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Masterton District Council has reluctantly decided that it is unfeasible to hold Waifest this year, in the current Covid-19 environment.

The Council’s Manager Community Facilities and Activities Corin Haines said the logistics of holding an event which required vaccine passes, combined with the Government’s announcement that the country would quickly move to Red on the Covid Protection Framework in the event of an Omicron outbreak, meaning the event would be cancelled, had prompted the decision.

Under Orange on the Framework, a fenced venue would have been required, away from the usual Queen Elizabeth Park site, and this would have led to significantly increased costs.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make but the logistics and associated costs of running the event at a different venue made it untenable – particularly in light of the risk posed by the Omicron variant,” he said.

“We love Waifest, and we know the community feels the same way, so this was not an easy call to make.

“We are now looking at options for a community event later in the year – remembering that Matariki is a public holiday for the first time this year, on 24 June.”