Auckland's Pasifika Festival has been cancelled amid concerns about the risk of the virus being transmitted to the Pacific Islands by festival attendees.
Watch the announcement here:
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the decision to cancel Pasifika was made after discussions with the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Samoan High Commissioner.
Overnight, the Covid-19 Cabinet Committee met and considered the issue, and its advice was to cancel, based on concerns from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
"While the latest Ministry of Health advice is that New Zealand does not have a community outbreak of Covid-19 and the risk of a community outbreak remains low, Auckland Council and the Cabinet Committee's specific concerns are about the risk of the virus being transmitted to the Pacific Islands by attendees of the Festival," Goff said.
"The history of the spread of contagious infections from New Zealand to Samoa, with last year's measles epidemic which took 82 lives, weighed heavily on our decision.
"It is disappointing for all of us as Aucklanders, and particularly for our Pacific communities, that the festival will not be going ahead this weekend," he said.
Ardern said the future of other public events will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
"We're disappointed, but at the end of the day the health of New Zealanders and the Pacific community is our number one priority," she said.
"We still have no community transmission, but because of new specific advice about the number of people coming into New Zealand for Pasifika who will then return to the Pacific after the event we have decided we need to be extra precautions.
"We have a duty to protect the Pacific from Covid-19, and this decision is all about that.
"We are constantly evaluating the risk situation with Covid-19. In the last 48 hours we have had the first identified case in the Pacific and the global outlook is constantly evolving, so we need to make these decisions based on the most up to date information.
"This is a case of better safe than sorry. I know many in the Pacific community will be disappointed, and I am too. I always look forward to this event. But we have to make sure our communities health and the health of the Pacific is at the forefront of our minds and decisions."
The Pasifika Festival was due to start tomorrow and expected to draw 60,000 people at Western Springs at the weekend.
More than 400 local and international artists were on the cards to perform.
MP Carmel Sepuloni said the government fully endorsed the decision of Auckland Council.
"We are sad that this decision had to be made but we believe it is the responsible decision," Sepuloni said.
It was also cancelled last year because of security concerns after the 15 March Christchurch mosque attacks.
Auckland secondary schools' dance festival Polyfest starts next week, running from from Wednesday to Saturday.
Saturday is the most important as it's the day the top tier schools compete and last year it was cancelled.
There have been no announcements about cancelling Polyfest.
And in a statement, Ardern said the future of other public events will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Goff said today's announcement did not mean all large gatherings across Auckland will be cancelled.
He said the risk of transmission in NZ and in Auckland remained low.
So far all five cases on Covid-19 in New Zealand have been in the Auckland region.
Yesterday marked the fifth straight day of no further confirmed cases of the virus in New Zealand.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the numbers New Zealand stay at five confirmed cases and two probable cases.
Dr Bloomfield said two cases that required hospitalisation were now recovering at home.