AJ Hackett Bungy gets $10.2 million from Govt to help it survive COVID-19

AJ Hackett Bungy gets $10.2 million from NZ Government to help it survive COVID-19.
AJ Hackett Bungy has been running for over three decades. Photo credit: Getty

Tourist attraction AJ Hackett Bungy is getting a $10.2 million lifeline from the Government to help it get through COVID-19.

Tourism minister Kelvin Davis announced on Wednesday the business would get a grant of $5.1 million this year and a loan of up to $5.1 million in the second year, if required. 

The funds are intended to be used to retain staff at the company, which employs a large number of 'jump masters' who are said to take three to four years to train.

"By supporting AJ Hackett Bungy, we're protecting a world-famous tourism asset as well as the flow-on benefits that an iconic tourism attraction brings to a local community," Davis said.

"AJ Hackett Bungy has been giving thrill-seekers exhilarating experiences for more than 30 years.  With our borders closed to protect us from COVID-19, the downturn in visitor numbers is felt far and wide, not only by the operator but also by other local businesses who cater to visitors through accommodation, hospitality and retail."

The money is coming from the Government's $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Package.

AJ Hackett Bungy said in May that around 150 jobs out of its 224-workforce could be made redundant due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to Stuff, managing director Henry van Asch said: “Even after considerably resizing our business across New Zealand we are still facing significant losses through to whenever the tourism market rebounds."

More than 300 applications for the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme were received by the time applications closed on June18.