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Major Events in 2017

New Zealand hosted three major sporting events in 2017.

Major Events Management Act

All of these sporting events were declared ‘major events’ under the Major Events Management Act.

The Act protects the rights of event organisers and official sponsors so they can benefit from their investment in a major event. The Act primarily prevents businesses that aren’t sponsors from claiming an association with a major event.

Sponsorship is essential for these events to thrive - in return for supporting the events, sponsors get exclusive rights of association.

What you can and can’t do under the Act

‘A Guide to the Major Events Management Act 2007’ [3.4MB PDF] is full of great advice for businesses wondering what the Act means for them. A few common examples are set out below.

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Clean zones

For events that have had ‘clean zones’ declared, the Act provides special protections within the areas where the events take place. This means designated areas must be free of unauthorised advertising or any other promotional or sales activities during a certain period of time. Some examples are pictured below.

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Benefiting from major events 

Even though there are some restrictions on what businesses can and can’t do, businesses can still benefit from a major event. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend each major event, which is likely to have a positive impact on retail and other sectors.  Major events like these are likely to increase retail sales because of more tourism and boost trade as a result of the country’s high profile from these events.

Similar protections were in place for the Rugby World Cup 2011 and had little impact on businesses trading as usual. 


More information 

For business wanting to know how to comply with the Act there is practical advice in ‘A Guide to the Major Events Management Act 2007’ [3.4MB PDF].  The Guide was developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and provides detailed examples of the dos and don’ts under the Act.

As it is not possible to address every situation in this Guide, these examples are intended to provide general guidance only. If you have any concerns about the application of the Act in a particular situation, please seek legal advice.

You can access the Major Event Management Act 2007 on the NZ Legislation website.

Last updated 15 March 2018