Pasifika 2020 has been cancelled.
The announcement was just made at Auckland Council following concerns raised by MFAT and MBIE. The Covid-19 Cabinet Committee met last night to come to this decision.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “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.”
More than 40,000 participants and visitors were expected to attend Pasifika this Saturday and Sunday at Auckland's Western Springs.
The festival is the largest annual Pacific Island cultural festival of its kind in the world featuring hundreds of local and international performers and artists.
The annual festival presents a wide variety of cultural experiences, including traditional cuisine and performances from Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Aotearoa.
It is the second consecutive Pasifika Festival to be cancelled.
Goff says, “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."
Since the announcement by the World Health Organisation yesterday saying that the Covid-19 outbreak is now considered to be a pandemic, it is yet to be determined whether Polyfest 2020, which is set to kick off next Wednesday, will continue.