16 March 2020

The NZPS Council and the 2020 Annual Scientific Organising Committee met urgently on Sunday evening to discuss the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In the 24 hours prior, the situation in New Zealand had changed substantially, with the government announcing new restrictions on travel on Saturday and plans to release further guidelines around group events later in the week.

Yesterday the Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield reiterated the importance of every single person playing their role and showing responsibility.

In keeping with this, the Council made the difficult decision last night that the New Zealand Pain Society 2020 Conference, from 19-21 March 2020 at The Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands, Waitangi will not be going ahead.

While our government has not yet expressly prohibited smaller events such as the meeting, the Council felt that bringing together a group of healthcare professions at this time, many of whom will likely be sorely needed in the coming few weeks would not be a responsible thing to do. The NZPS wishes to support the efforts all New Zealanders are making to ‘stamp-out’ the COVID-19 virus and help “flatten the curve”.

The society encourages others to do the same.


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