New Zealand government launches insurance scheme for major summer festivals


The New Zealand government announced today that it will provide major summer festivals with financial certainty to continue in the face of the COVID-19 threat with the launch of the Transition Support Program (ETSS).

Announcing that it will “bear the lion’s share of the risk” during the planning stages of paid and paid events with an audience of over 5,000 vaccinated people, the ETSS will cover 90% of sunk costs if organizers are forced to ‘cancel or postpone due to COVID -19 public health measures.

Designed to give festival organizers greater confidence in planning and incurring costs, the program will run from December 17 to April 3, 2022.

Revealing the ETSS this morning, New Zealand Tourism, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said that “organizers of large-scale summer festivals must now decide whether to proceed while their window risk closes.

“There are no insurance options in the market to cover this, so the government is stepping up as an underwriter type.

“Events typically only generate income on the day or weekend they take place, but come with significant costs up front. A rapid change in public health measures could result in the cancellation of an event without the possibility of recovering costs or generating revenue.

“The organizers of these festivals are great entrepreneurs who give back to our communities. They take a lot of risks to provide fantastic experiences that are part of the cultural fabric of a Kiwi summer and create lasting memories. COVID-19 has made their job even more difficult and these grants recognize that they need our support if the summer events are to take place. “

The program only applies to live events that require vaccination certificates for entry and when at least half of the tickets have been sold.

Payment will be made if the event is canceled or postponed due to Alert Level 2 or higher restrictions or if the event takes place in an area that is operating under COVID-19 protection and is at red level or localized locking.

Minister Nash added that “major summer events are critical to our economic and social well-being.

“The program will go live this week and event planners will be able to apply through the MBIE website to verify their eligibility. This will give them greater confidence and allow them to continue planning and organizing events over the summer. “

ETSS conditions:

  • The event must require the use of COVID vaccination certificates;
  • It must be a live, in-person event at one location between December 17, 2021 and April 3, 2022 with expected ticket sales of at least 5,000;
  • The event must have been actively “in the market” through promotion or ticket sales prior to the announcement of this program;
  • The event must be open to the public and managed by a New Zealand organization;
  • The event cannot be funded by other government sources such as the Major Events Fund or the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, nor have a subscription from another source such as the local government or an insurer. ;
  • Costs incurred by local government organizations are not eligible for recovery;
  • The payment will cover the actual direct costs associated with the event which cannot be recovered, and will not cover lost profits or shareholders’ salaries;
  • The event organizer will be the principal applicant and must agree to honor eligible costs incurred by its suppliers.

Event Transition Support Payment will be made if a cancellation or postponement occurs due to any of the following:

  • The event is in an area with alert level restrictions that prevent the event from occurring (alert level 2 or higher); Where
  • The event is taking place in an area that is operating under COVID-19 protection and is at RED LEVEL or localized lockdown; Where
  • At least 50% of paid tickets / registrations have been sold to participants located within an Alert Level 3 or higher limit or in a RED level or Localized Lockdown zone (if regional limit restrictions are in effect).

Click here for more information.

Images: Rhythm and Vines Gisborne (top) and New Zealand Tourism, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash (bottom).

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