Rugby World Cup 2011

16 May 2011

Last week, information was released about Rugby World Cup 2011 'clean zones'. Businesses and residents around the Wellington Regional Stadium should be aware of the rules in these zones, but there are also rules that relate to the whole city.

The West Wolves are counting down to RWC 2011

Bunting that businesses can use during Rugby World Cup 2011

The Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEMA) provides a number of legal protections to guard against commercial exploitation of the tournament by unauthorised association. As you may have seen in media reports, no one except official sponsors can suggest any association with RWC 2011. Protecting sponsors' interests is a reality of attracting major events around the world.

The rules might sound scary but there's lots you can do to get involved. A handy guide to the MEMA shows what's acceptable, and is available online - view this guide:

Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand - Guide to the MEMA Act 2007 eBook

The MEMA places specific restrictions on advertising, street trading, and some other activities around the stadium (known as 'clean zones'), and along the main thoroughfares leading to it ('clean transport routes'), that will apply during 'clean periods'. These are especially focused on what's known as ambush marketing. The MEMA guide has maps and more information.

As with other aspects of the MEMA, there are still things people can do within the clean zone rules - they're not designed to unfairly impact on businesses.

The restrictions will not prevent existing businesses in the clean zone continuing 'business as usual' activities or dressing up their premises - as long as the changes don't unfairly suggest an association with RWC 2011.

The Act is mainly targeted at those who deliberately break the rules.

Some specific restrictions under the MEMA include:

  • Advertising in the clean zone, or that can be seen from within the clean zone (if it is not part of an existing business's usual signage). This includes advertising placed on any private property.
  • Street trading within the clean zone, other than by official RWC 2011 licensees.
  • Businesses in the clean zone selling different products or services than they'd usually offer - eg a car yard selling food.
  • Vehicles carrying branding or advertising that are parked or driven through the clean zone or along the clean transport route, unless they're going about their usual business - eg a courier company.
  • Distributing pamphlets, flyers or giveaways within the clean zone.
  • Putting up advertising signs in a clean transport route.

Derek Fry, the Council's Director for RWC 2011 and City Events, says people should be aware that existing bylaws and District Plan rules also apply. "For example, even if you comply with the MEMA, you still need to seek relevant permission for a food stall or street trading. Our staff will be enforcing bylaws and rules during the tournament, with a specific focus on the area surrounding the stadium."

The Ministry of Economic Development will also appoint officers to deal with breaches of the MEMA - they will have the power to seize or cover unauthorised objects such as advertising, and MEMA breaches can be a criminal offence, with fines up to $150,000 for serious offences.

A forum will be held next month for those affected by clean zones. Representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development and tournament organisers will be available to answer questions. Further details will be advertised closer to the date.

Sticking to the rules isn't that difficult, and we're encouraging businesses and residents across the city to join in the fun and show their support for RWC 2011. Watch this space for more information about dressing up the city and what you can do to get involved.