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Auckland Council Escalating Response To COVID-19

Mayor Phil Goff met this morning with the chairs and deputy chairs of Auckland Council’s four major committees and says that there was unanimous agreement that the holding of large gatherings should be reassessed as a precautionary measure.

“To date the Ministry of Health advice has been that the risk of community spread of the virus remains low. However, internationally we are seeing that cancelling large gatherings has been adopted to help reduce the spread of the virus. We believe that this needs to happen here,” Phil Goff says.

“I anticipate that there will be cancellations or scaling back of council events. We will make final decisions following the government’s announcement on nationwide gatherings.

“We have already conveyed to the Polyfest Trust over the weekend our strong view that Polyfest must be cancelled. While disappointing for those who have put so much effort into organizing and preparing for the festival, public health and safety must be the paramount consideration,” says Phil Goff.

Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee, Councillor Alf Filipaina, backed the decision. “It is important we act sooner rather than later to minimize the risk to people, both in New Zealand and the Pacific, from the effects of coronavirus and ensure that there is no further transmission—it’s about our community.”

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Ward Councillor Josephine Bartley also supported the decision. “In this instance we ask for understanding from the community as we know the children have been working hard for this but due to the seriousness of the current situation Polyfest needs to be cancelled. We are also reviewing all other major events that Auckland Council supports.”

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