Bunnings is axing its beloved sausage sizzle outside stores as the 12th case of Covid-19 in New Zealand is confirmed.
Bunnings Managing Director Mike Schneider said the "tough decision" to ban the tradition will take effect from today.
"Having listened closely to community groups, we've learned of the challenges many groups are facing finding volunteers and even supplies to sell given some of the reported challenges being faced by other retailers.
"We also want to make sure our team remain focused on helping customers to access the products they need."
Schneider said he understood the important role the sizzles played in fundraising efforts for "thousands of local community groups and charities", who now had to find alternative venues.
"To assist community groups who have sausage sizzles booked over the next month, our store teams will donate $500 gift cards to these local organisations to assist with their fundraising activities. Across Australia and NZ, this represents an investment into local communities of over $1.2m."
He said Bunnings would continue to make key products and services available to customers and remains focused on caring for staff and the local community.
"There's no doubt that our decision will disappoint some people in the community and we can't wait to bring this much-loved community program back."
It has also cancelled planned store activities, including the Easter and Mother's Day Family Nights, school holiday workshops and trade breakfasts "until further notice".
Bunnings will continue to follow Government advice and apply a common-sense approach to its operations as the Covid-19 pandemic develops, Schneider said.
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.