Dear Ent Soc NZ,
Given the COVID-19 situation, the organising and executive committee have, decided to cancel the 69th Entomological Society of New Zealand Conference, set to take place in Dunedin next month. We recognise the number of confirmed cases in NZ is still relatively low, and we would like to keep it that way. Scientists around the world are advising* that we avoid congregating in large groups (though with the predicted turn-out for this conference, ‘large’ might be a bit of an overstatement). We feel it is prudent to heed the advice of scientists.
If you have already registered for the conference, please know that we are working to ensure you receive a full refund. You will receive a refund receipt in due course. Please bear with us while we process these, but if you have questions or concerns, please contact Aaron Harmer (A.Harmer@massey.ac.nz) regarding cc and PayPal refunds, and Pol Syrett (email@example.com) for bank transfer refunds.
If you have already purchased your flight to attend the conference, we can provide an official letter explaining the situation if required. Please contact Anne Wignall (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. If you are an unwaged member (i.e. retired or student member) and still unable to get a refund on your purchase please let the secretary know (email@example.com).
If you were relying on this conference for a line on your CV, the University of Otago, Department of Zoology may have space for you to deliver a seminar (or half seminar!), so let’s have that conversation before you re-book your flight. There are also options to speak at our local chapter of the Otago Entomology Society (https://ento.org.nz/regional-branches/otago/). We can even record your video to share it with the rest of the Ent Soc NZ community. Please contact Jenny (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in delivering your talk to the Zoology Department at Otago, and Emma (email@example.com) for more information about the Otago Entomology Society. Meanwhile, go ahead and add your accepted talk or poster to your cv, but with the words “conference cancelled due to COVID-19”.
Watch this space – Locally organised symposia, zoom meetings and/or recorded presentations, and electronic poster presentations are still being discussed. Please be patient as the organisers and executive committee sort through these options.
The 2020 Ent Soc NZ AGM will likely take place via zoom. We will be in touch with more information about that meeting, and how you can join, once the details have been confirmed.
We know that this news will be disappointing to many of you, but we also expect that it is not too much of a shock. Many of us are now in a situation where travel (even domestic) is being restricted, and while we hope that this situation clears up soon, we also want to be responsible and consider your health and the health of your family.
We look forward to hosting the annual meeting in the near future.
Jenny Jandt (on behalf of the conference organising committee)
Anne Wignall (Society President)