Covid uncertainty means no summer events in Opotiki this year
This summer, the Ōpōtiki District Council events team has made the hard decision to cancel the popular summer events programme and plan for a bigger and brighter series of events in 2022.
“This has been quite a tough decision and we had to make it early because there are so many things to organise for all the big and small events and we need to get funding in place and musicians lined up and sponsors and all the rest.
“But under the traffic light rules, it seems likely that we are going to have various restrictions in place on events and gathering sizes for much of the summer. Particularly for us in the Eastern Bay of Plenty where we are still at Red and working hard to get our vaccination rates high enough to have some of those freedoms some places already have at Orange.
“Our events tend to get big crowds and are really whanau-friendly and I don’t think they work at the current Red covid restrictions.
“I think I am especially sad this year as it would have been our 10-year anniversary of running the Lantern Festival. So instead, we will make sure we put the time and energy into the biggest and best line-up of events and Lantern Fest next summer,” Mr Hayes said.
And Jospeh Hayes said all was not yet lost – with vaccination rates on the rise across the rohe, it looked like some popular outdoor events would be possible in mid to late 2022, which means the fireworks and uniquely Ōpōtiki celebration of Matariki was still in the calendar.
“By then I think we’ll have a much clearer view of where we are in the traffic light system and we should be able to hold some of those neat outdoor events like movie nights and the markets. So everything crossed those are possible by Matariki!” Mr Hayes said.