New Level 2 guidelines mean you’ll have to take attendance at flat parties. Hon Chris Hipkins said last week that any places where “people gather consistently and in large numbers” must abide by attendance-keeping rules. This means scanning in, signing in, or whatever other method you may use.
Indoor venues like bars or nightclubs are capped at 50 people, while outdoor venues can accommodate twice that. Dancefloors are prohibited. Your flat parties, so long as they remain under 50 people, do not fall into this category. And if they did, your yards may classify you as an “outdoor venue”, pushing your limit up to 100.
On the other hand, if you’re not popular enough to have “consistent” gatherings of people, you may be exempt from this rule. Nice one, losers.
Critic reached out to Sign Up Club, who were keeping party attendance way before it was cool. Reid, the Club’s founder, said that “it feels good to be a pioneer. I knew the Government was gonna come around eventually, once they saw things my way.” Sign Up Club quickly attracted over 6,000 members before imploding earlier this year. “It’s just in the ether now,” said Reid.
But the Club’s legacy lives on, in a way, under these new Level 2 guidelines. Convincing students to follow protocol may be a challenge, but Reid had some tips for encouraging students to sign in. After all, he managed to get 6,000 people to do exactly that.
“You have to create a sense of urgency. You need to tell them that they need to sign this paper, right now, that it’s very important. They don't need to know anything else.”
Reid wasn’t a big proponent of QR codes. While they may be effective at official venues, at a flat party, he didn’t find them to be much use. “Nothing beats a good ol’ pen and paper. I think QR codes kinda destroy the novelty of signing up, because with paper, you get to see all the names, all your friend’s names. You feel like you're a part of it. QR codes just feel like you're another cog in the machine.” It was this physicality that made the sign up process so exciting.
Reid laughed at the idea of mandatory sign-ins at all parties. “Oh look, the Government comes crawling back to us. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, aye?” He said that the joke was on them, though: “They just played right into our hands. We just signed up the whole of New Zealand.”
A COVID 19 Group, DPMC spokesperson clarified that “a party held at a flat would need to have measures in place” to allow contact tracing, and that indoor and outdoor groups should remain separate. “This is the legal responsibility of the event organiser.” However, they also noted that “if the gathering was small and everyone attending knows every other person and could identify them if needed for contact tracing, then further record keeping is not required.” While it’s true that anyone can create a custom QR code for such an occasion, Reid maintains that physical sign-in sheets are “exciting, exhilarating”.