New Zealand’s Events Transition Support Payment (ETSP) scheme will be extended until January 31, 2023 and will also be expanded to include business events.
The scheme was originally introduced at the end of last year to help large events recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and run during the summer, but the arrival of the Omicron variant hindered this process somewhat.
New Zealand entered into a new ‘Red’ setting which imposed restrictions on events, leaving a wake of uncertainty for organisers.
“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,” said Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash.
“However the current Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the ‘Red’ setting in the Protection Framework (CPF) 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.
“Extending the ETSP to January 31, 2023 and opening it up to eligible business events of at least 200 attendees will give much needed certainty to the industry.”
Nash added: “A new eligibility criterion will also be introduced, allowing events to cancel or postpone if the lead artist or subject has to self-isolate. We know that under the CPF ‘Red’ setting, large events cannot proceed. 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 to the scheme will come into place from April 4.