Auckland suburb's Chinese New Year festival cancelled amid coronavirus concerns

Source: 1News

A Chinese and Korean New Year festival in Auckland has been cancelled amid concerns about the novel coronavirus.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus in New Zealand, but the organisers of the 2020 Northcote Chinese & Korean New Year Festival at Northcote Town Centre said they had to err on the side of caution.

"It is with regret that we advise that this year's Northcote Chinese and Korean New Year Festival has now been cancelled due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus.," organisers wrote on Facebook.

"We have made this decision as a precautionary approach to protect the local community.

"Northcote has a very high population of travellers to and from China, especially during Chinese New Year and the situation is still unknown.

"While this coronavirus is a serious concern both here in New Zealand and across the world, and the risk of a sustained outbreak in New Zealand is currently assessed as low and there are no identified cases in New Zealand as yet, our local Chinese community, including those performing and attending, have told us they would prefer that the event not proceed this year, which we understand and respect.

"We know many of you will be disappointed but we hope you understand our decision."

The organisers said the festival will return next year.