Auckland's Polyfest cancelled

17 March 2020

Polyfest cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Auckland's Polyfest is now been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. The decision was made after meetings between the Polyfest Trust, Ministry of Education, and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

Polyfest, the world’s biggest secondary schools Pacific Island cultural festival was due to take place this week from Wednesday, has been called off due to worries about the spread of COVID-19.

The official update from the Polyfest Trust says New Zealand's position to proactively stop any further spread of COVID-19 has changed gears and we are expecting that restrictions on mass and public gatherings will be announced in the next few days. We have made it clear that any decision to cancel ASB Polyfest would require a directive from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. The Polyfest Trust has met with its key stakeholders today to consider all the information provided by these agencies and agree that our event must be cancelled in the best interest of current public health advice.

Although an official statement from Government regarding mass and public gatherings is expected soon, we want to give people as much notice as possible so other arrangements can be made. This includes looking at options which will allow student performers to submit their performances for judging as well as fulfil assessment obligations in relation to NCEA credits. We will be working closely with all involved on what that may look like.

We know this will be hugely disappointing to many of you. Over the past few days we have received an overwhelming number of messages, support and feedback on how much this event means to you all.

We want to thank you for your support, and ask for your continued patience as we work through the various logistical tasks associated with cancelling this year's event.

SouthSeas Healthcare have been supportive of Polyfest in the past, partnering with agencies like the Ministry of Youth Development, Mentoring and Youth Education Scheme (MATES), Office of the Children’s Commissioner NZ and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, to engage with youth and young people.

“Polyfest is always an important event for SouthSeas to deliver youth focused activities and ensure young people are aware of our work and services we offer,” says Lemalu Silao Vaisola-Sefo, SouthSeas Healthcare CEO.

SouthSeas Healthcare respects the decision made by the Polyfest Trust to cancel the event in the best interests of the safety of Pacific Island families and communities.

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