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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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