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NZ extends insurance scheme, expands criteria

The New Zealand government has announced plans to extend its insurance scheme for large-scale events by another year.

Under the scheme, the government underwrites 90% of “unrecoverable costs” for paid, ticketed events with audiences of more than 5,000 vaccinated people, if organisers are forced to cancel or postpone due to Covid-19 public health measures.

The new criteria include events that have been cancelled or postponed because the lead artist has to self-isolate, as well as business events with at least 200 attendees.

Touring events at multiple venues on multiple dates are now eligible on the basis that the cumulative total of attendees is over 5,000 and they meet all other criteria.

The expanded criteria also states that events must be organised by a New Zealand registered organisation (e.g., an entity registered with the Companies Office or a charitable organisation).

“These changes will provide confidence to hundreds of events throughout 2022 and into next summer”

Eligible events must also have been publicly announced or “actively in the market” before 23 January next year, unless it is a recurring event with a history of previous iterations over the last three years or a touring event held at multiple venues or on multiple dates that can demonstrate a financial commitment to the event dates at least four months prior to the event being held.

As per the first iteration of the scheme, events must require the use of Covid-19 vaccination certificates and organisers can only apply once for cancellation and once for postponement for an event.

The first incarnation of the scheme is running between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 2022. The new criteria apply to events taking place between 4 April 2022 and 31 January 2023.

The extension of the scheme follows the country’s move to red in the Covid traffic light system, under which events are limited to 100 people.

“The current Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the red setting in the protection framework are having a severe impact on the events sector,” says economic and regional development minister Stuart Nash. “We have adapted the scheme to take account of this to further support the industry for the rest of the year.”

“This is disappointing for event organisers, artists, and everyone associated with a large-scale event, including attendees… These changes will provide confidence to hundreds of events throughout 2022 and into next summer, so organisers can continue to organise events, despite the ongoing uncertainty that Covid-19 brings to our communities.”


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