Dawn Raids apology, Māori All Blacks and Wellington Marathon events affected by Covid scare

An official apology ceremony for dawn raids targeting Pasifika people in the 1970s is among events planned for the weekend that had now been postponed because of the latest Covid-19 scare.

It came as Wellington moved into alert level 2 after a Sydney man travelled to the region while infected with the Covid-19.

That meant face masks were compulsory on public transport and events and social gatherings needed to be restricted to no more than 100 people.

The Māori All Blacks rugby clash, Wellington marathon, sports awards and basketball and netball matches are among events impacted.

The Government’s offical dawn raids apology had now also been postponed after earlier being scheduled to be held in Auckland’s Town Hall on Saturday.

It was postponed – despite being held in Auckland rather than Wellington – because guests and attendees were expected to travel from around the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week earlier said the historic Government apology was needed as a small step towards making amends to those affected by the raids that disproportionately targeted people with Pasifika heritage, suspected of overstaying their visas.

Ardern said Pasifika people felt “targeted and terrorised” by the discriminatory raids.

Wellington’s move to level 2 also prohibited crowds from gathering at tonight’s Wellington Sports Awards, with the ceremony now being carried out online.

And crowds will also not be able to attend the Māori All Blacks v Samoa rugby match at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

Crowds would also be unable to attend home matches for the Wellington Saints basketball and Central Pulse netball teams on Sunday, while the Wellington Marathon had also been postponed.

Celebrating its 41st year, the Wellington Sport and Active Recreation Awards were scheduled to have taken place tonight at the TSB Arena on the city’s waterfront.

They would now be streamed online instead.

“We are of course disappointed that we could not deliver the spectacular in-person event we had planned, but we’re doing everything we can to still celebrate and acknowledge tonight’s finalists and winners,” organisers Nuku Ora said on their Facebook page.

“Instead of the in-person event, we will be bringing to you a special, virtual edition of the awards this evening.

“We will be sharing more details and contacting attendees directly around refunds for everyone and accessing the virtual awards this afternoon.”

Wellington’s Central Pulse netball team had been scheduled to play in Porirua.

“We are currently working through with Netball NZ in regards to the ANZ Premiership on Sunday to be held at Te Rauparaha Arena,” the team said on Facebook.

“We will provide further information and that will come to all individual ticket purchases and members.”

“The health and wellbeing of all participants (players and attendees) is the most important.”

Organisers of the Wellington Marathon also posted a message, saying the event had been postponed due to mass gatherings being barred under alert level 2.

“The event is now postponed until spring. We are looking at October 10 or 17, but there is a lot to work through with stadium, council, sponsors and volunteers,” organisers said.

“All entries and merchandise purchased thus far will be rolled over to the new date.

“As per conditions of entry, fees are non-refundable. Participants unavailable on the new date will be able to defer their entry to 2022.”

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