The Province

New Zealand town ‘one big Airbnb’


A town in New Zealand is at risk of becoming “one big Airbnb” as it prepares for the annual influx of summer visitors.

Some residents of Mount Maunganui, a suburb of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty region south of Auckland, say they are being forced out because of a lack of rental digs caused by the room-sharing service.

“This whole town has become one big Airbnb,” one renter complained to the New Zealand Herald.

“From a homeowner’s perspectiv­e, I can understand the appeal of making a load of money over a few months. But as a renter there are very few places left for us to go.”

Dan Lusby, of Tauranga Rentals, said years ago there were around 700 rentals available in the region, compared with just over

200 today.

A spokesman for Airbnb’s New Zealand and Australia operations blamed population growth and planning decisions for the imbalance in the rental market.

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