Whanganui venue operators are relieved and excited to be able to host larger gatherings from this Friday.
On Monday Cabinet decided to increase gatherings from noon this Friday, meaning church services, weddings and funerals will all be able to have 100 people in attendance.
Heritage House owner Bronwyn Paul is relieved to see the gathering numbers increased.
"We are open for business. All those poor people who haven't been able to have their functions and events, we totally welcome and have lots of space up until Christmas."
Paul said the venue hasn't been operating since the beginning of lockdown.
"It's been a really tough time for us.
"We have had so many cancellations right up until the end of the year and others on hold because they don't know if they can still have their event or not. Now that they can, it is just going to mean the world to them."
Paul said conferences for big corporations Ferrari and AGM were among those cancelled at the venue over the last eight weeks.
It will be great to see some life back in the building after a tough two months, Paul said.
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"Most of the events here are celebratory of some sort, so it means they can go about some normality in their life and share their milestones with their loved ones.:
Paul said Heritage House can comfortably and safely host 100 people.
"Most of our events sit around 100 people anyway. So it means for smaller weddings, seminars, product launches we can actually get back and make sure people can celebrate those."
Dempsey and Forrest funeral home owner James Forrest said increasing the size of gatherings was great news for families.
"Now that Government is allowing 100 people come Friday, that is even better. That now allows not only close and immediate family, but close friends and people who are important in their lives to come share that special send off for a loved one."
Forrest said it has been a smooth transition going from the previous 10 person limit to 50, and expects it to be the same in the move to 100 people.
"Families have really respected the restrictions. It's a lot better result."
Anndion Lodge Motel and Function Centre will be open for bookings and conferences.
Anndion has been open throughout the Covid-19 situation for emergency accommodation, but hasn't been able to use its function centre.
Owners Gary and Kathy Rainey have already received calls about conferences and meetings.
"We can go up to 50 people. We do have an outside zone, so can go up to 80.
"We're relieved. Every little bit helps."