New Zealand National Party proposes Back to Business plan

The Back in Business plan a package of initiatives to assist small businesses in the tourism, hospitality and events sectors; Auckland pictured

The New Zealand National Party has released a detailed Back to Business plan to support the ailing tourism, hospitality and events sectors in the wake of Covid-19.

Specifically for the events sector, National’s proposal would target unspent money from the NZ$50 million (US$36 million) Regional Events fund to establish an insurance scheme for major events. This would allow major events, such as festivals and concerts going ahead with confidence, avoiding the significant financial losses incurred by organisers, customers and suppliers.

National’s Back in Business plan comprises initiatives to assist small businesses in the tourism, hospitality and events sectors; Auckland pictured

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) has welcomed National’s Back to Business plan which would see the government fund the premium for events industry insurance cover.

BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins, shared that she was “pleased to see National’s wider plan”, which “acknowledges the devastation” the business events industry has felt.

Previously, the Government rejected an industry-led proposal to support the NZ$1.5 million premium cost, either directly or through the Regional Events fund, for a NZ$20 million policy cover.

“We had been working on this proposal with our partners EventCover since the end of last year and were able to negotiate with Lloyds, however, the idea was rejected by the Government.

“The business events sector has lost 78 per cent of its value since Covid. Despite this, many businesses have stayed open, albeit with significantly reduced staff and – for the small businesses – off the back of investments and savings,” she elaborated.

Other proposals targeting the larger tourism industry include letting hospitality businesses extend outdoor seating into public spaces wherever safe and practical for the next six months, and providing dine and discover’ vouchers worth NZ$100 to every fully vaccinated adult (18+), which can be spent at any hospitality, accommodation, or tourism business in the country over the next six months.

“Before Covid, tourism was our largest export earner, worth NZ$41 billion to the New Zealand economy and employing more than 400,000 people.

“Tourism, hospitality and events businesses have been badly affected by Covid-19. If they are to contribute to New Zealand’s rebuild, we need them to survive. National is calling on the Labour Government to adopt our plan and support these important Kiwis and their businesses,” National’s spokesperson for tourism and small business Todd McClay said.

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