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New Zealand Hospitality Summit postponed to next year

The inaugural New Zealand Hospitality Summit – Te Tihi o Manaakitanga – has been postponed till next year due to the pandemic.

Joint hosts Hospitality New Zealand and New Zealand Chefs Association say a combination of uncertainties surrounding the community outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant had forced them to move the event to a date to be decided.

Entitled ‘The Future of Hospitality – Building Forward’, it was due to be held on September 7-9  at Trusts Arena, in Henderson, as a showcase for the hospitality and accommodation industry and a chance to re-set how it will evolve to thrive into the future. It was designed for owners, venue managers, accommodation providers, employees, chefs, and those who supply and purchase hospitality supplies, and was to include think tanks with guest speakers, education and training seminars, a trade show displaying the latest innovation in the industry, and a demonstration kitchen.

Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Julie White says they are very disappointed at having to postpone, but had no option.

"Getting on top of this community outbreak quickly to avoid being in lockdown for a long period of time is the priority.

"We only need to look across at our friends in Australia who are doing it tough to be reminded how important it is to get on top of things, and do this quickly. NSW reported more than 800 community cases this weekend.

"It was always on the cards the Delta variant would arrive in New Zealand. This is just another punch the industry will roll with.

"It’s very disappointing but it’s nothing compared with what some businesses have been through over the past 18 months.

"We intend to reschedule when people are back to freely moving around and no restrictions on gatherings, because after the many challenges our industry has faced and continues to face, it’s as important as ever for us to come together to find solutions as we look to the future.

"We’re an important contributor to the New Zealand economy, with our 170,000 people contributing $11 billion a year before COVID, so the sooner we get back to full health, the better for everyone."

NZ Chefs executive officer Janine Quaid says the safety, health, and wellbeing of people, partners, and communities continue to be the industry’s priority.

"We regret we had to postpone the summit, but we’re confident a hard and fast approach will get this super spreader under control so we can enjoy the freedoms we’re used to so we can reschedule it as soon as possible."

Hospitality New Zealand’s prestigious Lion Hospitality Awards for Excellence, which were to be presented at the summit, will still happen this year, with the date and venue details to be decided this week. Craig Baldie, country director of principal sponsorship partner Lion NZ confirmed ‘Lion is committed to supporting the Awards later in the year. We look forward to the opportunity to come together to celebrate industry achievement and excellence, something more important than ever to do in these very challenging times.’

Hospitality New Zealand’s 119th AGM will still be held on September 9, though via a virtual meeting at 2pm.

NZChefs’ competitions will still go ahead next year and its current sponsorship programme will not change.

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