INDEPENDENT NEWS

Pasifika Festival Cancellation

Published: Fri 13 Mar 2020 10:56 AM
Pasifika Festival has been cancelled as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
The decision was made after discussions between Mayor Phil Goff and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday and again this morning.
Overnight, the COVID-19 Cabinet Committee met and considered the issue, and its advice, based on concerns from MFAT and MBIE, was to cancel.
“While the latest Ministry of Health advice is that New Zealand does not have a community outbreak of COVID-19 and the risk of a community outbreak remains low, Auckland Council and the Cabinet Committee’s specific concerns are about the risk of the virus being transmitted to the Pacific Islands by attendees of the Festival,” Mayor Goff said.
“The history of the spread of contagious infections from New Zealand to Samoa, with last year’s measles epidemic which took 82 lives, weighed heavily on our decision.
“It is disappointing for all of us as Aucklanders, and particularly for our Pacific communities, that the festival will not be going ahead this weekend,” said Phil Goff.
“It’s unfortunate to have to cancel an event enjoyed by tens of thousands which celebrates our vibrant Pacific community in Auckland and our multiculturalism.
“However, Aucklanders will understand the council taking commonsense steps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
“It’s particularly disappointing to have to cancel the event for the second year in a row, but in both instances, it is for reasons beyond our control.
“Council is continuing to monitor the response to coronavirus and is ready to respond to any advice from health authorities to help them share their information and manage any health needs in the Auckland region.
“The future of other public events will be determined on a case-by-case basis, following advice from health authorities and the situation with COVID-19 at the time.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “We’re disappointed, but at the end of the day the health of New Zealanders and the Pacific community is our number one priority.
“We still have no community transmission, but because of new specific advice about the number of people coming into New Zealand for Pacifika who will then return to the Pacific after the event we have decided we need to be extra precautious.
“We have a duty to protect the Pacific from COVID-19, and this decision is all about that.
“We are constantly evaluating the risk situation with COVID-19. In the last 48 hours we have had the first identified case in the Pacific and the global outlook is constantly evolving, so we need to make these decisions based on the most up to date information.
“This is a case of better safe than sorry. I know many in the Pacific community will be disappointed, and I am too. I always look forward to this event. But we have to make sure our communities health and the health of the Pacific is at the forefront of our minds and decisions,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Next in New Zealand politics

Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics
By: New Zealand Government
On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon
By: Gordon Campbell
National Selects Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate
By: New Zealand National Party
Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
By: New Zealand Government
Speech: Ardern - Let’s Keep Moving - 2020 Election Campaign Launch
By: New Zealand Labour Party
On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme
By: Gordon Campbell
Democracy 2.0 Delivered In Aotearoa NZ: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech
By: The Scoop Editors
Overall, 82% Trust Pandemic’s Management – Down From 91%
By: Horizon Research Limited
National Releases 2020 Party List
By: New Zealand National Party
How Judith Collins stopped the bleeding
By: Horizon Research Limited
Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms
By: TVNZ
30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs
By: Horizon Research Limited
Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach
By: State Services Commission
New Zealand suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
By: New Zealand Government
WasteMINZ Pleased To See Phase Out Of Single-use Plastic Items
By: WasteMINZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media