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SailGP has cancelled the New Zealand Sail Grand Prix Christchurch event

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, SailGP has confirmed the cancellation of the New Zealand Sail Grand Prix Christchurch event.

The decision comes after SailGP’s application for access to Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities for its teams and staff to enter New Zealand ahead of the inaugural event, scheduled to be held January 29-30 2022, was declined by central government.

"ChristchurchNZ and SailGP worked hard to bring SailGP racing to Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour. The event is world-class and would have delivered significant benefits to Christchurch and New Zealand and we are naturally disappointed that the January 2022 fixture has had to be cancelled due to issues beyond either of our control," says ChristchurchNZ CEO Joanna Norris.

"We are now working hard to negotiate a future partnership so the benefits to Ōtautahi Christchurch of hosting SailGP are delayed rather than lost. We are confident that SailGP is supportive of bringing the event to Christchurch in future seasons."

Manaia Rehu, Chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rapaki says, "As kaitiaki, guardians of Whakaraupō Lyttleton Harbour, Ngāti Wheke Rapaki are disappointed that the SailGP January 2022 New Zealand Sail Grand Prix has had to be cancelled.

"We were honoured to have the event on Whakaraupō and the opportunity to showcase our Ngai Tahu and Rapaki people through our art, food, music, kapa haka, storytelling and our environmental and treaty partnerships with Live Ocean, Maui 63, Coastal People - Southern Skies, and Whaka ora - Healthy Harbour to better protect the realm of Takaroa.

"We remain fully committed to the event and look forward to potentially hosting SailGP on Whakaraupō in future seasons and sharing this beautiful place we all call home, with the world."

Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says contractor Fulton Hogan is back working at Naval Point, following a short halt due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"Phase one of the Naval Point-Te Nukutai o Tapoa Development Plan is still on track to be completed by the end of November this year. While we are very pleased to hear that SailGP racing may come to Whakaraupō at a later date, we know the many groups that regularly use the area will be happy to have these first stage improvements finished in time for this summer."

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