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A statement released by band members Lars, Kirk, and Rob reads:
"We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.
"As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again."
The band says it is their full intention to "make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We'll let you know as soon as we can."
"Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who often travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James and, as always, thank you for being a part of our Metallica family."
Tickets will be fully refunded via Ticketmaster for both the October 31 and November 2 shows at Mt Smart Stadium. Those who booked online or over the phone with a credit card will be refunded automatically over a five day period.
Concert organisers Live Nation are reportedly working with the band to secure a new tour period for New Zealand and Australia, where shows are also cancelled until further notice.
Further details on refunds are also available at livenation.co.nz.