Pasifika Festival has been cancelled in the wake of the concerns about coronavirus, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced this afternoon.

The festival at Western Springs was set to run tomorrow and Sunday.

Auckland Council made the last-minute cancellation after getting advice from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

There were concerns about the potential for spread of the virus within the festival, but also its spread to the Pacific Islands.


Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) had said earlier this week it would go ahead with the festival.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff made the announcement this morning. Photo / File
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff made the announcement this morning. Photo / File

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on whether the March 15 terror attack memorial service and Auckland's Pasifika Festival should go ahead.

She was set to open the festival tomorrow and is in Christchurch today.

"New Zealand does not have community outbreak at this point. We have cases that are identified where we've been able to do contact tracing," Arden said.

"So we're not at the point where other governments we've seen around the world have cancelled large scale events.

"However I do want to assure myself that we're in the right position from a public health perspective so I have asked for more advice."

A group of doctors were among those putting pressure on the council and Government to change its mind.


It is the second year in a row that Pasifkia has been called off.

Last year, Ateed cancelled it because police had to prioritise resourcing to ensure public safety after the Christchurch shootings.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Covid-19 a pandemic as the number of people who had contracted it passed 120,000 people.

There have been five confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Zealand.

The Government is considering tightening travel restrictions.

Ardern overnight from top scientists on whether New Zealand's border restrictions would tighten further.


This came after US President Donald Trump placed a 30-day ban on travel from most European countries yesterday, sending shockwaves through international markets.