Hon TREVOR MALLARD (Minister for Sport and Recreation)
: I move,
That the Major Events Management Bill be now read a second time. Firstly, I would like to thank the Commerce Committee for the thorough work it did on the bill, and the people who made submissions to it.
This bill is designed to position New Zealand as an attractive destination for major events. It is a careful balancing of commercial and public interests, and the committee’s careful deliberation has resulted in a number of improvements to the legislation. It provides for a clear, predictable, and fair regime for dealing with ambush marketing issues, it accords with broader Government objectives of maximising the return to New Zealand of involvement in major events, and it positions us as a highly competitive and desirable destination for those events.
We will host the World Rowing Championships in 2010 and the Rugby World Cup in 2011, and we are to be the co-hosts of the Cricket World Cup in 2015. These kinds of events attract major audiences, and organisations will pay very, very significant sums to secure the rights to promote themselves and their goods or services in association with the event. In essence, ambush marketing describes the actions of companies or advertisers who are not official sponsors, who try to capture these benefits for themselves without the authorisation of the organisers. Many major sponsors now insist that there be protection against ambush marketing before they will commit to sponsor events, and it is common practice for organisers of major events to require ambush marketing protections to be implemented by jurisdictions as a condition for hosting the event. This sort of legislation has been introduced in other jurisdictions, including Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the West Indies.
Before recommending that an event is declared by Order in Council to be a major event, the Minister for Economic Development must consult the Minister of Commerce and the Minister for Sport and Recreation—the second one while shaving, presumably! The Minister must also take into account the specified criteria to determine whether the event is of international significance and will offer sufficient sporting, cultural, social, economic, or other benefits to New Zealand or New Zealanders. Only events that are of truly international significance will be protected under the bill. It would not apply to, for example, annual or regular events that New Zealand hosts as of right.
It was suggested by some people that the bill should apply to nationally important events that may not meet the current criteria—for instance, the Big Day Out concert, or the Super 14 rugby competition. But the committee opted not to do that, as it was critical that the protections in the bill not be overused, and that the threshold for declaring a major event remain high, and I thank the committee for that. The declaration of a major event will also specify the period of time for which the ambush marketing protections will apply.
Before I go into more detail, I want to stress what the bill does not do—there have been some very misleading comments, including from one member in this House—and correct the factually incorrect reportage on it. The bill does not prevent businesses from going about their normal, everyday activities, including their normal advertising. There are a range of safeguards and exceptions for existing rights and honest business practices. The bill does not impose a blanket ban on advertising within a 5-kilometre radius of a venue. It does not prevent people from wearing their personal branded clothing or taking other personal branded items to an event if the brand is not an official sponsor. And it does not introduce, or increase, the prison sentence for pitch invasion.
I say to Mr Locke, who has said the opposite regularly in an attempt to mislead the public, that this bill does not introduce or increase the prison sentence for pitch invasion. There is the same maximum jail term of 3 months that has always been there. It is the monetary penalty that has increased under the legislation. I do not know whether Mr Locke pretends not to understand or is really ignorant. I do not understand which approach he has taken, but he has been wrong time and time again. The member knows the penalty for disorderly behaviour is—
Keith Locke: Is pitch invasion a new offence or not?
Hon TREVOR MALLARD: The penalty for it is the same for disorderly behaviour, which is the current charge. The member knows that. He has probably been charged with it on a number of occasions. If he cannot remember, because he has been joining Tim Groser in too many sessions, then that is his problem.
The Commerce Committee has recommended a change to the bill to ensure that a person who pays for, commissions, or authorises infringing representation, and a person who receives consideration for the placement or location of the representation, are equally liable. It has proposed new exceptions for representations of personal opinion for no commercial gain, and that, I think, protects the media in the area of comment. Clean zones will consist of major event venues and areas immediately approximate to such venues, such as a road circulating a venue, or an adjacent car-park. Existing business advertising that is in accordance with honest business practices will not be banned. The clean period will be no longer than is necessary, and may, in some cases, be only for the day of the major event.
Also banned under the legislation is pitch invasion, and behaviour such as bottle throwing, which disrupts international sporting events, and creates potential for injury to participants, security personnel, and, in fact—as we have seen in incidents with cricket bats—the pitch invaders themselves. This behaviour can result in adverse media coverage and international sanctions for the sporting organisation or stadium owner. The behaviour will be punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, as is currently the case for disorderly behaviour, or a fine not exceeding $5,000, which is an increase.
