Metallica postpones New Zealand tour while vocalist undergoes treatment for addiction

Metallica has announced that its 2019 New Zealand and Australian tour dates have been postponed as frontman James Hetfield re-enters treatment for his on-and-off struggle with addiction.

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James Hetfield has instead sought help for long-running problems with addiction. Source: 1 NEWS

The hard rock band was meant to play at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium on October 31 and November 2 on their WorldWired Tour.

In a statement, band members Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo thanked their fans for their understanding and support.

“We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit.

"We’ll let you know as soon as we can,” they said.

"Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who often travel great distances to experience our shows."

In a statement, Live Nation said tickets to any of the band’s shows, including Enhanced Experiences and Black Tickets, would be fully refunded.

Metallica perform in London in 2017. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Kreepin Deth

Air New Zealand says it's offering fare flexibility to people who have a ticket for travel to and from Auckland purchased before today, September 28, to attend the affected concert.

These ticketholders can change travel dates to an alternative date with the fare penalty or service fees waived, though any difference in airfare will have to be paid.

Alternatively, they can cancel their flight, even if on a non-refundable fare, and hold the value of the ticket in credit for 12 months from the date of issue. 

All changes should be made via the passenger's original travel agent or if booked directly with Air New Zealand via its contact centre on 0800 737 000.