Tauranga's Tattoo Extravaganza is a vibrant event, attracting thousands of tattoo enthusiasts from all over New Zealand.

And despite the risk of Covid-19 affecting other events, the Tattoo Extravaganza is still on this weekend. But it's without some of its international artists after travel restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We had an absolutely beautiful, superstar line-up but I would say they are very responsible for not travelling," said event organiser, Pepa Heller.

"We have lost about six or seven of these amazing artists and they're really sorry they can't make it but that's just the way it is, and safety concerns are always number one."


International border restrictions also meant some artists were forced to leave early.

"They have to change their tickets because they want to get home before the border is closed. So it is a really fast developing situation," said Heller.

One artist from Greenland received news at the show that Denmark was preparing to close its border.

"I came to New Zealand on the 6th of March and I was supposed to leave on the 1st of April but right now I'm doing what I can to leave as soon as possible because they are closing the borders in Denmark where I have to travel through to get back to Greenland," said Paninnguaq Jensen.

"I've been really calm about it but the reality hit me hard this morning when I woke up, and saw all my relatives contact me and said they were closing the borders," she said.

"I packed all my stuff and now I'm ready to leave as soon as possible to get home."

Another tattooist from Seattle is waiting to decide if he'll also need to plan a speedier exit.

"I'm not sure if I plan on leaving early yet," said Nahaan.


"I would say I'll just feel it out and what the conversation with the government is like here and see what they put out. I would like to be back home with my family but I also understand that because I've been travelling there might be a higher risk for me."

And once they do get home, it's to compulsory self-quarantine.

"If you've been travelling overseas, for 14 days to be in self-quarantine. I guess that's just staying at home which is not a bad thing I guess, but safer than sorry."

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