homestay when the resident of the property occupies the property at the same time as paying guests staying for any period under 90 days. This includes offering a room(s) in the property you live in, bed and breakfasts, and farm-stays. A self-contained residential flat can be used as a Homestay if the resident of the property is living in the main house. 

  • Visitor Accommodation is classed as land or buildings used by paying, short-term guests, but does not include accommodation classed as Residential Visitor Accommodation or Homestays. Examples include campgrounds, motor parks, hotels, motels, backpackers, managed apartments, staff accommodation, etc.  

    If your property has a resource consent for Visitor Accommodation, you do not need to register as Residential Visitor Accommodation with us. 


2. Find out the rules for your short-term visitor accommodation

3. Register your short-term visitor accommodation with us

Please use the links above to register your short-term visitor accommodation with us. It keeps things fair and helps us understand and monitor the impacts of short-term letting. You will require a resource consent if you do not follow these requirements. 

4. Apply for resource consent if needed

If you discover that you are already operating or you would like to operate outside of the standards which apply to your property’s District Plan zone, you will need to apply for a resource consent. Please visit our resource consent page (Resource Consents - QLDC) for more information.  

For advice or guidance on applying for a resource consent feel free to reach out to our Duty Planner or drop in to our offices on Shotover Street in Queenstown, or on Ardmore Street in Wanaka, for guidance and advice. 

Many people decide to employ an independent planning professional to handle their resource consent application. This can be a good option for those unfamiliar with the District Plan and the resource consent process.

What else should I know?

  • Offering short-term visitor accommodation to paying guests will impact the rates you pay unless you only make your property available for short-term visitors once a year for a single period of up to 28 consecutive days (e.g. if you wish to rent your property over the Christmas period). This 28-day period can include multiple stays by different guests and refers to the length of time the property is available to be rented.  

    Rates increases depend on various factors such as property location and type, the fixed charges and capital value rates, as well as the inclusion of the tourism promotion rate. Please note that changes to ratings do not come into effect until the next ratings year, beginning 1st July.

    • A Homestay will be rated as Mixed Use increasing your rate payments by 25-35%.  

    • Residential Visitor Accommodation  

      • Operating under 180 days means your property will be rated as Mixed Use increasing your rates payments by 25-35%. Note that you may also require a resource consent. 

      • Operating between 181 to 365 days means your property will be rated as Accommodation increasing your rates payments by 50-80%. Note that you may also require a resource consent. 

  • If we identify that you are operating short term visitor accommodation unlawfully, enforcement will be undertaken in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991 which may include infringements, abatement notices or further escalated enforcement action. 

    Additionally, if you are found to be operating without registering or obtaining consent as required, your rates may be adjusted without prior notice. 

  • If you stop offering short-term visitor accommodation or have bought a property with Mixed Use rating and do not intend to operate short term visitor accommodation yourself, please email us with your valuation number or property address:  

    Please note that changes to ratings do not come into effect until the next ratings year, beginning 1 July.  

    If your property has a resource consent for the short-term accommodation use, you will be required to surrender that consent. Please complete this form and if you need further guidance on this process contact the Duty Planner. 

  • We aim to respond to any registrations for short-term visitor accommodation within a month and will confirm the change to your property's rating information that will come into effect the following ratings year, beginning 1st July. 

    You can begin operating short-term visitor accommodation once your registration has been sent. 

  • Providing short-term accommodation to paying guests can be a source of additional income for some residents in the district, however it also results in houses being made unavailable for long term rental accommodation and contributes to the housing shortage we face in our district. 

    In response to our district's unique housing challenges, we’re implementing our Joint Housing Action Plan, working alongside central government, the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust, iwi, and the local community. 

    We strongly encouraging people to follow the rules set out in the District Plan and register and/or notify their short-term accommodation activities with us, as well as obtaining resource consent if they wish to operate outside of the standards of their District Plan zone.  

  • You will need to consider whether the intended accommodation activity requires you to notify us of a ‘Change of Use’. 

    For example, a residential dwelling that is to be let to a family or group would likely not require a change of use, whereas a large dwelling proposed to be used as bed and breakfast accommodation where rooms are let individually likely would require a change of use. 

    For more information see the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Building Performance website. 

    If a change of use is required, it may trigger the need to apply for a building consent for upgrades to fire safety systems, hygiene facilities and/or access routes in order to remain compliant with the New Zealand Building Code. 

    To notify us of a proposed 'Change of Use’ or for further advice, please email our Building Services Team at:  


Contact us

For general enquiries please contact our Customer Service team on: 03 441 0499 or by emailing:  

For ratings queries please contact our rates team via email:  

For queries on resource consents please contact the Duty Planner: