Events are the lifeblood of our communities. They bring us together to share, compete, communicate, create or celebrate. It seems Covid-19 vaccine passports could be crucial for future right of admission. Marjorie Cook asks some of our region’s event organisers:

1: Will your event be requiring a Covid-19 vaccine passport? If not, why not?

2: Would people need to show it to get entry?

3: Should there be a nationwide or district-wide vaccine passport for events? What might this look like?


Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor

Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor, PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH

1: The government has indicated it will be mandating all people who attend large events to be vaccinated. We are preparing for this to be law well before our event takes place. The government is also expected to mandate exactly how people will be able to show they have been vaccinated. We anticipate it will be via their mobile phones or a printed out vaccination certificate.

2: Every person who attends Warbirds Over Wanaka, including staff and volunteers, are already scanned in so we expect a vaccination passport will require another scan. We are working with our ticketing company to ensure this is as seamless as possible at the gate and we’re not expecting it will have much of an impact on our visitors gaining entry.

3: There are a number of big events scheduled to happen over the next six months so we will have the luxury of seeing how the vaccination passports work by then. Come next Easter we’re confident it won’t be a big issue.

Rhythm and Alps festival director Alex Turnbull

Rhythm and Alps festival director Alex Turnbull.

1: Yes they will be mandatory for large events by November.

2: This is still being worked on.

3: This is still being worked on.

Challenge Wanaka race director Bill Roxburgh

Challenge Wanaka race director Bill Roxburgh. PHOTO: TIM MILLER

1: I have been looking at events in Europe and talking with people that have been there, having a vaccination certificate to get into the event venue was required. I think we will need to do the same.

2: At the Challenge Roth Triathlon, they showed a certificate when first coming on site and got a wrist band they could show and be seen during the event.

3: I think if the government wants to get serious you must have a vaccine certificate to fly, get into restaurants, events, etc. The welfare of my team and other competitors means we need to be careful once Delta is in our community. Judging by most other countries we need to be ready, rather than acting late.

Wanaka A&P Show event manager Jane Stalker

Wanaka A&P Show event manager Jane Stalker. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH

1: We have been practising Covid-19 protocols but certainly understand the future could be about proof of vaccination. Our priority will be keeping all our Wanaka A& P event attendees and participants safe from Covid-19.

2: We’re currently discussing how a vaccine passport could work and we’ll be observing events that will be using vaccine passports. The Wanaka Show is five months away, so we have time to look and learn. Much can change in this ever-evolving Covid climate. At this stage we are unsure what government standards will be in place. We are monitoring the situation closely and keeping current with government advice. We will continue to assess the situation and an announcement will be made nearer the time.

3: Vaccine passports could put our event in a difficult position both in terms of the practicalities of their use but also around human rights. The government needs to take the lead on this.

Motatapu multisport event co-owner Craig Gallagher

Macpac Motatapu multisport event co-owner, Craig Gallagher. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

1: The Macpac Motatapu team are keeping abreast of the latest news from the government about vaccine passports for large events and waits to hear the plan for Aotearoa. We will apply government guidelines to keep our athletes, staff and volunteers safe.

2: All events, businesses and the New Zealand public are waiting the roll out of a vaccine passport, so we would not want to preempt what that system would look like. We would welcome a system that New Zealanders could use to easily show their vaccine status.

3: We support the vaccine passport, as we believe it will keep New Zealanders safe and allow us to host big events in a safe and successful manner.

Blossom Festival, Martin McPherson

Alexandra Blossom Festival event manager Martin McPherson.

1: If the government makes it mandatory, we will be requiring passports. There will be no argument concerning that. That’s the future we are going to have.

2: That’s the $64,000 question. We don’t know what. The noises I hear coming out of Wellington, there will be some sort of QR code on your phone or for those who don’t have a smart phone, there will be some sort of national ID. Until we have seen what Wellington has to say, it is very difficult for event managers to know what passports are going to be.

3: It is too early to say. Probably a nationwide passport. I can’t see any rationale for a Central Otago passport, and having a different one for an Otago event. At the moment nobody knows, but it is probably better to have a centralised system for all.

Cromwell & Districts marketing and communications manager Marion Low

Cromwell and Districts marketing and communications manager Marion Low (lefty) with Light Up Cromwell organisers Brigitte Tait and Gretchen Nightingale. (ODT FILES)

1: We support the vaccine rollout as it will allow our tourism and events industry to get back to business as usual. At this stage, we are adhering to the Level 2 requirements as set out by the government and don’t have vaccine passport requirements in place.

2: As soon as there is clarity on what the government will require for our events, we will update our event plans.

3: As many of our events (including Light Up Winter and the Cromwell Fireworks and Street Party) are unticketed, the vaccine passport might prove to be logistically challenging, but we are committed to providing a safe environment for our community.

NZ Rodeo Cowboys Association president Lyal Cocks

Rodeo Cowboys Association president Lyal Cocks.

1: As a responsible sports organisation whose contestants and officials travel throughout the country, we are concerned about the potential spread of Covid. As a result, the NZ Rodeo Cowboys Association (NZRCA) board has decided all NZRCA members over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated before attending or competing at an affiliated rodeo event.

2: Proof of vaccinations at this stage is a Covid-19 vaccine record card, but we would welcome a nationwide vaccine document that can be installed on a mobile phone and/or a hard card like a driver’s licence.

3: With regard to spectators, we are waiting for direction from the government on requirements for large events. At this stage, clubs may choose to impose conditions on entry for the public.

Queenstown Lakes District Council communications adviser Sam White

The council will be looking to follow advice from central government as and when it’s provided. It will be the responsibility of event organisers that hire QLDC venues to enforce any measures required at the time of their event.