No NYE celebration event in Octagon this year

New Year's Eve celebrations in the Octagon, Dunedin.
New Year's Eve celebrations in the Octagon, Dunedin.
The end of another Covid-19 afflicted year is set to pass with a whimper rather than a bang after the cancellation of the public New Year’s Eve celebration in the Octagon.

The Dunedin City Council today announced it was canning the popular event, citing Covid-19 gathering restrictions as the reason it was not going ahead.

Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said the cancellation would be disappointing for many revellers, if not exactly unexpected.

‘‘Unfortunately, we are still waiting for more detail about large scale outdoor events under the Government’s new traffic light system, and without that clarity we’ve had to make the difficult call to cancel this year’s activities.’’

Planned traffic management for the area, such as the closure of the lower Octagon to vehicles on the night, would remain in place however, as bars and clubs in the area would still expect to play host to partying throngs.

Christmas events have not remained unscathed, with the annual public tree lighting also scrapped.

Council staff have instead produced a short video which will be published online on December 9 to mark the occasion.

‘‘We hope the video will bring a little bit of Christmas into households to delight our youngest residents’’, Mr Pickford said.

The tree, which will start to be installed this Saturday, will be in a new location this year.

With the new Ko te Tuhono sculpture soon to be installed in the tree’s traditional spot, it will instead be installed on the pavement in the lower Octagon, near the fountains.

Decision on Queenstown and Wanaka soon

Meanwhile, a Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman said a decision would be made on New Year’s Eve celebrations in Queenstown and Wanaka soon.

The decision on the management of the events would reflect guidance from the Government and local considerations.




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