16 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: Auckland's Polyfest cancelled

3:52 pm on 16 March 2020

Polyfest, which was due to take place this week in Auckland, has been called off due to worries about the spread of Covid-19.

ASB Polyfest performers in Auckland

ASB Polyfest performers in Auckland Photo: ASB Polyfest

Organisers, the Polyfest Trust, say they were advised by the Ministry of Health that the event was too big to trace any contacts of a confirmed case.

About 110,000 people normally attend the event, where schools compete in dance, music, costume and cultural speech.

The trust's chair, Greg Pierce, said they were exploring alternative options for assessing students' performances.

Earlier, Auckland councillor for Manukau Efeso Collins said people in the community were increasingly worried.

"Yeah, it's an absolute nightmare when you organise stages to go up but I think that nightmare is liveable if you know that you are not going to have serious health effects come out of holding the Polyfest."

Otara Health chairperson Efeso Collins.

Auckland councillor for Manukau, Efeso Collins. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

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