Events industry 'abandoned' over lack of Government support, says association

Source: 1News

It's now estimated that over 9,000 events have been cancelled in New Zealand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Back in March the number of events that had to be cancelled was in the thousands, but that number is likely to have risen much highter due to the lockdown, says Events Association General Manager Segolene de Fontenay. 

“This is only a snap shot and that is really there to reflect the wide and complex effect on the events industry. It has been impacted by Covid-19 just like a domino effect," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

Businesses have been feeling the heat due to coronavirus as early as March according to Ms de Fontenay, as international delegates have been prevented from visiting New Zealand. 

“It has been just a nightmare, and not knowing as well where we are heading as a sector. We were first to be hit but last potentially to gather again.” 

Left “on the edge” of collapse, Ms de Fontenay says the industry has reached out to the Government for further industry targeted financial support. 

They’re asking for an extension of the work subsidy which is expected to end at the beginning of June as well as a $50 recovery fund to help inject cash to help keep struggling businesses afloat as well as $30 million to support major events in the near future. 

She says what is “critical” for the sector is guidelines around how they will be able to operate once larger events are given the all clear. 

“The announcement on Wednesday was actually confusing to us, it felt like events and mass gatherings have not been captured in those guidelines but only social gatherings.” 

Under the current guidelines for Alert Level 2, only a maximum of 10 people are allowed to gather in order to limit the number of people who could be exposed in another outbreak of coronavirus. 

The events industry feels “abandoned” by the Government due to the lack of discussion and support according to Ms de Fontenay, saying they had not had any discussions about support until two weeks ago. 

Watch the full interview above to find out more.