The organizers of the Auckland Home Show are asking the government for a level 2 exemption so that the event can continue in November.
The show, which was postponed for the third time in the last year due to closures, can only continue at level 1 because indoor gatherings are restricted to 100 people.
But organizers say they can run a safe event on level 2 and it’s no different than being in a shopping mall.
CEO Amanda Magnus said that prior to this closing, the company had already lost more than $ 1.5 million in revenue due to earlier postponements.
“That’s building tents, removing tents, putting up tents, removing the flooring. All of that has happened twice, marketing costs and overhead costs. So yeah, a $ 1.5 million that the owner has irretrievably lost.”
The Auckland Home Show lasts for four days and includes more than 450 exhibitors.
Even under alert level 2, the home show cannot go on, even though shopping malls are allowed to be open.
“Shopping malls, where hundreds of thousands of shoppers pass and there’s really no one to check whether they’re using their contract tracking app or not, can open at level 2, and we can’t. And yet we can tell you to every exhibitor and visitor who is on site at any time, and we already have a strict risk management framework. I believe we can do a safe display at Level 2. “
“We are not a concert, we do not all crowd one another. It is no different than a mall … if the mall can be open on level 2, why can’t a home show be open on level 2? 2?? I just don’t understand. “
Meanwhile, other major events have also had to change their plans.
The AIMS Games is the largest middle-age sports competition in the country, with more than 11,000 athletes, in addition to their fans and 1,800 officials traveling to Tauranga for a week-long competition.
It was supposed to start in a week, but the latest Delta outbreak has forced it to be canceled for the second year in a row.
Tournament director Vicki Semple said the tournament, which takes place at 29 venues, could only advance to alert level 1.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to have to cancel. The first thing that crossed my mind were the 11,000 athletes who would have been so devastated that the countdown was on.
“It feels like a huge burden, but we really had no other choice. The safety and well-being of all our athletes and supporters is our top priority and if we commit to that, we would be committing the same spirit.” of our tournament “.
Semple said the cancellation of the tournament has had a major impact on the local economy.
“They are willing to lose $ 10 million if the event does not take place. Also, it is heartbreaking for all of our contractors who have been with us for 18 years. Basically, they lost our job overnight. Upstairs, we have Saint John. at a lot of our sites. Energy, portals, so many different contractors that will be hugely affected by this. “
Countless weddings have also had to be canceled or postponed across the country, leaving the wedding industry feeling the rush.
Wedding planner Paula Bevege said it’s a very uncertain time right now, both for businesses and for the bride and groom.
“I think everyone is really scared, and I think there was a lot of comments last season about ‘I’m just holding on, I hope this year is a good one’ and when we had the Wedding Show in May, everyone was feeling really enthusiastic and eager. to get back to things this year.
“So I imagine there are a lot of really nervous people and a lot of really stressed people who are currently looking at their businesses and thinking ‘what am I going to do now?'”
She said that Covid-19 has changed the way she plans weddings, and even at level 2, many weddings will not take place realistically.
“Even at level 2, many couples do not feel comfortable celebrating their weddings, they do not feel that it is something responsible or they cannot reduce the guest list to 100, or just a lot of missing key people from Australia or around the world, for they just don’t want to move on.
“The reality is that there will be a large percentage of those couples this year that we are getting married, who were actually postponed last time last year and are they going to accept another postponement? Or will they just cancel?”