Labour owes the events industry – before it’s too late

With today’s announcement from Labour Cabinet Minister Kiritapu Allen that Rhythm and Vines is extremely unlikely to go ahead, the Government must adopt National’s event insurance policy to protect the devastated events sector, says National’s Economic Development and Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay.

“The summer months are the busiest time for the events industry. Because of the ongoing confusion and lack of certainty over the Government’s Auckland and Waikato border policy, event organisers are having to cancel events at significant cost. 

“The events sector had asked the Government to assist with an insurance policy which would provide up to $20 million of cover if New Zealand went into Level 4. However, the Government said no, leaving it to fend for itself. 

“Today’s revelation is another blow to an industry that has done everything the Government has asked of it and has now been abandoned.

“The United Kingdom Government provided extensive insurance to its events industry. It’s time for the Labour Government to do the same.

“The lack of certainty over its Covid policies means it must pay compensation to event businesses that are suffering as a direct consequence and provide insurance to large and small events that are cancelled as a result of changing policy. 

“The cancellation of a small event of 100 people is as devastating for a small business as the cancellation of an event of 5000 for a large event organiser.

“Grant Robertson said ‘no to events sector insurance four months ago. He now needs to urgently make amends for his poor decision.

“National’s policy, announced as part of our ‘Back to Business’ package, would see large events covered by $50 million in event insurance, and $20 million for small events.”