While a greater sense of normal activity has returned to many in New Zealand, the tourism, travel, aviation, hospitality and event sectors are calling for ongoing government support.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts presented a joint letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis calling for further support beyond the current wage subsidy which is set to end soon.
“For many New Zealanders – but not all – life is almost back to normal, something that few other countries can claim,” the letter stated.
“More domestic economic activity is occurring. However, there’ve been significant job losses and some business closures. For good reasons, our border remains closed to almost everyone except returning New Zealanders. Government support, which has been substantial and welcome, now needs to focus on those businesses and jobs directly impacted by ongoing border restrictions. The tourism, travel, aviation, hospitality and event sectors are all suffering and will need a supportive Government partner for the foreseeable future.”
The letter calls for an extension similar to Australia’s targeted extension of its JobKeeper programme until March 2021.
“We accept that not every business will survive this crisis, not every job can be saved,” the letter stated. “But well targeted Government support can limit the damage and give us something to rebuild from.”