A musical under fire for cutting capacity to 450 for its Gisborne show to get under the suggested ban on gatherings of more than 500 people has now been cancelled after community pressure.
On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
The announcement led to cancellations across the country, and many councils, including Auckland Council, said all of its events of more than 500 people would be cancelled.
But when organisers of Menopause The Musical - set to play at Gisborne District Council's War Memorial Theatre on Thursday - were asked on social media if the event was still running they responded: "We're going to limit the attendance to 450 in order for the show to proceed."
East Cape resident Tina Ngata said she was "appalled" at the decision to go ahead with the event.
"They're still going to cram 450 people into a hall made for 500, in one of New Zealand's most vulnerable communities, for entertainment."
Māori - and particularly the elderly - were among the most vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, and were likely to be hit the hardest by any Covid-19 outbreak, Ngata said.
"We have a large Māori community here and a lot of elderly, and especially up the coast, and they all shop in Gisborne.
"We need Gisborne to be proactively vigilant in protecting us. This is a community venue, run by the council, but at the moment they are creating huge risk."
Menopause The Musical and Gisborne District Council have not responded to requests for comment from the Herald, but in a response to a post on social media the War Memorial Theatre Gisborne said due to concerns over Covid-19 the show had now been cancelled.
The War Memorial and Lawson Field Theatres would be closed until further notice, the post read.
Prior to the cancellation, a post on Menopause The Musical's social media account on Monday said it would be "restricting all performances of Menopause The Musical to a maximum audience size of 450 at all venues" in response to the Government announcement.
"In most cases the number of people attending is likely to be less than 450. We will continue with performances as planned consistent with Government advice.
"If you're feeling unwell or have been directed to self-isolate we strictly ask that you do not attend.
"This is an unprecedented situation which we will continually monitor and assess, and are working all hours to manage.
"We're currently co-ordinating with all ticket agents and venues to provide further information to ticket holders via email and appreciate your patience and understanding as we do so."