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New Zealand gets back to business events

New Zealand’s success in eliminating COVID-19 means gatherings of any scale can take place from next week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand chief executive Lisa Hopkins said the industry is pleased to be accelerating the return back to business, starting with a domestic audience.

“Getting to this level has taken less time than we originally envisaged back in March, and we are now the envy of the world. New Zealand’s team of five million has proved we can unite against this virus, and our industry is committed to keeping New Zealand safe for meetings.

"We want people to understand business events are the safest type of event you can hold, because they are highly organised and managed by professionals who work under strict codes of practice,” she says.

“Our message is it is safe to hold a conference, seminar, workshop, incentive travel event and gala dinner under already-developed and enhanced track, tracing, health and hygiene standards. We will also be working with the broader events sector to develop a voluntary code, to support New Zealand’s efforts in the key area of public health.”

Brett Jeffrey, general manager, Australasian (NZ) Society of Association Executives says customers can feel confident to move forward with their industry events.

“This is a positive step forward and will go a long way to providing much needed reassurance that planning for association conferences can begin in earnest.”

Arna Wahl Davies, chair of the CINZ Approved Professional Conference Organisers Group says New Zealand’s business event organisers have always led the world in terms of best-practice.

“Once again we will be showing leadership by maintaining the high protocols and processes we had prior to COVID-19, and which have been further enhanced during the pandemic, and we won’t be going back. As accredited event professionals, we will be voluntarily working to ensure the highest possible standards of hygiene, tracking and tracing to ensure business events are safe now and in future,” she says.

“New Zealand’s reputation as a world leader for government COVID-19 communication and elimination, coupled with our excellent venues and infrastructure, and professional people, puts us in line to be one of the most globally-trusted places to meet,” Lisa says.

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