The Major Events Management Bill is an important step in ensuring that New Zealand continues to be seen as a viable and attractive host country for events of major international significance. I commend this bill to the House.
GERRY BROWNLEE (National—Ilam)
: I am very happy to follow the Minister for Sport and Recreation this evening in making positive comments about the Major Events Management Bill. I did note one particular comment by the Minister that I think was a little unfortunate, but it probably leads me to say that had it not been for the National Party input on this bill, it would not be the fine piece of work that it currently is.
One of the great things about this bill is that it is essentially a celebration of what New Zealand can be, what New Zealand should aspire to, and what New Zealand can achieve. There are aspects here that some people have objections to, but if they were to really think about the best interests of this country, then many of those objections would fall to one side. I want to refer to a couple of the objections that have been mentioned by the Minister that I think deserve additional comment from us.
The first is the issue of ambush marketing. It would be putting one’s head in the sand for anyone to think that there are not commercial costs involved in running events such as the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup, or even the golden oldies cups, which are available in a range of sports, and for which thousands and thousands of people come to this country. I imagine that an event that took place a couple of years ago, the World Firefighters Games, would probably be captured by legislation like this. These
are events for which a lot of people choose to come to New Zealand, not only to participate but also to see what is happening. So the events are very, very important to this country’s economy, if we remember that we are now dependent on tourism for 40 percent of our domestic economy, when it comes to services and other ancillary arrangements around the tourism industry. So ambush marketing is a very important aspect of this bill, because none of these events take place without a cornerstone sponsor—without some organisation with international reach saying its reach can be expanded by virtue of its association with a particular event.
One of the interesting things during the select committee process was that a number of us were a little sceptical about the whole aspect of ambush marketing. We asked, I think, quite appropriate questions of those who were in support of the provisions in this bill, and were given answers that were more than adequate. The one that sticks in my head is the issue that was put in front of us around the last soccer world cup, where one airline had spent literally tens of millions of dollars promoting that event, making sure it was successful, and minimising the cost for all those many spectators who turned up to the games to watch those events and to enjoy the experience of such a big occasion in their country. But that airline was denied the full benefits of those many millions of dollars that had been put into sponsoring the event, by virtue of the fact that another airline chose to paint the nose of its plane in the image of a soccer ball. In other words, another airline associated itself with the event without facing any of the costs involved. That, we might say in relation to a sporting bill, is not cricket.
Essentially, the ambush marketing provisions in this bill make sure everybody—
Hon Trevor Mallard: A bit of a Hawke’s Bay approach, you’re saying to me.
GERRY BROWNLEE: It was a Cantabrian approach, actually, I tell Mr Mallard, and he will know what a fine province we are, and what a huge record we have, for playing cricket to the highest levels and with the greatest success against the rest of the nation and, indeed, many international touring teams. But that diverts me from the point.
The point is that if an organisation chooses to support an event, and the benefit of that choice accrues to a large number of people, the question arises as to why someone else should be able to piggyback on the back of that, and take benefit from it. The provisions in the bill around ambush marketing effectively deal with that situation. The idea that the corner dairy close to the venue that advertises a pie and Coke, as such shops always do, on the blackboard outside will be penalised under this particular legislation is quite wrong, and many extrapolations of that example are also wrong. The legislation is about a direct association with the event for that purpose.
I think, in that regard, the law that will now be put in place to deal with pitch invasion is extremely important, as well. Pitch invasion, although it may well be transgression on to the pitch, can also be in the form of an ambush marketing type of arrangement, where, for example, someone takes footage of the pitch, for a payment places it on YouTube, and it attracts many, many viewers. That would be equally wrong. In this case, also, if people choose to go to a venue and disrupt the activity that is taking place there, albeit for what they perceive to be some pretty important humanitarian reason, that transgresses against the wishes, the desires, and the rights of the many people who pay for tickets to go to the particular venue to enjoy a particular entertainment—in this case, whatever the major event might be. Therefore, I think it is appropriate that we have that particular provision in the bill.
I was fascinated by the Minister’s reference to bottle throwing, given the Minister’s past references to bottles and activities that might transpire. I say that in the context of a remark the Minister made that I found particularly unsavoury—his particular comment—but I will go no further than that.
