The Franklin Rd Christmas lights, a fixture of Auckland’s festive season, have been cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19, Stuff reports. About 150,000 Aucklanders visit the event each year, but the central Auckland street could instead light up for Matariki in 2022, coinciding with the first public holiday for the Māori new year. Long-time Franklin Rd resident Hamish Keith said while it was sad to pull the plug on this year’s event, it would have been “foolish” to go ahead. Matariki was also a “natural holiday” for Aotearoa, he said, and it would be fitting to have the first Franklin Rd Matariki lights in the first year of official celebrations.