Coronavirus causes cancellations
by Andy Bryenton
Recent health precautions to help stem the tide of COVID-19 Coronavirus have seen many large events cancelled around the Kaipara, and across New Zealand. With any gathering in the hundreds now considered a potential vector for the spread of the disease which has thrown global markets into turmoil, organizers are erring on the side of caution.
Nationally, both the Central Districts Field Days has been cancelled, as has Waikato’s large balloon festival. The even bigger National Field Days at Mystery Creek is taking advice on an appropriate response. Central Districts Field Days organizers have issued the following statement:
“The event is deemed to be high risk due to the large number of people in close proximity; the possibility of exhibitors and attendees having recently returned from overseas; and importantly – the event being general admission.”
Locally, the Kaipara Truck Show has been cancelled, Whangrei’s Fritter Festival will no longer go ahead, the Dargaville River Festival has been postponed to October, and Kevin Friedrichs’ popular accordion concert tour has also been cancelled due to the threat of the virus. Paparoa School’s 150th birthday has also been put on hold, with a message of regret from school administrators:
“The 150th Committee feels it is our moral responsibility to postpone the event until the situation improves. We have not set a new date at this point. Everyone who has registered will be contacted and given a full refund. It is such a shame that this situation has occurred and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The Play in the Park day set for 29 March has also been postponed, Kai Iwi Lakes open day has been postponed, and Mangawhai’s beach and country market and the Kaiwaka movies have both been closed due to the crisis.
People have been advised to avoid large gatherings, leading to many music, cultural and sporting events acting with prudence and choosing the path of greatest public good. Please continue to check here for more updates on local and national cancellations, reschedulings and coronavirus preventative advice.