Scanning My Vaccine Passes before entry has quickly become the norm at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre’s Box Office. Photo/SUPPLIED

Traffic lights, the upcoming festive season and an award – it’s been a busy month for the arts in Hastings.

There’s no slowing Hastings’ arts and culture facilities down as we’ve moved into the Covid-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system) this month. 

As mandated, Toitoi is now a Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate venue. The introduction of vaccine passes not only means we can continue to keep you, our audience, as safe as possible, but it also allows us all to continue doing what we do best – delivering high-quality, large-scale events for you and others in our community.

So now everyone over the age of 12 who comes into our venue – performers, crew and audiences alike – will need to have their Ministry of Health-issued My Vaccine Pass scanned before entry. There are no exceptions, so if you cannot provide a My Vaccine Pass, you will not be permitted entry to the venue.

In the orange setting, the use of vaccine passes allows Toitoi to operate at full capacity, with no physical distancing. Our hospitality offering can also restart. Cheers to that!

We still encourage you to wear your masks while in the venue, particularly if the event you’re coming to includes those under the age of 12, who are not eligible for vaccination. We all have a duty of care to continue protecting our most vulnerable at this time, so the Toitoi team will continue to wear their masks while at mahi.

Over at the Gallery, at this stage, you do not need a Ministry of Health-issued My Vaccine Pass to visit the Gallery during our normal opening hours, which are Monday to Saturday, 10am till 4.30pm and Sunday 1pm till 4pm. Masks and physical distancing are still encouraged and there is a limit of 50 people in the Gallery in the orange setting.

This is great news, as the Gallery is open all through the festive break – with some truly brilliant shows. So, you and your whānau can escape the Hawke’s Bay heat and experience the wonder of visual arts at the same time! Please note, the Gallery is closed on Christmas and Boxing Day, and will close slightly early at 3pm on Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.

Better yet, pop in and get your Christmas shopping done at Te Toa, the Gallery Store, at the same time. Support local artists and avoid shipping delays! There’s also no shipping delays on tickets to Toitoi’s shows, so if you’d rather go see a show, you can still give the gift of arts and culture this festive season!

We’re also looking ahead to January when there will be a weekend of events at the Gallery as part of the new exhibition, The Path, which opens on December 18. When an event/gathering is held at the Gallery (such as openings, floor talks and public programmes), the Government mandate around vaccine passes will apply. 

This means all visitors to the Gallery while those events take place will need their Ministry of Health-issued My Vaccine Pass scanned before they can enter. There are no exceptions to this.

In other news, I’m incredibly proud of the team at Toitoi, which was this month named the Event Venue Association of New Zealand Small Venue of the Year. It’s a huge honour to have our mahi recognised by our event industry peers, and is a great acknowledgement of all the hard work the Toitoi team has done to safely guide the venue and our community through a very tumultuous 12 months. They all work so hard, alongside you, our community, to make Toitoi as great as it possibly can be and I’m grateful to you all for making my job so enjoyable and rewarding.

I hope you have a wonderful, restful summer season with those you love most. We look forward to seeing you back in Hastings CBD, experiencing the best of arts and culture in 2022.

By Hastings District Council Arts & Culture Kaiwhakahaere/Manager Megan Peacock-Coyle.

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  1. The vaccine passport for large events is concerning as we now know the vaccinated are as likely to get and pass on Covid. Where is the government warning the vulnerable should avoid such events? One should truly consider before attending such gatherings with others and more so if Covid establishes itself in the Bay.

    1. Nita – there is something called individual responsibility- surely by now those that are vulnerable will be aware of this and take necessary precautions.

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