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Director General of Health signs off on New Zealand Events Sector Voluntary Code

Director General of Health signs off on New Zealand Events Sector Voluntary Code
June 9, 2020

With New Zealand having lifted almost all of its internal Coronavirus restrictions, the nation’s Director General of Health has signed off on a new Voluntary Code for event organisers, developed to outline best practice behaviours to prevent/minimise ongoing COVID-19 risks and impact.

Developed by a working group including MBIE (NZ Major Events) along with Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), Entertainment Technology New Zealand (ETNZ), Events Venues Association New Zealand (EVANZ), New Zealand Events Association (NZEA) and the New Zealand Promoters Association (NZPA), the New Zealand Events Sector Voluntary Code includes a key function around record keeping to support the nation’s Ministry of Health contact tracing processes.

Advising that New Zealand’s business events sector is excited all restrictions on social distancing within the country have been lifted, although borders remain closed, CINZ Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins stated “we are aware of the need to continue to be vigilant, and ensure some of the measures put in place during past three months of restrictions are still maintained, as part of standard operating process and best practice.”

Dubbed the ‘Covid Code’, the initiative shows the sector’s support for New Zealand’s efforts in the key areas of public health risk, and most particularly for enabling contact tracing.

Its development has been industry led, so it is written in a way that works for the sector as a whole, and it does not in any way override or add to the existing health and safety or workplace requirements that the sector is currently operating within..

Hopkins adds “the Code is seen as an ‘intent’ to support the Government’s ongoing directive to maintain health and hygiene standards as well as track and trace. It is a way of working in an environment where there are mass gatherings for a single purpose.”

Under the Covid-Code, the sector agrees to take responsibility for regularly and consistently staying up-to-date with Ministry of Health guidance on the response to COVID-19. Industry members will undertake best practice to enable and encourage individuals to keep a record of where they have been, including attendance at events. Operators are encouraged to ensure attendee information is obtained and retained (within the bounds of the Privacy Act) through whatever mechanism is best suited to the event. The sector will use reasonable measures to ensure that any person on site - whether front or back of house - has the appropriate resources or facilities to ensure they undertake best practice hygiene standards.

Hopkins went on to say “we have agreed the sector will uphold a culture of compliance to reduce COVID-19 related risks through leadership, influence and education to ensure best practice across the sector.

"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, who authored the Code, as well as the Ministry of Health understands that within the business events environment, much of what is being asked is already being done in practice as part of a normal registration process..

"The opening up of our borders, starting with the trans-Tasman bubble will be key to our success. We are fully supportive of the work both governments are doing to expedite this.”

Click here to view MBIE's COVID-19 Advice for event organisers.

Image: Gisborne's Rhythm and Vines festival.

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