One thing that was quite interesting to me, and to a number of other people on the select committee, was to learn how big these events can be for New Zealand. In the case of the Rugby World Cup, for example—and it would be true, I suspect, for the Cricket World Cup also, which will follow not too many years after it, and for any other events that will be captured by this bill—the size of the audience is enormous.
Steve Chadwick: The parliamentarians’ rugby game.
GERRY BROWNLEE: My colleague over there has mentioned the parliamentary rugby team, and I can tell her that a particular entry on YouTube at the moment is getting an enormous number of hits. I suspect that the person who is the subject of that particular piece of footage has a very big career in front of him, and I want to say publicly at this stage, to Graham Henry and his fellow selectors—my good friend Steve Hansen, my old teaching associate Wayne Smith, and of course Mr Henry himself—that I remain ever available, should they require those services.
Hon Trevor Mallard: Well, Somerville’s not looking good. If I were you, I’d be waiting for the call.
GERRY BROWNLEE: The member is right—Greg Somerville is not looking too good. Greg Somerville lives in my constituency. I am a huge fan of his, and I hope he makes a satisfactory recovery. I noticed over the weekend that Neemia Tialata, whom I also have a great deal of time for, is a little bit suspect, so we never know our chances in a big event like the Rugby World Cup!
But let me just get back to the point of the bill, and that is that this country spends an enormous amount of money—quite appropriately, in my view—trying to promote the tourism industry, which is now so much part of our economy. We celebrate the fact that we got through a rough period economically because of
The Lord of the Rings films, and I think that is good. But we must realise that the number of people who will turn on TV sets, go to the Internet, or go to any other media arrangement that allows them to view or to understand the Rugby World Cup is tens of thousands greater than the number who will ever watch
The Lord of the Rings, or ever take a look at many of the other sporting events this country is well known for.
All in all, this is legislation that, in my view, makes a positive statement about the future of New Zealand, and makes a huge contribution towards a sustained economy at the highest levels inside New Zealand. It also, I think, tells New Zealanders that we in this country can do what anyone else anywhere in the world can do, not only just as well but perhaps even better. National is delighted to support the bill. Thank you.
MARYAN STREET (Labour)
: I am delighted to follow the previous speaker, Gerry Brownlee, who was, of course, the chair of the Commerce Committee, which deliberated on this legislation.
The Major Events Management Bill has something for everybody. In the course of the select committee deliberation we had the concept of national identity and national reputation. We had the balance between civil liberties and protections for the public. We had the presence of commercial interests, and all the power they bring to bear. We had issues of confidentiality because of the highly competitive and commercially sensitive nature of some of the issues with which we were dealing. We even had a little farce in there, as well. There was humour, but there was a very serious purpose to this legislation.
I absolutely endorse the previous speaker’s comments about the ability this bill has to present New Zealand to the world, and to make us an attractive investment proposition for sponsors who have an interest in the way a major event is conducted. The key elements of this bill centre on four or five things. First, there is the process of determining which events will become major events. The Minister for Sport and Recreation referred to that in his second reading speech. Although we were petitioned
by submitters who said what about including the WOMAD festival or other annual or biennial national events or international events, the select committee chose to come down on the side of a fairly restrictive view, because the kinds of provisions that this bill sets out should not be enacted frequently, but should be there in the event that there is a particularly major international fixture that draws a lot of attention and a lot of tourists and attendees to New Zealand.
The second point that was a critical one, which the honourable member Gerry Brownlee commented on previously, was the issue about ambush marketing. This became a very interesting debate. The debate was about ambush marketing by association and ambush marketing by intrusion. Ambush marketing by association was just that kind of example that Mr Brownlee gave a moment ago, where somebody could ride on the coat-tails of others’ investment and capitalise by association, without having paid for, or invested in, the advertising programme. They could, by association, travel in on the coat-tails of other big investors and sponsors. Ambush marketing by intrusion, however, was a different proposition entirely. That will be traversed much more fully in the Committee stage of this bill. It gives rise to the notion of clean zones, clean transport routes, and clean periods for advertising. In other words, for a period of time an area around a venue and transport routes to the venue are demarcated by this legislation and are reserved, so that the integrity of the sponsorship arrangements that support and underpin the event can be observed and can be honoured.
Two other things that the bill provides for are a matter of some interest. One of them is the ticket-scalping protections. That was considered in detail by the select committee. We talked about the ways in which ticket-scalping might happen. Tickets could be advertised on TradeMe or another Internet vehicle, or a person could simply buy a lot of tickets, stand outside the venue prior to games, and make a huge profit, way over and above the cost of the tickets. That has become an offence under this bill, and anybody who commits an offence in this respect is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of up to $5,000—which is likely to be far more than any profit the person might have made out of the tickets that were bought up and sold off.
