‘A horrible situation’ New Zealand’s lockdown threatens millions of dollars worth of lost business

Uncertainty around how long the snap lockdown in Auckland will last has affected multiple business events with a potential cost of lost business running into the millions of dollars.

Speaking to Stuff, Cordis hotel general manager Franz Mascarenhas said the latest lockdown wiped almost NZ$500,000 from their bottom line after the cancellation of three events and 425 guest bookings.

“We had a large residential conference that was taking 300-plus rooms for two nights,” he said. “Our occupancy was going to be around 80 per cent and is now down to 8 per cent.”

XPO Exhibitions managing director Brent Spillane said they had lost at least $500,000 from rescheduling the EMEX high tech machinery show which was due to be held on Monday and the BuildNZ trade show.

“This is the seventeenth show rescheduled or cancelled over a 12-month period and those are extraordinary costs for us,” he told Stuff.

“The bigger picture is the tens of millions in GDP that is lost in trade from the show not running.”

The Auckland Home Show is scheduled to run next week, but organisers are waiting on developments to see whether they can proceed.

Exhibitions and Events New Zealand general manager Amanda Magnus described it as “a horrible situation”.

The show was expecting up to 40,000 visitors over five days, but needs the restrictions to be downgraded to alert level 1 for them to proceed.

“We’re just holding our breath,” she said.