With the biggest sporting event in New Zealand’s recent history opening today it only seems appropriate to mention some of the legal issues surrounding it. The Major Events Management Act came into force in 2007, just before the last Rugby World Cup began in France. Broadly, the purpose of the Act is to ensure that major events run smoothly with a focus on preventing unauthorised commercial exploitation at the expense of either a major event organiser or sponsor. Section 8 of the Act authorises the Governor General, on recommendation from the Economic Development Minister (EDM), to allocate an event emblem as well as ‘major event words’. The EDM will then take into account the extent and the period during which these need protection. During the ‘protection period’ of the event, any representation made suggesting that a product, service, brand or person is associated with the major event is prohibited by section 10. Sections 16-24 outline the regulations concerning ‘clean zones’ and ‘clean transport routes’ (also allocated by the EDM), meaning the event area, its surroundings all other areas which are necessary for the activity to occur. Unauthorised street trading and advertising are prohibited with these zones, as well as advertising from outside of the zones, which is clearly visible from within. So, let’s hope we’ve got the systems in place for a World Cup without any hitches. It will be interesting to see whether or not any disputes arise. But with all that said and done, go All Blacks!
By Chris Patterson