Planning a party? You may need to check guests' vax passes

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Music, drinks, snacks and . . . a vaccine pass checker?

Hopeful party hosts will have another item to add to the to-do list after the Government revealed organisers of large private functions are bound by the same rules as businesses.

The Prime Minister's Department told the NZ Herald that, like businesses, if the organiser of a party or gathering chooses to use My Vaccine Pass under the new traffic light system, then they also have the obligation to check each attendee's My Vaccine Pass.

"The rules for gatherings under the Covid-19 Protection Framework also apply to private, in-home gatherings like parties, and, just like under alert level settings, anyone hosting a party will need to make sure they are aware of the rules and requirements."

The whole of the South Island will move to orange when the new traffic light system starts on Friday.

Under the orange and green lights, if vaccine passes are required at events, there is no limit. But if they are not used, a limit of 50 people will apply.

Areas under the red light using a vaccine pass requirement can have up to 100 people at a private home or dwelling.

And at venues under red, the same limit applies as long as physical distancing can be in place.

The Prime Minister's Department said if the organiser of the private function chooses not to use My Vaccine Pass, they will need to limit the number of people attending depending on which setting they are in.

As well as this, those caught using a forged, altered or fraudulently obtained vaccine pass can face up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $12,000.

Officials were asked what penalty would be in place for individuals hosting private events that do not check passes when required last night but did not respond.

However, last week the Government announced businesses that are required to - but refuse to - enforce vaccine passes could face fines of up to $15,000.

Anyone found not to be complying with an obligation to check attendees' My Vaccine Pass could be charged with an offence under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act. If convicted they would face up to six months' imprisonment or a fine of up to $12,000.

Under the red light only 25 people can attend events at a time if there is no vaccine requirement.

It comes as most of the upper North Island, including Auckland, prepare to shift to the red light on Friday under the new system.

Auckland, Northland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will all move into the highest level of restrictions once the new Covid-19 protection framework comes into effect, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

The rest of the North Island will move to orange. No regions will go straight to green.

What are the rules for orange?

Under the orange setting  scanning will be required, as will masks on flights and public transport, and in taxis, retail and public venues.

Public facilities and retail will be open with capacity limits and education providers will be open with public health measures in place. If vaccination passes are used, there will be no gathering limits.

If they are not used, limits of 50 people will apply. Hospitality businesses not requiring passes will have to operate contactlessly.  Close-contact businesses such as gyms can only operate with vaccination passes.

What are the rules for red?

At red, action is to protect at-risk people and the health system from an unsustainable number of hospital admissions.

Scanning will be required, as will masks on flights and public transport, and in taxis, retail and public venues. Public facilities will have a 100-person limit, and retail will be open with capacity limits.

Working from home will be encouraged. Education providers will be open with public health measures in place. The vaccine pass will be required at tertiary institutions.

Specified outdoor events will be allowed with capacity limits. If a business, organisation or service does not require proof of vaccination, restrictions apply. Hospitality will be contactless if the business does not require vaccination passes, and gatherings will have limits of 10. Close-contact businesses such as gyms can only operate with vaccination passes.

Vaccination progress


Partially vaccinatedPartially vaccinated %Partially vaccinated to 90%Fully vaccinatedFully vaccinated %Fully vaccinated to 90%Population
Counties Manukau446,40092%0417,73487%16,762482,773
Bay of Plenty194,45490%793174,45080%20,797216,941
Hawkes Bay132,04191%0119,30182%11,713145,571
Capital and Coast258,096>95%0243,89090%167271,174
Hutt Valley120,68693%0111,78986%5,426130,239
Nelson Marlborough123,53891%0113,56984%8,600135,743
West Coast24,54388%57221,91579%3,20027,906
South Canterbury47,70291%044,10084%3,22652,584
Overseas / Unknown2,83917%12,6172,54215%12,91417,173
New Zealand3,881,07292%0*3,595,98485%192,167*4,209,057
All DHBs to 90%  28,135  200,303 

Source: Ministry of Health
* Note that the New Zealand doses to 90% may not be a sum of the rows above. This is because any DHBs that exceed 90% will contribute additional doses to the national total, offsetting the doses required in other DHBs.
Partially/fully vaccinated % are the number of partially/fully vaccinated people divided by the eligible population. Partially/fully vaccinated to 90% are the number of people required to reach 90% of the eligible population. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number, so may show 90% with a small number of doses still remaining.






Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter