Coronavirus: Phil Goff calls for Auckland's Polyfest to be cancelled

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has called for the cancellation of Polyfest following advice that large gatherings should be reassessed.

He met with the chairs and deputy chairs of Auckland Council's four major committees, who he says made a unanimous agreement that cancelling or scaling down events will help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

"We have already conveyed to the Polyfest Trust over the weekend our strong view that Polyfest must be cancelled. While disappointing for those who have put so much effort into organising and preparing for the festival, public health and safety must be the paramount consideration," Goff says.

"I anticipate that there will be cancellations or scaling back of council events. We will make final decisions following the Government's announcement on nationwide gatherings."

Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee Councillor Alf Filipaina agrees and says it is important to act sooner rather than later.

"[We need] to minimise the risk to people, both in New Zealand and the Pacific, from the effects of coronavirus and ensure that there is no further transmission - it's about our community," he says.

The Polyfest Trust said on Sunday it had met with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and the Ministry of Education on Sunday regarding this week's festival.

"There are further meetings required in the morning [on Monday] with key stakeholders. A decision on whether the 2020 ASB Polyfest will proceed or not, will be announced tomorrow afternoon."