- By Ken Scott, Chair of HVA Inc
As we shake off the last remnants of winter and the usual patchy Auckland spring weather, we face the prospect of going into Christmas still under some form of lockdown due to Covid-19.
It has been a frustrating three months to date, with the restrictions everyone has to endure.
And while the majority of our community appears to be prepared to adhere to the public health restrictions, there remains a small element who have decided that these requirements don’t apply to them. This is downright dangerous.
Our community has one of the higher percentages of over 65s of any region in Auckland. It is this group that evidence shows is at greatest risk of hospitalisation and death due to the Delta variant of Covid-19.
We all need to follow the public health guidelines to help keep our community safe.
As a consequence of Covid 19 lockdown, sadly I have to announce that the following events will not proceed in 2021:
- The Christmas Fair (previously Midnight Madness) is cancelled. This is the first time I believe that this event has had to be cancelled.
- The Christmas Lighting ceremony on Stockade Hill is cancelled. The lights will be turned on, but this will not be a public event
- Saturday morning markets remain closed until we move to at least Phase 2 possibly Phase 3 in Alert level 3.
- The annual Howick Santa Parade run by the Howick Children’s Charitable Trust has been postponed until next year.
It is hugely disappointing these events have had to be cancelled or are on an indefinite hold, however the safety of our community is always the primary consideration in making these decisions.
The HVA had been planning to introduce late night shopping for Howick Village on Thursday nights, commencing November 4 (lockdown allowing).
However, the latest announcement from government has suggested these will be delayed. The late nights, when they occur, will also see a more carnival atmosphere with entertainment and fun activities.
Once again, I take this opportunity to thank the public of Howick and surrounding areas for their support of local businesses. Many are feeling the pinch so any support you can provide may help them through these challenging times.
Howick Village is an open-air shopping strip with an outstanding record of being a safe and friendly environment for you all to enjoy. Please continue to do so. Your support is much appreciated by all.