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Wings forced to take holding pattern

Wings Over Wairarapa has been postponed.

The biennial air festival – one of New Zealand’s largest – was set to attract thousands of people next week but has been temporarily grounded due to Cyclone Gabrielle.

“I am absolutely gutted,” said board chair Ron Mark.

“We put a hell of a lot of work into it. We had a very impressive programme lined up. After last time, having to cancel the first day because of covid, we thought this would be our year.”

It was a difficult decision that took a long time to arrive at, Mark said.

“The board and management team has been reviewing the evolving situation with the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle.”

“Being cognisant of the level of devastation and loss of life that has afflicted our neighbouring regions and their communities, of where the priorities of the New Zealand Defence Force need to be, as well as the ongoing unpredictability of the weather, this is the right decision.

“The health and safety of pilots, staff, visitors and all those involved over the three-day event continue to be our priority.”

However, all is not lost, Mark said.

“The positive side is that we have time to add more to the programme. We’ll consult with Metservice and come up with a better date when the weather is more suited. Once we set a date, we will know whether there will be any changes.”

General manager Carla Steed said a new date would be announced by Sunday, February 26.

“We will not be processing refunds until the new date is announced.

“When the new date is announced, ticket holders will be given the option to transfer their tickets or request a full refund,” Steed said.

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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