Cyclone Gabrielle: Backlash as planned Sting concert in Napier to go ahead in March

Organisers of the Mission Estate Winery Concert in Napier say they have begun building what is needed for Sting's March show.

In a Facebook post, they said they expected the show "will proceed" despite the devastation wrought by Cyclone Gabrielle on the region.

"Our thoughts are with the people Cyclone Gabrielle has left displaced and hurting in Hawke’s Bay as the community moves from crisis to recovery," the post stated.

"About the Sting concert, we have commenced the programmed build with the view that the Sting concert will proceed on Saturday 4 March.

"We are lucky the Mission Estate Winery Concert site is in relatively good condition and is improving by the day. Whilst the overall situation is fluid, and there are many contributing factors, we will post concert updates as information becomes available.

"Be safe and look after each other."

However, commenters on the post said the decision was in "bad taste."

"Our accommodation hosts have just literally swam for their lives and have lost EVERYTHING! This doesn't seem right at all," one said.

"Does the Hawke's Bay really want to have thousands of tourists in their town impacting on their already strained and damaged infrastructure? Physically and mentally these poor people have a huge road ahead of them. The poor Napier and Hawke’s Bay community doesn’t need the extra stress," another said.

"Let the community heal and rebuild like it needs to, then have outsider money come in.

"Any outsider arriving now needs to bring food, water and human power to pitch in and help.

"Appealing to Mission Estate and the promoters to do the right thing," another wrote.

Another urged the promoters to urgently consider postponing the event, saying: "Locals and their needs must come first."

"We're big fans and a group of us from Wellington have tickets. I absolutely want to see Sting and enjoy a great concert," the person said.

"But before that I want to know that people who've been displaced have a roof over their heads and all the resources are supporting those who've been through such a hell of a time.

"Please consider postponing. Napier will need people spending money there but the time just isn't right. Locals and their needs must come first. Surely you can see that."

Newshub has approached the Mission Winery Estate Concert promoters for comment.