The Auckland Lantern Festival has been cancelled over concerns it is wrong to celebrate the festival given the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) general manager - destination Steve Armitage said the event was called off after discussions with the local Chinese community on Tuesday.
"The decision to cancel this year's festival resulted from growing concerns within the community as to the timing of the event in relation to the evolving novel coronavirus situation.
"We fully respect the wishes of the Chinese community who have shared their culture and tradition with Aucklanders through the lantern festival for 21 years."
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said while it's sad the popular festival won't go ahead, it was the right decision.
"The lantern festival is a popular and much-anticipated fixture on Auckland's events calendar."
"It's sad that the festival won't be going ahead this year, but it's important to respect the wishes of Auckland's Chinese community, many of whom don't feel it is appropriate to celebrate the festival given the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China and its toll on life there.
"I look forward to the lantern festival returning to Auckland next year and its celebration of Chinese culture and Auckland's multiculturism," Goff said.
The Auckland Lantern Festival has been held annually for 21 years. It started in Albert Park and is now held in Auckland Domain. The four-day festival attracted more than 175,000 people last year.
There are more than 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in mainland China. The China death toll remains at 425.