As festivals gear up for the summer season, the desire for fully vaccinated attendees is gearing up too.
Festival organisers are calling on the Government to introduce infrastructure which will allow them to make sure patrons are fully vaccinated - with one saying it's "just an extension of health and safety".
Welcome to Nowhere is a "boutique" festival, to be held in February 2022 just outside Whanganui. The festival will have a capacity of 800 people and curator Joel Manu Cosgrove says in 2022 it's their goal that all of those are vaccinated.
However, unless the Government assists, there's little legal leg to stand on. Cosgrove says as it is, they're relying on an "honesty policy" from attendees.
Vaccine passports are currently in development from health officials and will be available via a new app in just under a month, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said on Tuesday.
Cosgrove says the requirement for vaccination would be part of the regular checks and balances any festival goes through.
"We see it as an extension of our health and safety policies as well as being part of the wider effort to mobilise and increase vaccination rates. We're just doing our little bit."
Cosgrove says the festival will work alongside any infrastructure that is announced if and when it happens – but it's clear vaccination is a "core element" of festival season in the Covid era.
"Jacinda [Ardern] has been very clear that she wants the summer festival season to happen and especially looking at overseas trends [vaccination] looks to be a core element."
He expects the policy will have a high buy-in from attendees, and while people are entitled to their own opinions, festivals are "a luxury".
"We need to organise it in a way that keeps people as safe as possible – people are entitled to their opinions fundamentally but we haven't had any negative feedback so far."
"We're a little festival and we have a very high buy-in from the people coming so I wouldn't imagine it's too big of an ask in terms of facilitating that – we've got a good bunch of people who come."
As the entertainment industry struggles to get back on its feet after a punishing two years under Covid, Cosgrove says vaccination should be viewed as part and parcel of health and safety.
"I think it's the same as any other element of health and safety and general Covid protocol – it's the cost of doing business
"We're lucky to be able to be open, to have made it through last summer pretty open. I think it's our responsibility, especially the entertainment industry wanting to get back on its feet again, to push it forward."
Ardern has been vocal about vaccination and how crucial it is to the health response. A 90 per cent vaccination rate could be enough to end lockdowns.
It could also lead to more people self-isolating at home, shorter isolation periods and borders reopening from next year including slowly reintroducing international students back into the country.