New Waipā residents will need to wait to celebrate their citizenship after a major welcome function was postponed.
The postponement followed central government's announcement of Covid-19 alert level 2, effective from midday Wednesday, August 12. At alert level 2, events over 100 people are not permitted.
The welcome function was to be held at 9am on Friday, August 14 for Waipā residents who became New Zealand citizens since the nation went into lockdown. The function was scheduled to be held in the council chambers in Te Awamutu.
Waipā District Council's mayor Jim Mylchreest said the cancellation of the function was unfortunate but necessary.
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"We were looking forward to hosting a welcome function for our new citizens who were unable to join us due to the previous Covid-19 restrictions. We aim to hold this at another time, however the safety of our community remains a top priority.
"We were expecting approximately 100 people to attend on Friday and we could not provide the necessary social distancing at the venue so we decided to postpone this event and will look at rescheduling once the nation returns to alert level 1."
Citizenship ceremonies were suspended by the Department of Internal Affairs at alert levels 4, 3 and 2. Waipā District Council plans to host regular welcome functions every 2-3 months for new residents to Waipā.