Over 100,000 vouchers are being offered to Auckland residents this summer for various activities in a bid to “reactivate” the city following almost four months of lockdowns.
Launched by the Government and Auckland Council, the initiative is similar to other global coronavirus recovery schemes, including the UK’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ plan.
At the height of the lockdown, the restrictions are estimated to have cost New Zealand around $1.5 billion per week, and $440 million a week during the level 3 curbs.
Known as ‘Explore Tāmaki Makaurau this summer’, the reactivation scheme – costing around $37.5 million - includes $12 million in vouchers to numerous attractions as well as discounts for council facilities and event funding.
According to Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni, the finance would encourage people to re-engage with the city and help those most in need: "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," Sepuloni said.
Residents can apply online for the vouchers, at $100 for a family of four and $50 for a single adult, reports the New Zealand Herald.
"It will help bring neighbourhoods and town centres back to life," said Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash. "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."
In addition, around $1.8 billion in wage subsidies have been paid to Auckland workers, with a further $1 billion to firms for fixed costs under the Resurgence Support Payment.
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