Auckland Boat Show cancelled

NZ Marine says the move is supported by the majority of exhibitors

Acting on instructions from its member exhibitors, the Auckland Boat Show, scheduled to run October 8-11, has been cancelled by the organisers, NZ Marine.

The executive director of NZ Marine Peter Busfield said it was a hard call, but one that was supported by the majority of exhibitors who had already booked stand space. “We had a Zoom call on Tuesday to gauge the feeling of stand holders and the general feeling was in favour of cancelling the show,” says Busfield.

He added that with over 100 linked into the Zoom meeting, it represented a good cross-section of exhibitors and the overwhelming feeling was we couldn’t procrastinate any longer and wait for whatever the next lockdown move by the government would be.

Currently, Auckland is in Lockdown 2.5, which means the size of allowable gatherings is only 10 for Aucklanders at this modified Level 2. This applies to all social gatherings, including birthday parties, and gatherings.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has signalled an easing of restrictions next week – including bigger gatherings in Auckland and Level 1 freedoms for the rest of the country – if cases continue to track down as they have been.

However, acting on its members’ wishes, NZ Marine was not prepared to wait and the show has been called off.

“We also had to consider the costs involved, especially for our out-of-Auckland exhibitors, so it was better to pull the plug now, rather than a week or two from the show,” says Busfield.

“At the meeting, we advised our member exhibitors of our research that it is not possible to run the show with crowd restrictions of 500 people or less and we still do not know what restrictions Auckland will be in on the week of the show.

“We have been working closely with Auckland Council who share our above concerns and felt we also have a moral obligation in assisting NZ government and Auckland Council in keeping Auckland COVID-19-free or ‘under control’.”

While some consideration was given to postponing the show to later this year or early next year, the current footprint for the show is not available.