Calls to Introduce Hospitality Minister


The Hospitality Association of New Zealand has proposed that the next Government should introduce a Minister for Hospitality.

After launching its election manifesto, Hospitality New Zealand asks political parties to get on board with the idea. Also proposed was more support for industry training, changes to immigration policies, enduring funding for tourism, a handbrake on regulation, changes to alcohol policy, and levelling the playing field with short-term rental accommodation.

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive, Julie White, said that the demands of the industry are simple, straightforward and easily doable. White added that it is not asking for the impossible but just essential things that will be felt beyond the industry itself.

“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,” said White.

In the context of Policy, the industry is impacted by a range of portfolios, and Hospitality New Zealand is pledging to work tirelessly to engage with Government on the issues. This election has particular importance in focussing on the recovery and growth of the industry going forward.

Establishing a Minister for Hospitality will provide leadership, coherent policy direction, support, and development, according to Hospitality New Zealand. The organisation had also stated that it called for this at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when it became apparent that hospitality is not appropriately understood, catered for, or valued within Government Policy and decision-making. Support for the hospitality industry is also something called on by the organisation, with funding and training being the main areas of concern.

It has been well documented that Hospitality New Zealand has taken issue with the immigration system and is asking the Government to craft a holistic immigration approach. This will take into account how immigration impacts other areas of both Policy and the economy and ensure that the system is fit-for-purpose. Hospitality New Zealand said that in the immediate term, median wage benchmarks for working visas should be removed, and partnership work rights should be reinstated.

According to the organisation, New Zealand’s tourism offering will also need enduring funding so that the sector can continue to be delivered at a high level.

Changes to alcohol policy is another area requiring attention, with calls for the Government to abandon the Local Alcohol Policy process and default to a national setting instead.

Hospitality New Zealand represents the largest membership group in New Zealand’s tourism industry, with almost 3000 members.