Beyond that, the other point I want to raise is the one about pitch invasion. There was a little exchange, earlier in the House, about whether pitch invasion was a new offence. Quite frankly, pitch invasion is a term that more appropriately describes the kind of offence that we are trying to proscribe in this bill. “Disorderly behaviour” was the title by which such an offence was prosecuted previously, but pitch invasion and its two definitions—that is, running on to a pitch or on to a playing surface, and throwing something on to it—make it absolutely crystal clear what is meant by pitch invasion.
This was a moment in the course of the select committee hearing where there was a bit of farce, because there was a submitter—and I say this with the greatest of respect to her—who came to defend her right to invade pitches. We heard her with a deal of respect, but I have to say her submission lacked content, and did not win our support. This celebrated pitch-invader clearly was the woman who had invaded a playing surface in the past, and then proceeded to make a lot of money on TradeMe by auctioning the little piece of clothing that she was wearing at the time of the pitch invasion.
Dr Richard Worth: Anywhere else, she’d be called an entrepreneur!
MARYAN STREET: She appeared before the select committee to defend her entrepreneurial right to do that. However, when we coupled the idea of pitch invasion with the idea of ambush marketing we on the select committee clearly came down on the side of ensuring that this became an offence, and was properly described as such in this bill.
This was a most interesting bill to hear. A wide range of submissions were heard and opinions canvassed in the course of that. What I am most proud of, I think, in the upshot
of this bill is that we have something that balances individual liberty and individual rights with legitimate protections for a major event—which, of course, we are looking forward to hosting in a very short time. Thank you.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: The next call goes to the National Party. Two speakers will share it, with 5 minutes each. The first will be select committee member Dr Richard Worth.
Dr RICHARD WORTH (National)
: I thank the House for the opportunity of talking on the Major Events Management Bill. I have a very short time to talk about a couple of issues that, I think, are of moment, and I do that, of course, to a crowded gallery and a hushed House. But is it not interesting that when we ran the America’s Cup in New Zealand, we did not see the need for this legislation. Yet the America’s Cup has to be one of the great sporting contests of all time, with all of the aspects around sponsorship, competition, and ambush marketing, which are seen as critical in this legislation.
I want to talk about three issues, for just a moment, in the context of the second reading of this bill, which National supports. The first is that we are seeing in this legislation, and it is pretty unusual in this Parliament, a legislative drafting style that is only starting to creep in. I think it is a good thing. What I am referring to, and there are several illustrations of this in the legislation, is the inclusion of examples in the body of the statute. For those members of the gallery who have copies of the bill in front of them, I direct their attention, for a moment, to an example in clause 21. On a tricky issue that took a lot of time in the select committee, there is an illustration of what might happen. It is set out in textual form on the face of the legislation. It is an example relating to “the clean zone and the clean period, as well as the clean transport routes and the associated clean periods, set out in the examples in section 15.” What the draftsmen have done—I think cleverly and appropriately, and what is not done in many other parliaments in the Western democracies—is to give an example.
The example states: “Example 1. Existing Business A carries on its business from a private building situated on private land on Stevens Street. Although the land is located within the overall parameters of the clean zone, because it is private land it has not been declared to be part of that clean zone. Existing Business A has a large billboard on the roof of its building advertising Existing Business A’s services. This billboard has been there for many years. The advertising on the billboard is clearly visible from within the clean zone. Existing Business A does not have the written authorisation of the major event organiser for this advertising.” The example concludes that “This is not a breach” of the relevant section.
Throughout this legislation there are these scattered examples. I say to members of the House that this is a great parliamentary drafting style. We have seen flow diagrams and now we are seeing examples in the legislation. In the context of quite technical issues—and tax would be the great one—the greater use of examples is clearly worthwhile.
The second thing I would like to note is a topic that I think the Commerce Committee found quite vexing, and I am glad that members of the Government are leaning forward to listen with interest to what I now say. It is about the issue of scalping; the issue of tickets and the deal where people buy tickets for the game at fair value then sell them at a substantial premium. This legislation outlaws scalping, and I am not, in my own mind, persuaded that that strikes the very best balance that might occur.
