24 Apr 2020

Covid-19 will disrupt NZ hosting APEC forum and leaders' summit

12:10 pm on 24 April 2020

The government says the pandemic will disrupt this country hosting the APEC economic forum and leaders' summit next year.

The flag of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC.

Photo: 123RF

Up to 20,000 visitors had been expected at events throughout the year.

The pandemic has forced this year's APEC host, Malaysia, to delay meetings already though it says the leaders' summit in November will go ahead.

Events in New Zealand were meant to begin in December this year and culminate in November 2021 with leaders' week in Auckland.

"New Zealand is committed to hosting APEC ... however, the disruption this year will affect our hosting year and we will be working through this," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement to RNZ.

"Currently the government is focused on the immediate response to Covid-19."

The summit was already under a cloud of having to find a new venue after the SkyCity convention centre fire meant it would not be ready in time.