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New Zealand launches voluntary code for event organisers

As New Zealand celebrates its COVID free status, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand and fellow event-related associations have released a new Voluntary Code for event organisers.

CINZ chief executive, Lisa Hopkins says New Zealand’s business events sector is excited all restrictions on social distancing within the country have been lifted, although borders remain closed.

“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,” she says.

To this end, CINZ has been part of a working group with MBIE (NZ Major Events), the other event associations, and representatives of the industry to develop a Voluntary Code for the events sector, available on the CINZ website.

“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,” Lisa says,

“Dubbed the “COVID Code”, it is voluntary and will not be regulated or legally enforceable. It 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.”

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.

“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,” she says.

"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.”

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