Last updated: 21 July 2022

As promised earlier this year, and approaching 30 days until the event, the NZGDA board have revisited our processes and plans for the upcoming conference. 

In doing so, we have sought guidance from our government partners and stakeholders, other industry event organisers, our professional conference organisers “The Conference Company”, as well as taking on board feedback from our members and event ticket holders.

Government Restrictions

We can only proceed as planned with NZGDC22 while the official guidance level remains unchanged (Orange Traffic Light Setting) for events indoors.

At this level there is no capacity limit on indoor events that have controlled access (e.g. ticket entry). 

Mask Wearing

The official requirements are that workers and volunteers must wear masks indoors at events. In order to keep our community as safe as possible, we have made the decision to make mask wearing mandatory inside for attendees of NZGDC and associated events:

We will provide disposable masks for our attendees.

The exception to this rule will be those who carry mask exceptions for medical or similar reasons. Please be kind and respectful in our interactions with each other as we look after the health and wellbeing of all who attend the conference.

We thank everyone for considering the health and comfort of our fellow community members in wearing a mask indoors, unless eating or speaking at a microphone. This way, we can enable as many people as possible to feel that they can safely join us.

Wellbeing Best Practice

Health recommendations remain focussed on slowing the spread of the virus by keeping up healthy habits, such as hand washing and staying home when sick.

While the venue limits our ability for extra spacing at times, we will stream keynote speeches into other rooms to enable audience spread. We have also been assured of Te Papa’s ventilation systems:

Te Papa’s HVAC system has been completely replaced over the last 3 years.  New Chillers, water cooling towers, fan coil units and upgraded mixing boxes.  Te Papa operates with 10% fresh air and 90% recycled air.   Both the fresh air and recycled air are filtered through pre-filters, primary filters and carbon filters.  Our pre filters are replaced annually, our primary filters are replaced biennially and our carbon filters are replaced triennially.  All three classes of filters were replaced last year with the pre-filters being replaced again this year.   This combination of filters removes particulates down to 0.1um.

The bulk of the building receives between 6-8 air changes per hour with specific areas such as toilets and workshops receiving up to 12 air changes per hour.

Recent air quality testing confirms that Te Papa has an Air-class of between ISO7 and ISO8.

In order to encourage best practice hygiene practices, in addition to providing masks for attendees, we will provide hand sanitisers throughout the venue.

We encourage anyone who feels at risk of spreading illness before travel and attendance, to RAT test if possible.

Ticket Refunds

We have also changed the usual ticket refund policy. NZGDC ticket holders who become unwell – even if you have not yet tested positive Covid – are encouraged to stay home and your ticket refund will be processed in full.

We have invested heavily in AV support before, during and after the event, to enable any speaker who becomes ill or is otherwise unable to attend in person, to continue to be part of our programme and share their expertise in a safe and healthy way. 

Most of our talks and panels will be available to consume for free on our YouTube channel post-event, unless speakers have expressly asked us not to.

Achieving Our Goals 

While some events have chosen to move to virtual/streamed delivery, we are mindful of the goals of our annual event – the main benefits to many include coming together for connection, celebration, networking and friendship. 

We also respect our core partners from 2022-2024, Wellington NZ and their goal of bringing people to their city. 

Many, many hours of time, dedication and passion go into making this 4-day conference happen. However, should we feel we cannot, in good faith and on expert advice, safely proceed, we will look to postpone the event, and work with our speakers, attendees, sponsors, staff and volunteers to try and minimise the impacts.

With all of that in mind, we continue to bring NZGDC22 to life. We hope that you will feel able to join us, and that it will continue to be a valuable and cherished week in the annual calendar of our industry.

The above is subject to change, given the ever-changing nature of this virus.

The NZGDA board will monitor the situation closely as the conference approaches and update our community if our course of action changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at events@nzgda.com and we will try to respond as soon as we can.

© 2022 New Zealand Game Developers Association