The three-day festival, originally set down for next week, has been pushed back by a week to now start on 4 March.

Auckland Unlimited said the postponement would allow more time for a hopeful return to Alert Level one.

Head of major events Richard Clarke said after consultation with key partners and stakeholders, it was clear there was a preference to delay the event.

“Delivering the festival a week later than originally planned gives Aucklanders the chance to still acknowledge and celebrate the significance of the event,” Clarke said.

“This early decision also mitigates the financial risk of cancelling at late notice should Auckland not return to alert level 1 next week.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it was good news that the festival was still able to go ahead.

“The Auckland Lantern Festival is a much-loved event and a great celebration of our Chinese communities; I’m really pleased we’ve been able to find a way to make it happen this year,” he said.

“Because it can only go ahead at Alert Level 1, we have delayed it by one week to allow more time for a return to that level.”

He said it was a reminder for all to keep in line with Covid-19 health precautions, to allow the city to return to level 1 “sooner rather than later”.

Ports of Auckland has committed to making Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves available for the new dates.

The free event will remain ticketed, with online bookings assisting with contact tracing as well as crowd management.

Auckland Unlimited is delivering the festival on behalf of Auckland Council, with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation.

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