March 12, 2020
Pasifika cancelled over Covid-19 fear
The Pasifika Festival has been cancelled to reduce the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, especially to Pacific Island countries.
The decision was made after discussions between Mayor Phil Goff and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday and again this morning.
Mr Goff says while the latest Ministry of Health advice is that New Zealand does not have a community outbreak, Auckland Council and the COVID-19 Cabinet Committee are concerned about the risk of the virus being transmitted to the Pacific Islands by festival attendees.
He says the history of the spread of contagious infections from New Zealand to Samoa, including last year’s measles epidemic which took 82 lives, weighed heavily on the decision.
Prime Minister Ardern says Cabinet received advice about the number of people coming into New Zealand for Pasifika who will then return to the Pacific.
The festival was cancelled last year because it fell on the day after the Christchurch mosque shootings.
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