Owners of a Bay of Plenty wedding venue have made the "difficult decision" to close after being "hit hard" by Covid-19 restrictions.
Waimarino Group director Blair Anderson said Waverley on Wairoa had been "haemorrhaging" since the first round of Covid-19 lockdowns last year.
"The funds are drying up. So we are having to make a hard call, and now it just becomes like downtown Tauranga - empty buildings," he said.
The function centre based at Waimarino Water and Adventure Park will close at the end of November.
Anderson said he was feeling "pretty low" but expressed thanks to those who had made use of the venue over the past 11 years.
"It has been fantastic. It has had a strong connection to the community," he said.
He said they still had "a few events" booked in before the planned closure date, but numbers had been "dwindling" due to the level 2 restrictions in place, which include a limit of 50 people for indoor venues and 100 for outdoor.
The rules were strengthened this year in a bid to battle the highly transmissible Delta variant at the centre of the Auckland outbreak.
The Wairoa riverside venue, which could hold about 150 people, was unable to operate with those limits.
"Our building was designed for 100-plus conference and wedding group sizes," Anderson said.
"We can't keep everything going. It is too much."
"Numbers have dwindled right down. Covid-19 has taken a toll on another business, another livelihood, as well as the mental stress that goes along with it."
One staff member was set to lose their job after the venue closure.
The individual who was doing a "wonderful job" was currently "going through the process" of closing the business, Anderson said.
Anderson said international tourism added "a lot of extra capital" to parts of the Waimarino business, and he encouraged New Zealanders to get vaccinated in an effort to help reopen borders.
"The stress levels amongst business owners is horrendous. The biggest thing - go get your vaccine New Zealand."
Waimarino Group's after school care and holiday programmes were operating, along with glowworm and kayak tours at the weekend.
The adventure park was set to open in the upcoming school holidays.
"We are trying to stay alive, we are trying to keep things available for local people," said Anderson.
Wedding celebrant Kate Lovell, who works across Tauranga and Rotorua, has had "a lot"
of wedding postponements, including couples from Australia and the United Kingdom who were unable to enter the country.
She said one couple abroad had postponed their wedding until 2024.
"It is very haphazard. It definitely comes down to the individual couples and how anxious they are."
She knew of "so many in the industry who are struggling" due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
"There is a lot of anxious vendors out there, it is not easy."
Lovell, a full-time student, said she had not been impacted as much as others in the industry.
Sarah Jackson runs wedding and event catering business No Biggie alongside husband Jesse Jackson.
She said some couples living outside Auckland were going ahead with their weddings under level 2 - but with fewer guests.
"That has an impact on our catering because we charge a per person rate," Jackson said.
The first wedding they were preparing for was on October 2, she said.
Other couples, particularly those that lived in Australia, had pushed back their weddings by more than a year.
"We are nimble business - my husband I and are the only full-time workers. Our casual staff aren't getting as much work. We use lots of small producers, farmers - so it all has a trickle-down effect."
Jackson said it was not the "ideal start" to the wedding season but the pair were trying to stay positive.
"It is looking like really busy summer, most weekends are booked which is amazing."
But changes were becoming the "new norm", with some clients prepared to reduce guest numbers and put backup plans in place.
She also hoped the country would see an increase in vaccination rates to assist in the border reopening.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson said they were asking all Bay residents to protect their whānau and community by getting vaccinated.
"The more of us that have the Covid-19 vaccination, the stronger our immunity will be. Getting vaccinated is the next step to gain more protection against the virus, which will lead to more certainty for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand," he said.
A spokesperson for the Covid-19 Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said the government had introduced strengthened measures at alert level 2 because the Delta variant was highly transmissible, and presented an increased risk to the wellbeing of communities.
"We need to ensure the right settings are in place, in accordance with the most up-to-date health advice, to protect everybody. This is why at events at alert level 2, attendance is currently limited to 50 people for indoor spaces and 100 people for outdoor spaces.
"We recognise the restrictions in place are not easy for many event businesses, but it is important that we all take extra precautions now, so that we can stop the spread of Delta."