The final thing I want to say in the minute that remains to me—apart from acknowledging the incredible work that the Commerce Committee chairman, Gerry Brownlee, did in guiding the committee in its deliberations, and in offering, on those
very tricky issues where we were uncertain as to how to proceed, perhaps the beacon that would lead us to something that was truly worthwhile—is about an issue that I took charge of in the select committee. It relates to the aspect of enforcement. In the example I gave, I touched on clean zones, clean routes, and those sorts of issues, but what the legislation originally proposed was that officers who were acting under a warrant from the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Economic Development could go in and carry out enforcement activity. I instinctively felt that was wrong. I am delighted to see that a change has been made so that those enforcement aspects are done in the context of a police presence.
Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to talk on this important legislation, and to pay tribute to Mr Brownlee.
Dr WAYNE MAPP (National—North Shore)
: I am very pleased to be able to speak to the Major Events Management Bill. I had the opportunity of sitting in on the Commerce Committee on two separate occasions when the bill was being considered. The interesting thing about the bill, of course, is that nowhere does it actually refer to the Rugby World Cup, but everyone in the country, I suspect, knows why this bill is being considered.
The Major Events Management Bill is being considered because of the Rugby World Cup and, more particularly, the debacle that occurred in our country some 4 years ago when we missed out on co-hosting rights. One of the reasons we missed out on co-hosting rights was that our legislative framework was not strong enough for us to be able to, essentially, guarantee to the promoters of the Rugby World Cup that it could be run in a modern, professional way. Other countries had made these legislative adjustments, we had not, and the New Zealand Rugby Union was unable to give the undertakings that the international board required. Its members wanted to, but they found themselves contractually prohibited from being able to do so. It was and is imperative that as a nation we fix up this deficiency. Other countries have done so, and it is high time we recognise the reality of modern international competitions, if we want to host them effectively and provide the level of spectacle that is expected.
We heard on a number of occasions—from both the international board and the New Zealand Rugby Union—why it is so important that the brand of the event be protected, and that commercial organisations not be able to, in essence, piggyback on the huge investment that has gone into building the event and the promotion. A number of examples were given to us. The most notable one has already been referred to by Mr Brownlee, whereby an airline had a soccer ball painted on the nose of its aircraft, even though it had not paid any money to the international soccer federation for that privilege. Other promoters had put huge sums of money—admittedly, for their own commercial benefit—into promoting that event, and other people, commercial organisations, were coming along and effectively exploiting the event. That puts the financial viability of these kinds of events in jeopardy. New Zealand simply has to update its law to deal with that.
I know that the Green member Mr Locke is concerned about a very particular issue, which is that of pitch invasions. He is wrong; to invade a pitch is clearly a criminal offence—and it already is, effectively, under the disorderly behaviour provisions. It is surely better to have a specific offence, but with the same penalty, effectively, to cover that particular event. I know that a submitter came along and talked about what a spectacle it was, and so forth. But that is false, really. People do not go to see pitch invasions. They want to see the event. They do not want the game disrupted. It might be amusing to the participants, and it might briefly amuse the crowd, or at least a proportion of the crowd, but it is not what the event is, and we as a Parliament surely cannot be in a position where we facilitate that kind of activity. To seriously suggest
doing that, I would have to say, is effectively to endorse disorder. Maybe that is what the Green member wants. Maybe that is his view of freedoms and liberties. Maybe that is his style—let it all hang out, so to speak. Well, I say to the Green Party that it should grow up on this occasion and understand that there are bigger issues.
I want to close on this point. These major events seldom come to New Zealand. We have to really work hard these days to get them. We have to ensure that our legal system fits 21st century reality, so that we can host these events when, once every decade or so, we get the opportunity to host them.
RON MARK (NZ First)
: I rise to put on the record of the House the fact that New Zealand First is pleased to support the passage of the Major Events Management Bill, although I cannot help but notice a couple of ironies that really do need to be mentioned. Who would have thought that sport would bring sense to the National Party, curb its rabid desire for free markets, and actually have it impeding entrepreneurial ventures? Who would have thought the National Party would be moving to curb and block entrepreneurship? Who would have thought the Labour Party would now be condemning the 1981 pitch invasions during the Springbok Tour of New Zealand? Who would have thought that both those two grand old parties, which have ruled this nation alternately—hand in hand on occasion—would do the flip-flop of all flop-flips? Here we are talking about banning pitch invasions, yet so many Labour members of this Government proudly carry their badge as pitch invaders in the 1980s.