New Zealand’s tourism industry is in crisis and facing an uncertain future, they need a Minister that steps up and backs them, National’s Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“Tourism supports 400,000 jobs and last year contributed more than $40 billion to the New Zealand economy. Now, they are undoubtedly paying the heaviest price for our lockdown yet are getting very little help from the Government.
“Industry groups have estimated up to 100,000 tourism jobs could be lost, along with businesses people have spent their lives building up.
“Tourism operators need details on how the Government will save jobs in the sector, they need a timeline for the trans-Tasman border and they need a Minister who is willing to answer questions about the Government’s response.
“Instead, Kelvin Davis has cancelled his appearance to the Epidemic Response Committee today where he was expected to answer questions on the Government’s plan for the tourism sector following a lacklustre Budget announcement last week.
“This is disappointing for the tourism operators from across the country who are taking the time to appear and who have a lot sacrificed enormously to help the Government’s COVID-19 response. They will be looking for answers on the Government’s plan for their business and they deserve them.
“For the Minister to not bother showing up at the Epidemic Response Committee shows a lack of respect for the industry he’s meant to represent.
“This comes off the back of Finance Minister Grant Robertson and the Treasury both cancelling their appearances before the Committee and an email from the Prime Minister’s office this month directing Ministers to “dismiss” the media.
“This is yet another sign of arrogance from this Government.”