The New Zealand government’s announcement ending vaccine mandates from 4 April, and increasing indoor event capacity to 200 from this Friday, 25 March is a step forward for the business events sector.
Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins says the reduction of restrictions is a further move in the right direction for the sector’s recovery, after border reopening was announced last week.
“This positive news from the Prime Minister will start to bring back vital confidence and clarity for event decision-makers. We look forward to the next review of the Covid Protection Framework settings on 4 April.
“Our sector hasn’t been able to work effectively since last August when traffic light settings of the Covid Protection Framework were set at Red and gathering numbers restricted to 100. Confidence has been at an all-time low,” she says.
Speaking from Melbourne today, where she is attending the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) 2022, Hopkins says up to 100 multi-day international conferences and events are waiting to confirm bookings for New Zealand.
“New Zealand has world-class venue infrastructure ready, with Te Pae Christchurch now open, Tākina Wellington for next year, and the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) in Auckland to follow.
“We are seeing a lot of interest and excitement here today. Event organisers in Australia are telling us they want to bring their client business back to New Zealand. The positive messages from the Prime Minister today will now drive a sense of surety as we work towards fewer restrictions,” Hopkins says.