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Fatal hostel fire in Wellington diverts early official opening of Tākina

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A hostel fire in New Zealand’s capital this morning which has left at least six people dead has also resulted in the postponement of the early opening of Wellington’s new convention centre, Tākina, which had been set for tomorrow evening.

The Mayor of Wellington, Tory Whanau, has sent a message to all those who had been invited to tomorrow’s opening – which was two weeks ahead of the centre’s originally scheduled debut date – saying the immediate priority for Wellington as a city is to support those impacted by the fire.

“This is a time for us all to honour those who have lost their lives and support those in need,” wrote Whanau.

“The tragic events in Newtown on early Tuesday morning have left us all in shock. Our Council team are among those providing support, including housing and wellbeing assistance.

“We have therefore decided to postpone Wednesday’s opening of Tākina, in partnership with Taranaki Whānui.

“We will instead mark the opening of Tākina on Wednesday, 31 May combined with the launch of Jurassic World by Brickman.

“We would like to acknowledge the brave Wellingtonians who were first responders at the scene and the many more who are providing support to people who lost their homes and loved ones,” wrote Whanau.

With Tākina ready to begin operations, test events including the Trans-Tasman Members’ Choice Symposium, a joint event by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the New Zealand Psychological Society, will still go ahead, beginning later this week.

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