Organisers of Auckland's Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day have decided to cancel the event for the first time in more than 20 years in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Auckland Chinese Community Centre chairman Kai Luey said the decision was made by the executive committee following a meeting by zoom on Tuesday evening.
"The committee met by Zoom last evening to consider the likely impact of the current more contagious Delta variant of the Covid-19 on its planned 2022 Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day and had decided with great regret to cancel it," Luey said.
"The committee felt that the current difficulties experienced in containment of this variant is leading to a very strong possibility that Auckland will not be at alert level 1 by January 22 next year, an environment necessary to hold our event."
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Luey said that even if alert level 1 was achieved and the event is held, sponsors and stall holders could be very disappointed with the level of public attendance of the event.
The annual event at the ASB Showgrounds is traditionally where the Prime Minister would kick off Chinese New Year festivities and draws crowds of about 10,000.
"ACCC holds this event for the public annually for over 20 year, mainly to provide a happy, relaxing and enjoyable event for the Auckland community to welcome Chinese New Year," Luey said.
"The current pandemic environment with the Delta variant will not allow our 2022 event to achieve its important goal. The committee felt that it should not hold this event if this important goal cannot be achieved and, especially when there is a risk of the event being a super-spreader."
The Auckland Diwali Festival is also up the air, with organisers Auckland Unlimited due to make a call by October 1 if the event scheduled for the end of October will go ahead.