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Reasons to cancel R&V

Letter

I wish to reinforce the concern of people in the Tairawhiti district who have already petitioned for this year's Rhythm & Vines music festival to be cancelled.

Given the likelihood there will still be community spread of Covid-19 at the time this music festival is being held at the end of December, there is a strong possibility it could become a superspreading event — for the following reasons:

' Young people are more likely to spread Covid-19 due to their mobility and degree of social interaction

' Festival attendees travel together and gather in large groups in confined spaces

' Attendees are likely to be sharing food and drink on site, leading to cross-contamination

' Security at this event has always been difficult to maintain, so vetting who has been vaccinated or not will also prove problematic

' Alcohol and drug use by participants may make them less likely to observe health and safety protocols.

This music festival could prove to be a significant risk to the local community in many ways:

' Behaviour amongst festival attendees will put an increased risk on front-line staff

' A significant increase in the population during this period, not only from festivalgoers but also from other holidaymakers and people visiting whanau, will put additional pressure and stress on local services, resources and people

' Health and emergency services which are already under pressure could be severely impacted

' There are a significant number of people in the Gisborne district who are unvaccinated, particularly in the Maori community, plus people with pre-existing health conditions and disabilities who would be particularly vulnerable.

Taking these considerations into account, I believe that the risk to the Tairawhiti district outweighs the benefits.

Please consider cancelling this event this year.

John Whitehead

Seven years crowd control, security at Rhythm & Vines

  1. Dave says:

    Well, they will, hopefully, all be double vaxed. Covid is coming, ready or not. Let’s start returning to normal and start getting on with life. Those that declined to get vaccinated, will have to face catching covid. At some stage, we will all probably be exposed to it, just like the common cold.
    I say bring on RnV. The best protection against covid is either live in a remote cave or get vaccinated.

  2. Rochelle says:

    I cannot believe that RNV has not been cancelled already! Obviously the capitalists who have a lot of sway with the powers that be may get their way, and subject the beautiful residents of this beautiful city to a virus that has the potential to cripple us! If you are reading this and are pro-RNV, go grab a few, put your ear buds in and find a paddock!

    1. Emily says:

      I feel that you are overlooking many factors to this situation. When it comes to RnV it is not only them trying to make money, Gisborne town profits highly off RnV and some businesses might not make it through the year if they don’t get to profit from the influx of people due to RnV. It is a simple solution, why don’t you all get vaccinated in order to save the economy of Gisborne?! Only 0.4 percent of Auckland have Covid and not everyone who attends RnV is from Auckland – the likelihood of it coming to Gisborne is very low! And if you’re all that worried, get vaccinated!

  3. Johno, Auckland says:

    How about getting vaccinated then? Complaining that a lot of your residents are unvaccinated is not an excuse. A simple precaution is the solution.

  4. H Hannam says:

    According to the R and V website the last day for a refund was 22/11, so it seems that it is going ahead . . . you would think that if the GDC had any care for the people of Tairawhiti they would have said “no boys, we will give it a miss for this year!” I haven’t met anyone yet that has said let’s bring 10,000 Aucklanders to Gisborne for New Year’s!

  5. Wiki says:

    R and V should be cancelled – other events around NZ have been cancelled. I guess it’s all about the money for the organisers.
    Why hasn’t the Mayor cancelled R and V???

  6. Joesphine Moa says:

    Getting vaccinated does not stop the transmission, getting vaccinated does not stop you getting covid, mostly it reduces your chances of ending up in hospital. Whether covid is around and here to stay, we are doing a good thing by wanting RnV to cancel this year. Why should we carry on with it, when the A&P Show was cancelled for our children, our Tamararo was cancelled for our children, and Fire in the Sky – a popular family event for all ages for the past 19 years – has been cancelled here in Gisborne. RNV should be cancelled. Whether we are vaccinated or not, we obviously know covid isn’t going away any time soon – but what we have been doing has worked so far.