COVID Contingency Plan
OWASP New Zealand Day 2022
IMPORTANT NOTE: This plan is subject to change, in response to decisions by the NZ Government that alter the COVID Protection Framework (traffic light protocol), as well as any updates to the university’s event policies.
The OWASP New Zealand Day planning team recognise the importance of holding an in-person event, if possible. For this reason, we elected to go forward with planning on the assumption Auckland would be in COVID Alert Level 1 in February. We invited trainers to propose in-person or online training, as suits their circumstances and comfort level with in-person gatherings.
Since then, the New Zealand Government transitioned the country from the previous COVID Alert Levels to the current COVID Protection Framework (“traffic lights”). As of 17 January, Auckland remained at traffic light ‘Orange,’ and the first community case of the Omicron variant had been reported. In light of these circumstances, and acknowledging the generally poor response in training and conference registrations, the planning team made the ‘No-Go’ decision for our planned February dates, and we rescheduled the event to our alternate dates - Tuesday through Friday, 5-8 July 2022.
The conference will take place on the new dates, but the format of the event may be impacted by changes to the COVID Protection Framework’s rules and/or traffic light setting.
A key element of our plan is that all portions of the conference will be broadcast via live stream from a dedicated media site, so anyone concerned about taking part in person has the option to participate remotely, regardless of the traffic light setting. Similarly, we’re able to support a limited number of remote presentations, so we can accommodate speakers with similar concerns.
Disposable face masks and hand sanitiser will be made available throughout the conference, to help everyone stay safe.
Planned Conference Dates: Tuesday - Friday, 15-18 February 2022
- Contingency Dates: Tuesday - Friday, 5-8 July 2022
- Decision Points:
- 17 January 2022 (four weeks before the conference): Go/No-Go decision on planned conference dates - No-Go
- 7 June 2022 (four weeks before our contingency dates): Format decision for contingency conference dates
Decision Stage One - Planned Dates
- On 17 January, four (4) weeks before the planned beginning of the conference, if Auckland is at COVID Protection Framework (traffic light) setting ‘Red,’ or is reasonably expected to do so prior to the conference dates, the conference team will coordinate with AUT’s event management team to reschedule the conference to our contingency dates, 5-8 July.
- If Auckland goes into traffic light setting ‘Red’ after 17 January, but before the start of the conference (15 February), the conference team will immediately revert to the contingency dates.
- If such a decision is made, all stakeholders - sponsors, speakers, trainers, volunteers, and delegates - will be notified promptly by email, and public announcements will be made on the conference website and through social media channels.
Decision Stage Two - Contingency Dates
In the event the conference has been rescheduled to the contingency dates, the following strategy applies to the event on those dates. This strategy remains subject to change, if the New Zealand Government issues changes to event requirements under the COVID Protection Framework.
On 7 June, four (4) weeks before the beginning of the conference on its contingency dates, the conference team will review the traffic light setting in Auckland, as well as conference and training in-person registration numbers, and proceed as follows:
- If Auckland is at traffic light setting ‘Red’ as of 7 June, or goes into ‘Red’ between 7 June and 4 July, the conference team will coordinate with AUT’s event management team to modify the event’s format:
- The two main conference tracks will be reduced to one (1) room each, and the total in-person attendance at the event will be restricted to the level permitted by NZ Government rules and university policies (currently, a maximum of 200 participants, including delegates, speakers, and volunteers).
- Total in-person attendance for the Pre-Conference Training on Tuesday and Wednesday (trainers, trainees, and volunteers) will be restricted to the same in-person gathering limit, so some classes may be cancelled or moved online.
- If there are domestic travel restrictions (i.e., a ‘border’ around Auckland), speakers unable to travel to Auckland will be invited to present remotely.
- If the NZ Government modifies the event rules of the COVID Protection Framework, or the university updates its event policies, in such a way that an in-person event is no longer permitted, the conference team will transition the event to a fully online format:
- All speakers and session chairs will participate remotely.
- Main conference delegates will participate online only.
- Online training classes will proceed as scheduled.
- In-person training classes will be either cancelled or moved online.
- As the event will be entirely virtual, there will not be a Sponsor Exhibition Area or Delegate Lounge.
Decision Stage Three - During the Event
If the conference is underway, and the government announces a change in COVID Protection Framework setting and/or rules for Auckland during the event:
- Unless prohibited, we’ll finish out the current day’s programme. Any increased masking or physical separation requirements will be enforced immediately.
- The remainder of the event may be cancelled, if necessary to allow participants to make arrangements and get home before any travel restrictions go into effect.