Call for clarity over Covid-19 restrictions

Bill Richardson Transport World events manager Adam Reinsfield

THE Southland events industry is urging the Government to provide more clarity and develop a common-sense approach for entertainment venues.

Bill Richardson Transport World events manager Adam Reinsfield said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement this week on the removal of the 100-person limit caused confusion over whether it applied to events as well as those deemed hospitality venues.

Due to the mixed messages, the transport museum was forced to postpone the 600-person Southland Business Excellence Awards, which were to be held there next week.

“The current guidelines allow variations of interpretation and what we are seeking actually is a clarity around those rules.”

He felt let down as he believed the Government had not given sufficient consideration to those in the business event industry.

“It’s pretty soul-destroying.

“There has not been a positive Covid-19 case in the South Island for almost a year, but we’re still hamstrung by it.

“We want to play by the rules wish the rules were clearer and made sense.”

ILT Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt shared Mr Rensfield’s feelings.

His business was operating with the 100-person limit despite having more than 7000sqm of space, Mr Skelt said.

A “multitude” of events had been postponed since the recent lockdown and it had been a very challenging time for his business.

“We can sustain things for a short period of time as we have and we can be creative and innovative, as we are the end of the day we have a bottom line that we need to protect.”

The vaccination campaign was a great starting point, but he urged the Government to increase the number of people allowed at venues and to review the guidelines.