A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief.
The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland package, developed alongside Auckland Council and Auckland Unlimited.
“Summer and more freedoms are on the horizon but we know that Alert Level restrictions have been tough on families and on the businesses that rely on visitors,” said Carmel Sepuloni.
“Families need a break, businesses need new customers, and those in the most hardship also need help with the basics like food. This package will help to spark the city’s arts and culture life again, reactivate economic activity and enhance people’s wellbeing over summer.
“The new funding will encourage whānau to re-engage with the special qualities that make Auckland vibrant, modern and exciting. But we also have families experiencing real deprivation and they need immediate support.
“There will be 100,000 vouchers available for families and individuals as well as discounts or free access to Auckland Council facilities to help get Aucklanders out and experience the city while providing much needed foot traffic in the CBD.
“We are also immediately boosting funding for foodbanks and community food organisations to meet demand and to ensure they’re able to support households this Christmas.
“Yesterday we announced details of the Arts and Cultural Events Support Scheme which opens today for applications. This provides certainty for event organisers, confidence for vaccinated New Zealanders to attend and enjoy events, and reassurance for artists and crew who intend to put on events,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“The Auckland region has been hard hit by the COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions. More than 100 days under Alert Level settings have significantly affected economic activity in the region,” said Stuart Nash.
“The $37.5 million package has been put together jointly with Auckland Council and Auckland Unlimited. The first initiative is the Explore Tāmaki Makaurau this Summer voucher and discount scheme. It will take a few weeks to implement but will be well worth it when it goes live.
“The second initiative is the Local Activation Programme, a contestable fund for businesses or community organisations to organise events that are free for the public. It will help bring neighbourhoods and town centres back to life.
“We encourage Aucklanders to rediscover the best of local businesses and visitor attractions. This support will reach a wide range of communities and neighbourhoods, through activities like Christmas markets, New Year cultural performances, and council-run sports and leisure facilities.
“About $1.8 billion in wage subsidies have already been paid to workers in Auckland, and a further $1 billion to businesses for fixed costs under the Resurgence Support Payment. A new transition payment for Auckland, Waikato and Northland will also pay up to $490 million to regional businesses.
“This support package takes the next step by revitalising households, businesses and community groups to get out and enjoy the best that Tāmaki Makaurau has to offer through a targeted boost to the regional economy,” Stuart Nash said.