As the Covid-19 situation changes slowly, New Zealand Tree Crops Association, Auckland Branch and the Conference organisers are keeping options open for the March 26-28 2021 Conference.
We have a strong desire for an in-person conference but not at any cost. We want to minimise the risk to you, and to Tree Crops.
One way we are doing this is to defer ticket sales (and commitments to suppliers) until February 2021. We should have a much better view of the situation by then, as well as a shorter period during which money is at risk. We will also publish a detailed refund policy by then, including the criteria for cancelling the in-person conference at each stage.
We have been asked whether we can run a virtual conference instead, or as well. We have no experience within the team of doing that, so it is hard to judge what level of effort would be needed to create something that is worthwhile to you. So at present we remain focussed on an in-person event.
New Zealand Tree Crops Association, Auckland Branch and the 2020 Conference organisers have agreed to hold the 2021 Conference in Auckland, using the planned 2020 Conference as the template.
Tree Crops Conference will run 26-28 March 2021 at Danish House, Penrose, Auckland. The theme and fees are unchanged from 2020. There will be only minor changes to schedule, speakers and field trips.
90% of each payment for all 2020 bookings were refunded, so we have not held your 2020 booking over. Please book as soon as you can for the 2021 Conference.
In light of the recent government announcement, that meetings of folk 100 and up are banned, NZTCA has taken the difficult step and canceled the Auckland 2020 conference (27th-29th March).
The organizing committee and national management committee will discuss options going forward. And will be in touch with registered attendees regarding level of refunds.
Hope that you keep well over the rest of the year.
NZ Tree Crops Association
More than Home Orchards
The National Committee and the Auckland Conference Committee met on Monday, 16 March, to discuss the upcoming conference planned on the 27-29th of March. We decided to go ahead with the conference in Auckland.
There have been multiple reasons for this decision. The key one is that we are a low risk event. Firstly we are low numbers, being approximately 100. Secondly we are a registered event. That is, everyone who attends has a known name, address and is fully contactable. The major issue with public events that have been cancelled is that no one knows who attended, so traceability is problematic for such public events. Thirdly we are going on field trips and getting out into the fresh air, which reduces the risk.
However we appreciate that some folks have a higher personal risk. Data compiled by ~45000 Chinese infections shows that as age increases, so does the risk, as shown in the attached figure.
And that pre-existing conditions increases the risk, also shown attached figure.
The NZ Ministry of Health guidelines state that “diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems” should take extra precautions.
Therefore if you consider yourself in a higher risk group, you are requested to make a considered decision on your attendance. If you decide not to attend, or are unable to attend as you are in self isolation / flown into the country within the last 14 days, please let the Auckland Conference team ASAP, on firstname.lastname@example.org, at the very latest by 4pm Friday 20th March 2020. Refunds will be considered, and the exact level of refund will be determined post conference.
Obviously we will be staying in close contact with the Ministry of Health, and if guidelines change, we will reconsider.
We hope that you stay in great health, and hope to see you in Auckland.
NZ Tree Crops Association