Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) has thrown its support behind the New Zealand National Party’s Back to Business plan which would see the government fund the premium for events industry insurance cover.
Following the rejection of an industry-led proposal to support the NZ$1.5 million ($1.4 million) premium cost, either directly or through the Regional Events fund, BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins, said the opposition’s plan was welcome.
“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,” Hopkins said.
“I am pleased to see National’s wider plan today, which acknowledges the devastation this sector has felt.”
The proposal would see a NZ$50 million ($47.6 million) fund to allow major events, such as festivals and concerts going ahead with confidence, according to Hopkins, avoiding fears of financial losses incurred by organisers, customers and suppliers.
It also supports retargeting the Regional Events fund to support the business events sector through a proposal developed by BEIA and EventCover.
“Ultimately, we want to see the events industry supported in a way which offers confidence,” Hopkins said.
“Our proposal was about postponing events – not cancelling them – to give suppliers, attendees and communities certainty, and to enable money to continue to circulate.
“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.
“These are businesses which deserve to survive, thrive and receive the respect of all political parties for their tenacity and endurance.”
“The day will come when restrictions lift, borders open and the job of resurrecting our economy and country begins in earnest.
“Like so many in tourism and hospitality, the events sector, including business events, will be an important part of the solution.”
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