“Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s biggest party pooper, it’s time for her to cut the events industry some slack before they give up and stop organising things,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

• Christmas in the Park = Cancelled
• Bay Dreams = Cancelled
• Wellington Marathon = Cancelled
• Canterbury A&P Show = Cancelled
• Moon Festival = Cancelled
• Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction = Cancelled
• Garden Marlborough = Cancelled
• Longline Classic = Cancelled
• World of Wearable Arts = Cancelled
• Guns n Roses = Cancelled
• Rhythm and Vines = TBC

“ACT proposed a Major Events Insurance Fund to ensure the industry can survive. The Government ignored it and now organisers, faced with uncertainty, are pulling the plug on summer events.

“The events industry, like many businesses, is facing turmoil thanks to COVID-19. They spend months preparing for major events, only for them to be cancelled at the last minute thanks to lockdowns.

“It’s not just the event organisers who lose out. It’s the hundreds of workers and subcontractors involved in a major event, and often thousands of ticket holders. It’s the people who bring in the generators, floodlights, portaloos, and temporary fences who lose out.

“The biggest loser is the public who miss out when events just don’t happen because organisers cannot risk losing everything in a few days if there’s a lockdown.

“ACT’s $50 million Major Events Insurance Fund would let organisers can go ahead and plan summer events, without the fear of financial ruin.

“A similar fund has been set up in the UK and gives a security blanket to event organisers.

“The fund would be available to events that host 500 people or more. It would only be paid out if events are cancelled.

“The money would come from the Government’s COVID Fund and would be targeted spending, unlike cameras on fishing boats and school lunches which the Government is currently using it for.

“It will mean event organisers can go ahead and plan things for New Zealanders to enjoy when we’re not in lockdowns, because after the past two years, New Zealanders deserve to have things to look forward to.

“Better still, the Government could have announced a Freedom Day, a day when restrictions are lifted, to give certainty and freedom backed by people taking personal responsibility to get jabbed in time.

“Unfortunately the Government is delivering the worst of all worlds, playing a long game with no certainty. The costs are mounting up beyond what the Major Events industry can afford.

“ACT will be here to make constructive criticisms where necessary and helpful suggestions where possible, while asking the questions New Zealanders need answered.”