The 2021 Walking Festival is cancelled
by NSPR Ltd | October 5, 2021

 

Media Alert

Tuesday, 5thOctober 2021

 

After the Government’s announcement yesterday to keep the Auckland region at Covid Alert Level 3, the Waiheke Walking Trust chair, Tess Shaw, announces that the three-week 2021 Waiheke Walking Festival has been cancelled.

“The Waiheke Walking Trust Trustees and Walking Festival Manager make this announcement with heavy hearts,” Tess says. “This was not a decision made lightly, but the health and safety of our volunteers and walking participants is our absolute priority.”

“And while the step-down approach to restrictions is focused on allowing a return to outdoor activities, it’s easy to forget that the Festival is more than ‘walking outside’. It’s bringing people together who don’t know each other to connect – while walking outside. And it’s this aspect of joining multiple bubbles that is tricky in the current environment.”

Last year’s Festival ran while the country was in Alert Level 1.

Waiheke Walking Festival Manager, Vicki Angland, says “We have worked tirelessly over the last seven weeks to navigate the restrictions we would need to operate within, if the Auckland region was moved to Level 2. Yesterday’s announcement means the earliest Auckland could be back into Level 2 will be the end of October – and that’s not guaranteed.”

The least restrictive Alert Level 3 third stage still presents complexities – from groups of walkers staying at least one/two metres apart while walking through to compulsory mask wearing situations at check-in and other congregation points. These restrictions place a huge focus on compliance for the Festival volunteers.

“Many of our walks include restaurant visits and wine tastings which adds further complexity,” Vicki says.

“Like many, the Festival is a highlight in our calendars but we also have a responsibility to the community to operate within the regulations and we certainly don’t want to be the next outbreak source.”

Tess adds, “The unwavering support of our sponsors and funders – Ray White Waiheke, our Patrons and the Waiheke Local Board, along with Fullers360, Treescape and Make Tracks – has been welcomed and appreciated during this challenging time.

“The Waiheke Walking Trustees, the Festival team and our volunteers are incredibly passionate about walking and sharing the island, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the world’s friendliest walking festival in November 2022.”

If you are a ‘Friend of the Festival’, you can ask for a refund, transfer your Friend’s membership to 2022, or you can donate it to the Waiheke Walking Trust.

If you have booked on a Walk and Accommodation Package at Kiwi House, please email Festival Manager, Vicki Angland, at vicki@waihekewalkingfestival.org,we are working with a private walking tour operator to enable this to continue.

If the Auckland region is at alert level 2 and you are visiting the Island self-guided walks that can be accessed at any time are available at www.walkwaiheke.co.nz

 

-Ends-

 

For media enquiries,NSPR

Rebecca Reid

027 519 4994 or rebecca@nsprltd.com

or to speak to Vicki Angland, please contact

Vicki Angland

021 960690 or vicki@waihekewalkingfestival.org

 

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We couldn’t run this festival without the support of our Sponsors, Funders and Supporters. The Waiheke Walking Festival would like to the thank you all. Support our supporters to show your thanks too.

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