COVID-19 case led to Te Papa closing, then Level 2 restrictions in Wellington
T-Tech Future Transport Conference Cancelled whilst Underway
News from ITSNZ
It is with disappointment that we advise that the T-Tech Conference was cancelled just 30 minutes into the event the venue management made the decision that we had dreaded.
What caused the cancellation
An Australian traveller who visited Wellington as a tourist in the days prior to the conference tested positive for the very infectious Delta strain on return to Australia, having been infected in Australia prior to their departure. The traveller visited the Te Papa museum (location of T-Tech) four days before our conference
With the exhibition zone established, delegates registered and seated, we just had time to hear a short opening address by Stephen Hewett, ITSNZ President and a presentation from our Keynote Beth Kigel, before news came that the venue must close and we were forced to leave.
As organisers of a large event in this age of covid, we had prepared contingencies in response to various restriction levels, but we also knew that if the outbreak occurred in the 48hrs ahead of the event, when delegates had already travelled that there would be little option except to cancel, as a majority of delegates and speakers would wish to return home and minimise their personal risk of exposure.
That was the situation we dreaded and the worst came to pass.
We had a great line-up of speakers, exhibitors and of course a networking event to look forward to. We truly believe it was going to be one of our best conferences to date.
We are especially sad for our presenters who have put a lot of effort into preparing their presentations and for all our delegates and participants who had taken time out of their busy schedules to support this event.
We would also like to thank and acknowledge Ohmio Automotion for all their work setting up and ensuring that the autonomous vehicle was ready to go on day one - the AV shuttle demonstration was a first for both Wellington and T-Tech and there was a lot of work and great collaboration that went on behind the scenes to make it happen.
However T-Tech 2021 is not over yet. We want to ensure that all delegates still get to enjoy and have access to the great presentations that had been prepared for the conference.
We are already making plans for our speakers to share their presentations with our delegates, and we will soon announce how that will happen. We thank you for your patience and understanding in the meantime.
(image: Transport Minister Michael Wood meets Mohammed Hikmet and the team from Ohmio Automotion with their Level 4 Autonomous Shuttle)
Simon McManus, Executive Officer