Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


World Final Of Kids’ Lit Quiz Due To Be Held In NZ Cancelled Due To Coronavirus

The World Final of Kids’ Lit Quiz, due to be held in New Zealand in July, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The world’s brightest young readers were due to descend on Southwell School in Hamilton in July, however the threat of COVID-19 is such that organisers felt they could not proceed safely.

Kiwi quizmaster Wayne Mills started Kids’ Lit Quiz in a Hamilton community hall nearly 30 years ago and it has since grown to become the world’s largest literary event for children with heats across 11 countries.

The decision to cancel this year’s final was not made lightly, he says.

“This is the most difficult decision the Kids’ Lit Quiz New Zealand Board has ever had to make. We are hugely saddened by what has happened, but developments around the world have made it clear that hosting a World Final is simply too high a risk at this time. Our first priority is keeping the children, their families, the coaches, the community and New Zealand safe.”

Mills says with COVID-19 spreading more widely there would have been the prospect of teams needing to be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival in New Zealand.

“Staying on at the boarding school where we were to be accommodated is not an option. The school requires the boarding house for their students who will be returning for the school term just two days after we were scheduled to depart.”

Parents had also expressed concerns about the virus and travelling during this period.

“We would have had children arriving from five continents, all exiting through different airports and all being potentially exposed to the virus and bringing it in to New Zealand,” says Mills.

The cancellation of other major events around the world was taken into consideration.

“We were concerned that if the COVID-19 situation worsened then cancellation would have had to have been made at a much later stage and at considerable expense. In light of so many other events being cancelled and postponed worldwide, it is prudent to make this decision now.”

Postponement was not an option due to the differences in school year between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

The national competition in New Zealand will still go ahead, however, with the first three of 14 heats completed in the South Island last week. The next round of heats begins in Northland on April 29 and the national final will go ahead in Wellington as planned on June 7.

Competitions have already been completed this year in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada, United States, Nigeria and South Africa and other national competitions are still going ahead, with the Australian competition getting under way on March 13.

The Wright Family Foundation is the main sponsor of the New Zealand event and, for the third time since 2016, was financing the competitors’ accommodation, meals and excursions for the World Final in New Zealand.

CEO Chloe Wright says she feels a great sense of disappointment and grief for all who have worked so hard to make this World Final happen in New Zealand.

“We are all so proud to have the final in our country and from what I hear this is a favourite destination for the students and their supporters. The only decision that could be made, was made and we will all grieve and move forward.

“However, as in love, when we are left disappointed or exhausted, that is not a reason not to pick ourselves up and look to a better future. For me, Kids' Lit Quiz is a beacon of light spreading a glow over what is possible when children learn to love reading.”

Kids’ Lit Quiz encourages students aged 10-13 years to read for pleasure, widening their range of books and celebrating their knowledge.

Schools enter a team of four students who read their hearts out and train like athletes to compete in their regional final. The teams are asked questions from all forms of children’s literature, ranging from classics to the contemporary, from nursery rhymes to comics, and from folk tales to myths.

The event is huge fun and competitors are at the top of their field - kids who were “born to read,” says Mills.

“Kids still love books. As the pull of social media and other distractions is stronger than ever, reading can get overlooked and the value of reading for pleasure diminished. Kids’ Lit Quiz gives readers something to aim for and recognises their passion.”

Additional information:

Remaining heats of the New Zealand heats of Kids’ Lit Quiz will be held in: Northland (April 29), Auckland (May 4) Bay of Plenty (May 5) Waikato (May 6), Nelson/Marlborough (May 8), West Coast (May 11), Canterbury (May 13), Wellington (May 19), Manawatu (May 20), Hawke’s Bay (May 22), Taranaki/ Whanganui (May 28.) National Final: Wellington (June 7)

More detailed information about the heats can be found at www.kidslitquiz.com.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Leadership (And The Lack Of It) Looks Like

Leadership is an intangible quality, but most New Zealanders will be thanking their lucky stars for what’s being provided by PM Jacinda Ardern and Ministry of Health Director-General Ashley Bloomfield. On a daily basis, both have been clear and decisive about the rationale for the policies they’re pursuing and - by and large - they’re managing to re-assure the public, and yet prepare them gradually for the bad times and challenges to come...More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Government: Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2

New Zealand has been moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Reduce Contact, in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today... More>>


COVID-19: Business Response Package

Cabinet today approved the development of a Business Continuity Package to help support the economy through the disruption caused by COVID-19. “New Zealand is well-placed to respond to COVID-19. More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>


Land, Air And Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade

Regional New Zealand will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy. As part of the $12 billion ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels