New Zealand Entertainment Operators Association release media statement

Media statement from Senior Members of NEOA
(New Zealand Entertainment Operators Association)

We are dismayed by the press articles this week concerning the justified public outcry over the lack of ticket refunds in relation to the cancelled McLaren Valley Festival (which became Echo Festival).

NEOA, whose history dates back to 1965, was founded to assist its members in bringing greater efficiency and higher standards within the entertainment industry. Whilst never advocating over-regulation, NEOA has always been active in attempts to influence appropriate legislation to protect the interests of event patrons.

Our members are experienced professionals who abide by a code of ethics that hold the audience experience sacrosanct. None of our members condone poorly planned and executed events at the hands of a very few irresponsible people, nor work with ticketing companies who are unknown or not subject to New Zealand law.

Legitimate New Zealand Producers and Promoters have in the past, for various reasons, suffered event cancellations. In such cases full refunds are made to patrons from funds that are held in a secure or trust account, usually by the ticketing company on the Promoters' behalf.

New Zealand is one of the last bastions of free enterprise when it comes to promoting entertainment events. There is no regulation in this country to prevent anyone with the dream of successful event promotion from proceeding, selling through unknown or un-tested ticket companies, or from using ticket revenues paid in advance for their own purposes.

The Commerce Commission has created regulations to protect the interests of ticket purchasers, but we believe more work needs to be done to establish both the bona fides of new entrants in the event market, and especially new arrivals in the online ticketing business.

We adhere to an old adage "buy it from a recognised ticketer!"

Ian Magan - Chairman
Brent Eccles - Vice President
Manolo Echave - Treasurer
Robyn Alexander - Secretary

Executive Committee:
Louise Hunter
Tricia Macpherson
Ben McDonald
Layton Lillas