In his nearly 30 years of tattooing, Stacey Drummond of Impressions in Ink says the vaccine passes were something he never saw coming.
"I don't think anyone would have thought something like this would happen."
Stacey has been operating out of his Stratford tattoo studio since 2009. As a close
proximity service (services that cannot be undertaken without close proximity of less than one metre between people, that generally require 15 minutes or more), Stacey is required to be fully vaccinated.
"It was a pretty easy choice for me to get vaccinated to protect myself, my family and community."
To operate at all levels, the vaccine pass is required by customers. At red and orange, businesses that require customers to show their vaccine pass can operate with public health requirements in place. Without the pass, close proximity services cannot operate until green.
At all levels, signage must be displayed telling customers whether they require a My Vaccine Pass and workers must have a clear understanding of vaccine pass requirements.
They must also display the NZ Covid Tracer app QR code, and undertake record-keeping for contact tracing purposes. If businesses require a vaccine pass they must sight all customers' My Vaccine Pass and verify a reasonable number.
"I'd have to shut the doors until green. The business wouldn't survive and I've put too much time and effort into keeping the business running to just lose it like that."
Stacey says during his time tattooing he has built a supportive client base and that support has never wavered.
"I haven't had any complaints of the My Vaccine Pass rules, everyone's been understanding. They know this is a rule and what we have to do."
He says a few people have had to cancel their tattoo appointments, and have told Stacey they'll get the vaccine so they can get their tattoo.
"Getting a tattoo isn't the right reason to get vaccinated. It's about protecting yourself and your family but at least they're taking that step to keep themselves and others safe."