Plans up in the air

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Back at Alert level 2...Former Gore woman Moana- o-Hinerangi of Christ church prepares for her bus trip back to Christ church wearing a mask as required.

It is a waiting game to find out if Covid-19 restrictions will affect Gore’s busiest weekend in February.

Events such as the Gore Garden Club Harvest Show, Southern Shears, Cobra Rodders Standing Drags, Mandeville Fly In, Moonshine Trail Ride, On the Fly Mataura River Festival and the Southern Districts Multi-Style Martial Arts Tournament in Tapanui are planned for the weekend.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would move to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm that day for three days, while the rest of New Zealand would be at Level 2. She is expected to update the situation today.

Harvest show convener Noreen Thomas said that if Gore remained at Level 2 the show would go ahead.

“If it changes to Level 3 or 2.5 then everything has to be cancelled,” Mrs Thomas said.

A decision would be made today after the Government’s announcement.

If the show was cancelled, club members would hopefully be able to visit schools and judge entries, she said.

Southern Shears secretary Sharon Hillis said the event would likely go ahead if Level 2 restrictions remained.

“We’ll only be allowed 100 people in,” Mrs Hillis said.

“We might just have to restrict it to competitors.”

Cobra Rodders Club president Tony Richardson said a decision about the drag race would not be made until tonight.

“If it goes back to Level 1 we can run but if it stays at Level 2 we can’t,” Mr Richardson said.

“We want to run it if we can.”

Mandeville Fly In organiser Maeva Smith said if the restrictions remained at level 2 the event would likely be postponed.

“Although we are outside, it says no more than a 100 people . We would normally expect to get more than a 100 people,” Mrs Smith said.

Sport Southland events co-ordinator Rachael Norman said the safety of Moonshine Trail participants, their supporters, volunteers and Sport Southland staff was the main concern.

“Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to hold the 2021 MLT Moonshine Trail under Alert Level 2 due to gathering restrictions of 100 people and the logistics around social distancing.”

Gore District Council events co-ordinator Mishel Kaaplan is organising On the Fly.

Miss Kaaplan said the council was monitoring the situation closely.

“A lot of people in the community have helped organise and support On the Fly over the last few months and we’re obviously all very keen to see it go ahead.

“However, we will be complying with whatever Covid-19 level restrictions are in place at the time.”

The West Otago Karate Club is hosting the Southern Districts Multi-Style Martial Arts Tournament.

Karate club sensei Gabriel Phillips said he was hopeful the Level 2 restrictions would be lifted otherwise the event would be cancelled.

It would be impossible to keep people a metre apart, he said.

People were attending from throughout New Zealand and money had been spent to organise the tournament, but keeping people healthy was more important.

“Safety first,” Mr Phillips said.