News and Updates

COVID-19 INDUSTRY UPDATE: Defined spaces' at Red setting, & financial support

24 January 2022

Red Setting for all of NZ

Today's move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF), while not entirely unexpected, is nonetheless earlier than expected.

This represents a significant blow for our sector as our understanding during the CPF consultation with DPMC in 2021 was that the country would move to the red setting when "action was needed to protect the health system - system facing an unsustainable number of hospitalisations".

The question on everyone's minds of course is how many weeks will we remain at red?

In the meantime, it's important you are across the event rules at this setting and the financial support available to you as a business and also if you need to cancel your event. 

Defined spaces at the Red setting

With all of New Zealand now in the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework ('Traffic Light System'), it's important to note the recent update to the 'Events at Red' guidelines allowing events to use defined spaces to accommodate multiple groups of 100 at an event. The below is pasted from the COVID-19 website:

A defined space is a single indoor or outdoor space separated from other spaces. If your venue has multiple defined spaces, you should make sure as much as possible that groups do not mix. This will limit the potential for the virus to spread among groups.

What this looks like in practice may vary. For example, it could mean making sure you have separate entrances for shared areas, or stagger start times. It might also mean you make sure that groups use different bathrooms or service counters, and that they do not mingle in entrance ways and foyers.

Capacity limits are based on the maximum number of people who could occupy the space if each person was 1 metre apart. In some cases a maximum number is also specified. The limits include everyone, including children, in a defined space, except workers.

Financial Support

  • Current financial support for businesses are yet to understand from MBIE what sector-specific support may be in place going forward.

  • ETSP (Events Transition Support Payment)

The move to the Red setting will see some events eligible for payment under the Events Transition Support Scheme. You can learn more about the scheme, process and eligibility here. Please also refer to our ETSP Q&A spreadsheet. If you have questions not covered by the online information and the Q&A, please email 

The ETSP scheme is currently in place for eligible events planned for up to 3 April. With Parliament due to resume, we will shortly be asking Minister Nash about ETSP support beyond this date.

  • Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme

Manatū Taonga's Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme is a fund of up to $22.5 million designed specifically to support Arts and Culture events that cancel because an area is put into ‘Red’.  

Kia kaha, 

Ségolène de Fontenay
General Manager, NZEA