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Auckland Lantern Festival postponed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The 2021 Auckland Lantern Festival has been postponed to 4-7 March 2021.

Auckland Unlimited, which delivers the Auckland Lantern Festival, has made the decision to postpone the event following consultation with key event stakeholders and community leaders,

Mayor Phil Goff says it’s fantastic that the Auckland Lantern Festival is able to go ahead.

"The Auckland Lantern Festival is a much-loved event and a great celebration of our Chinese communities; I’m really pleased we’ve been able to find a way to make it happen this year," he says.

"Because it can only go ahead at Alert Level 1, we have delayed it by one week to allow more time for a return to that level.

"It’s a good reminder also that we all need to keep following the current COVID-19 health rules, to help ensure that we are able to move down to Level 1 sooner rather than later.

"Thank you to Auckland Unlimited and Ports of Auckland, as well as event and community stakeholders, for working together to enable the Lantern Festival to proceed."

Auckland Unlimited Head of Major Events Richard Clarke says: "The feedback from key event and community stakeholders was clear - a postponement is preferred given the current situation.

"Delivering the festival a week later than originally planned gives Aucklanders the chance to still acknowledge and celebrate the significance of the event.

"This early decision also mitigates the financial risk of cancelling at late notice should Auckland not return to alert level one next week."

Over the past 24 hours, Ports of Auckland has committed to making Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves available for the new dates.

The event will remain ticketed, with the free tickets booked online providing contact tracing as well as crowd and capacity management. Tickets are currently on hold for the festival. Guidance to ticketholders will be communicated soon.

The change in dates also means that the festival will add further vibrancy to the waterfront precinct on the first weekend of the 36th America’s Cup Match.

Auckland Lantern Festival is delivered by Auckland Unlimited-, on behalf of Auckland Council, with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Additional comments:

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson says: "Being able to share our wharves with the public and bring this wonderful festival down to the waterfront for the first time is fantastic, and I’m sure it will make all the hard work worthwhile. Gong Xi Fa Cai Auckland!"

Asia New Zealand Foundation executive director Simon Draper says: "We’re really pleased Aucklanders will be able to welcome in the Year of the Ox at the festival, the largest cultural event in Aotearoa. As Foundation Partner of this festival, we know that over more than 20 years this event has grown to be a major celebration enjoyed by all Aucklanders. Chinese communities have put in a lot of hard work into preparing for this year’s festival and there are lots of performances, activities, food and of course lanterns to enjoy."

Auckland Chinese Community Centre Chairman Kai Luey says: "Auckland Chinese Community Centre has been involved in the Lantern Festival since its inception in 2000. Since the event was cancelled in 2020, we are confident that the Festival Team have made the right decision to postpone the event one week so Aucklanders can join in the festivities."

New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland Chairman Richard Leung says: "We are grateful that Auckland Unlimited and Auckland Council have been able to postpone the event to allow for Auckland to be at an alert level that the community can feel safe when attending the Lantern Festival."

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