New Zealand Government’s financial support to include business events

The New Zealand Government has extended support for large-scale events for the rest of the year.

The Events Transition Support Payment scheme (ETSP) will be extended to 31 January 2023 and expanded to include business events with at least 200 attendees for first time.

New criteria also allows events to cancel or postpone if the lead artist has to self-isolate and touring events with a combined total of over 5,000 attendees are now eligible.

“The original scheme was introduced in November 2021 to give event organisers financial certainty to host large scale events over summer,” said Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash.

“The scheme effectively saw the government underwrite costs so that organisers of an eligible event could claim 90 per cent of unrecoverable costs if it couldn’t go ahead due to public health measures.

“However the current Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the Red setting in the Protection Framework are having a severe impact on the events sector. We have adapted the scheme to take account of this to further support the industry for the rest of the year.”

Nash said opening the scheme up to eligible business events will give much needed certainty to the industry.

“We know that under the current CPF Red setting, large events cannot proceed,” he said.

“This is disappointing for event organisers, artists, and everyone associated with a large-scale event, including attendees.

“These changes will provide confidence to hundreds of events throughout 2022 and into next summer so organisers can continue to organise events despite the ongoing uncertainty that COVID-19 brings to our communities.”

The changes take effect on 4 April 2022.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) is welcomed the news saying it gives long-overdue certainty to organisers, venues and clients to help plan ahead.

“We are overjoyed Minister Nash and his team have acknowledged the key role business events will have in New Zealand’s recovery,” said BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins.

“The scheme effectively sees the government underwrite costs so that organisers of an eligible event can claim 90 per cent of unrecoverable costs if it can’t go ahead due to public health measures for events.