Ardern signals all-clear for business events across New Zealand

Business events were given the green light across New Zealand today after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that coronavirus restrictions would be lifted in Auckland this week.

New Zealand’s largest city will move to alert level 1 from Thursday (11.59pm Wednesday), joining the rest of the country, after reporting no new cases for 10 consecutive days.

“There is now a 95 per cent probability of the cluster being eliminated,” Ms Ardern (left) said at a news conference.

The move was ‘great news’ for the business events industry, said Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins, and would ‘increase confidence’.

“Today’s announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern dispels all confusion about who can meet and where. We have been given the green light to meet, with the country fully opened up to domestic groups, and Aucklanders again welcome to any region,” she says.

“Now is the time to rebuild the industry, and deliver confidence back to organisers who have been holding off planning and booking their events. Our message is it is safe to hold a conference, seminar, workshop, or team recognition event. We want people to understand that business events are the safest type of event that can be held, backed up by the World Health Organisation itself.”

CINZ has opened registrations for BE Reconnected, a free industry exhibition and networking day in Auckland on December 1st, aimed at the throwing the spotlight on this $5 billion sector and rekindling vital industry relationships.

“BE Reconnected will be an essential platform to support the sector now and beyond. It is imperative for the good of the country and for the industry that we now move forward safely, and with assurance,” Lisa Hopkins says.

Meanwhile Australia will allow New Zealanders to enter two of its eight states and territories  – New South Wales and the Northern Territory – within a fortnight but New Zealand is not yet returning the favour. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced the plan on Friday after both nations closed their borders in mid-March at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.