The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Hospitality NZ calls for Minister of Hospitality from new Government

Hospitality New Zealand has launched its election manifesto and is asking political parties to commit to a number of asks, including a Minister of Hospitality.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White says the industry’s demands are simple, straightforward and easily doable and they include:

· more support for industry training;

· changes to immigration policies;

· enduring funding for tourism;

· a handbrake on regulation;

· changes to alcohol policy;

· levelling the playing field with short-term rental accommodation.

“We’re not asking for the impossible – just basic things that will be felt way beyond the industry itself,” says White.

“Hospitality plays a very significant role in New Zealand’s economy, employing many thousands of people and their families, and helping to attract and take care of hundreds of thousands of tourists, so healthy hospitality means a healthier economy.”

White says if the next Government is serious about returning the economy to where it was before COVID, it must pick up the seven asks.

“The industry is continuing to struggle to recover from the impact of COVID and economic pressures,” says White.

“We believe there is a real opportunity to continue the recovery and growth of our industry going forward.”

The seven-point manifesto is:

Establish a Minister of Hospitality: Calling on Government to establish a Minister of Hospitality and a dedicated hospitality unit within MBIE to provide leadership, coherent policy direction, support, and development for the industry.

Support the hospitality workforce: Asking the next Government to encourage hospitality career pathways and invest in training to get more Kiwis into hospitality.

Holistic approach immigration: Asking the Government to craft a holistic immigration approach, taking into account how immigration impacts other areas of both policy and the economy, and ensure the immigration system is fit-for-purpose for all parts of the economy. In the immediate term, Hospitality NZ says the median wage benchmarks for working visas should be removed and partnership work rights should be reinstated.

Enduring funding for tourism: Asking for an enduring fund for tourism, and to build a more competitive international business events package, including GST-free conference ticketing for international delegates.

A handbrake on regulation: Calls on the Government to put a handbrake on its eagerness for regulation, understand the cost pressures our sector is under, and work with the industry to improve regulations and ease compliance.

Changes to alcohol policy: Hospitality NZ calls on the Government to abandon the Local Alcohol Policy process and default to national settings, as laid out in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act. It believes the Duty Manager role and requirements should be eliminated, instead making Responsible Service of Alcohol training compulsory for all front-of-house staff.

Levelling the playing field with short-term rental accommodation: Hospitality NZ calls on the Government to implement a national register for STRA properties and assist with levelling the field for all commercial providers.

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