Duncan Garner: I'm gobsmacked Stuart Nash has trashed entire part of our tourism market

OPINION: It didn't get much attention at the time, but not only did Jacinda Arden not promote her deputy Kelvin Davis to the role of Deputy Prime Minister, but she stripped him of the crucial tourism portfolio where he could hardly be accused of over-performing.

Indeed the industry scoffed at Davis, but they have been much more welcoming of Stuart Nash, who has come in big, bold, but maybe full of bluster.

Certainly, he sounds too far up his own backside if his early comments are anything to go by.

Nash is fond of big talk, which often ends up as nothing more than big talk.

He says we don't want freedom campers here in NZ and he will ban the campervans that are not fully self-contained because as far as Nash is concerned these tourists defecate in our waterways and we need to target high net worth individuals.

I'm gobsmacked that Nash trashes an entire subculture of the tourism market - freedom campers.

The message from Nash is stay away, we don't want you, take a hike. He sounds snobby, elitist and out of touch. 

We don't know what the world will look like in the years ahead and how the tourism market will rebound.

What if freedom campers are the only ones coming in initially? What does Nash do - stand at the airport and turn them around?

Of course we want wealthy rich tourists throwing money at us. But we want every tourist we can get our hands on. 

Nash says these freedom campers end up costing us too much and they're basically not worth it.

He proudly ends his comments by saying gone are the days when you just hire a cheap van and head out around the country. He wants us just to be a playground for the rich.

I think we need to be both and some.

I don't think now is the time to be so elitist and dismissive.

Come on Stu. Be nice Stu.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.