“The Government needs to stop holding fun hostage and give us a Freedom Day,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“This morning Minister Kiri Allan said Rhythm and Vines would not go ahead if the Tairawhiti DHB did not reach 90 per cent vaccination in time, when projections are the DHB won’t get there until January 12.
“Putting all the uncertainty onto events promoters means events won’t go ahead. The Government is effectively saying ‘your event will probably be cancelled but if you want to try the risk is all on you.’
“Jacinda’s promise, if you want a summer, get vaccinated, is broken by default.
“People were promised a summer now they don’t even know if they’ll get an allocated time to leave town and if they do, there’ll be no events to go to anyway.
“ACT has long said the Government should underwrite a Major Events Insurance Fund to insure event promoters against losses specific to COVID restrictions. That would give them the ability to plan under Government-created uncertainty.
“ACT’s $50 million Major Events Insurance Fund would let organisers go ahead and plan summer events, without the fear of financial ruin.
“A similar fund has been set up in the UK and gives a security blanket to event organisers.
“The fund would be available to events that host 500 people or more. It would only be paid out if events are cancelled.
“We need things to look forward to, but why would promoters bother with all the uncertainty.
“ACT believes December 1 should be Freedom Day. By that date, everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated and we should open up and get on with life.”