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NZ organisers welcome vaccine passport mandate

New Zealand festival promoters have welcomed plans for a vaccine passport, saying it gives them certainty to plan major events this summer.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans on Tuesday (5 October) for a vaccine certificate system that could be operational by November.

Arden said the government is looking to mandate its use for large festivals, and that festivalgoers will need to get vaccinated this month if they want to go to such events over the summer.

Once available, the vaccine certificate can be printed out or displayed on a mobile phone. A beta version is already available.

Hamish Pinkham, director of Live Nation-owned Rhythm and Vines Music Festival, told Stuff that the vaccine certificate was good news for promoters and would give him the clarity he needed to run the December event.

“It makes sense that we follow the overseas success in this area.”

Callam Mitchell, director of event production company Team Event, which runs five major events in Christchurch including Electric Avenue in February, says the certificate system means they could plan events with confidence.

“We encourage everyone who wants to attend events this summer to get vaccinated as soon as possible, bearing in mind it’s an eight-week period between doses and the vaccine becoming effective,” says Mitchell.

Bay Dreams director Mitch Lowe, who runs two events set for early January in Nelson and Tauranga, also welcomed the vaccine certificate: “It makes sense that we follow the overseas success in this area.”

New Zealand is on pace to fully vaccinate about 90% of its eligible population by the end of November.

 


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NZ events to reopen fully with contact tracing

All capacity restrictions and social distancing restrictions on live events could be removed in New Zealand as early as next week, as prime minister Jacinda Ardern prepares to move into the final stage of lockdown easing.

Laying out what alert level one would mean for New Zealanders in a press conference this week, Ardern indicated that the country could enter this final phase of lifting – which effectively removes all restrictions for businesses – as early as 10 June, with the cabinet meeting on Monday (8 June) to set a date.

Under alert level one, there will be no restrictions on the number of people who can attend concerts, sports events or other gatherings, and no requirements for physical distancing at such events. The capacity limit on events is currently 100.



Ardern states the government would work alongside organisers of large-scale events and ticketing agencies to develop a “Covid code”, ensuring details of those attending are collected to facilitate effective contact tracing.

Nightclubs, which have been unable to open under level two, will be permitted to reopen fully when the new regulations come into place, with dancing and mingling no longer off-limits.

“We want to work alongside those who put on events, so that they do have information available to help us with contact tracing”

“We may be confident that we’re an environment where we do not have Covid in circulation, but if we have a situation where even one case emerges, and it’s found that they had been in attendance at a large event, we always have to be prepared to be able to contact trace successfully,” says Ardern.

“[This] is why we want to work alongside those who put on events, large sporting events, music events, work with ticketing agencies, so that they do have information available for short periods of time to help us with contact tracing.”

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health released the NZ Covid Tracer app on 20 May. Those who download the app create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to venues and othe business premises or public buildings.

The New Zealand government recently dedicated NZ$16.5 million (€9.2m) to aid the recovery of its live music industry, as part of a wider $175 million (€98m) financial stimulus package for the arts and creative sectors.

The move was discussed at the first IPM Says virtual panel which took place today, and can be watched back on YouTube. A full write up of the session will be published on IQ tomorrow.

 


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NZ music industry receives €9.2m recovery package

The government of New Zealand has unveiled a NZ$175 million (€98m) recovery package for the arts and creative sector, with $16.5 million (€9.2m) dedicated to the country’s music industry.

Available from July, the New Zealand Music Recovery Fund is expected to sustain 2,900 jobs and 150 tours over a two-year period.

The fund earmarks $5m (€2.8m) to support local acts on the domestic touring circuit “as alert levels permit”. Live shows returned to the country this weekend, with the debut of Live Nation New Zealand’s socially distanced Together Again concert series.

Venues in New Zealand will receive $3m (€1.7m) as part of the recovery plan, as they work to create a safe environment and adhere to social distancing and hygiene regulations. The funding will be distributed by the NZ Music Commission.

A further $1.4m (€785,000) is dedicated to helping musicians recoup losses incurred by the coronavirus shutdown, through the New Zealand Music Commission’s international investment programme, Outward Sound, and NZ Music Month.

“These initiatives will provide hundreds of opportunities for creatives to earn income and rebuild their careers, at a time when we have been reminded of the importance of our creative industries”

The recording and promotion of new music will be supported through a $7.1m (€4m) boost to NZ On Air’s new music funding programmes.

The wider package dedicates $70m (€39.2m) over three years for a creative arts recovery and employment fund to support the rebuilding of creative industries; $60m (€33.6m) for a cultural innovation fund; $20m (€11.2m) for a cultural capability fund to focus on the immediate response to the Covid-19 crisis; and $7.9m (€4.4m) for career support for creative jobseekers.

“The arts and music sectors have been decimated by Covid-19,” says prime minister Jacinda Ardern. According to government forecasts, the cultural sector will be hit “roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy”, says Ardern, with the risk of 11,000 job losses over a 12-month period, without the appropriate intervention.

“We know many of our creatives get income from multiple sources and it is an ongoing challenge to piece together the gigs and commissions to earn a livelihood,” adds Ardern.

“These initiatives will provide hundreds of opportunities for creatives to earn income and rebuild their careers, and at a time when we have all been reminded of the importance of our creative industries.”

Full details of the funding are available here.

 


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