By RNZ

A spooky spat has broken out in an Auckland neighbourhood over the future of its iconic Halloween celebrations.

Dignan St in Pt Chevalier usually welcomes hundreds of trick or treaters – but this year things are effectively being called off because of the skyrocketing numbers of kids looking for sweets.

Some households have cited Covid concerns, but others have raised questions about Halloween nimbyism.

Dignan St has become synonymous with trick or treating – hundreds of people flock there annually for twilight festivities.

But not this year, as some say the numbers have got out of hand. However, the call to end the tradition has polarised the street.

A message declaring the majority of Dignan St residents would not be partaking went out on Facebook. It stated they had been very generous over the years, particularly with growing numbers of visitors.

Money usually spent on lollies would instead be donated to Canteen, the post said.

Halloween health hints

Deputy director of public health Dr Harriette Carr said New Zealand is lucky to be in Covid-19 alert level 1, meaning children can go trick or treating, but she said there should be precautions.

“If anyone is self-isolating or been told that they need to stay away from others then we recommend that they put a sign outside their house, not to trick or treat.

“Equally, anyone that is sick or feeling unwell should not go trick or treating, and should also put a sign outside their house. That’s a really good way people can both protect themselves and protect others.

“Anyone handling food or lollies should always make sure their hands are clean so wash hands, or if children are going trick or treating, they’ve got hand sanitiser with them if they’re going to be eating food or handling food.

“Then there’s also people noting down where they’ve been. So that might be a manual entry if there’s a parent going with the children noting down which houses they’re going to.

“For people who are participating from their houses, there is the opportunity for them to download the Covid QR code for their house so people can scan that.

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