Dunedin events postponed to reduce Covid-19 risk

The Cancer Society said it had decided to postpone Relay For Life events scheduled between today...
The Cancer Society said it had decided to postpone Relay For Life events scheduled between today and April 6 over coronavirus concerns. Picture from the event in 2018. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The Dunedin City Council will not hold public events for more than 100 people.

The council today issued a statement saying while the Covid-19 outbreak has had a limited impact on its business-as-usual activities, it was taking a cautious approach.

Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said the Dunedin Heritage Awards ceremony, due to be held tomorrow night, had been postponed until further notice and staff organising smaller events would decide whether to go ahead on a case-by-case basis.

"We’ll keep people updated as this is a fast-changing environment,” Dr Bidrose said.

Council staff had spoken to the organisers of events the council supported, to make sure they were considering Covid-19 in their planning.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said core services would not be affected and for now the council's community facilities -- swimming pools, libraries, museums and galleries -- remained open.

"If facilities such as these need to close, we’ll do that in a co-ordinated, sensible way, in collaboration with other councils, led by central government."

Mr Hawkins also asked the community to look out for one another.

“This is a stressful time for a lot of people, in what are turbulent and unprecedented times. It’s more important than ever that we look out for each other and check in on older friends and whānau in particular,” he said. 

Relay for Life postponed

Dunedin's Relay for Life event has also been postponed.

In a statement posted on the event's Facebook page, the Cancer Society said it had decided to postpone Relay For Life events scheduled between today and April 6 over coronavirus concerns.

''We would like to thank all our event participants, volunteers and staff for the huge amount of work that has been done to plan and manage these events.

''We look forward to announcing new event dates when we can.''

The Dunedin event was due to take place on March 28 and 29 at the Caledonian Ground.

Oamaru festival cancelled

Oamaru's eagerly-awaited Harbour Street Jazz & Blues Festival has had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The festival has become an annual event each Otago anniversary weekend, filling Oamaru with lots of free performances from local, national, and international acts.

Co-ordinator Paula Gray said it was ‘‘such a gutting situation, but we have a social responsibility’’.

That made the cancellation inevitable, Mrs Gray said.

The festival could not be postponed, because no-one knew when it could be held in the future, she said.

Instead, the committee would work towards next year’s festival. Some of its plans could be carried forward, and the international performers were still keen to be involved, Mrs Gray said.

Mrs Gray said the organising committee, all of whom were volunteers, appreciated the ‘‘amazing’’ support from Oamaru.

Comments

""If facilities such as these need to close, we’ll do that in a co-ordinated, sensible way".
Sensible, since when has this 'council' been sensible?. Octagon closure, plastic flowers etc etc.

Quite convinced that the virus was concocted in a lab so the Council could stop stuff with impunity.

Just madness - if there is a perceived risk with 100 people gathering why allow 20,000 students to gather everyday - close the Uni

With many or at least some people frustrated about all the cancellations and especially the beloved sport events, I just hope that we take care to restrain those who may want to get nasty about this. Because they are personally "entitled" and frustrated and feeling denied, some may decide to take it out on wives or partners or on businesses and bosses and co-workers. Please don't!

We should be thankful that this virus is only lethal in about 2% of cases. Imagine if this had been a far worse virus to come out of China!

Perhaps when this is all over we will reconsider the absolute foolishness of open borders, globalism and tying our own economy and wellbeing so firmly to that of other countries.

In the meantime, we should be closing schools, University and council events. We're only two weeks behind Europe in likely cases, if that, and our hospital will not be able to cope if we don't.

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