New Zealand

NZ to boost its policing support to Vanuatu

The Daily Post newspaper reported in announcing the support the High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jonathan Schwass said New Zealand will be providing officers to equip the Vanuatu Police Force with expertise to address the rising problem of crime in communities.

He said the three officers will be flying in soon to help the force in specialist areas.

Mr Schwass said New Zealand is now looking to extend cooperation by providing additional support to the force and significantly stepping-up their defence assistance.

NZ union keen to support Pacific RSE workers

Over 11,000 workers from nine Pacific countries worked in New Zealand's horticulture and viticulture sectors last year under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme.

New Zealand recently announced it would increase the number of Pacific workers on the scheme to 12,850.

Amalgamated's national secretary Maurice Davis says they're trying to break down resistance to unions in the islands by explaining their role.

Kiwis to play British Lions, Tonga in 2019

New Zealand will play Mate Ma'a Tonga on 22 June at Mt Smart Stadium in the first match of the new Oceania Cup.

The Kiwi Ferns will also play against an unnamed opponent in the double header - they'll play a second match against Australia in October.

The Oceania Cup will be played in June and November during the international Test windows.

Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji and Australia make up the six-nation competition.

Kangaroos to face Kiwis in Wollongong in October

The announcement of the trans-Tasman Test provides the first details of the international calendar which is expected to include an Oceania series and Great Britain Lions tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

It will be the first time the Kangaroos have hosted the Kiwis in Australia since the mid-season ANZAC Test was cancelled in 2017.

The two nations have only met once since, with New Zealand defeating Australia in Auckland last October.

New Zealand's fire danger highest it's been in a long time - Fire and Emergency

Most of the country is under a total fire ban after weeks without rain led to tinder dry conditions.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) principal risk advisor Peter Gallagher told The AM Show New Zealanders weren't used to living with such high fire risk.

"If we were all living in Australia we'd be having that awareness about all these things that may cause that little tiny spark.

"That's all we're talking about - just has to be a mower blade striking a rock, or an emission from a chainsaw, something like that.

New Zealand expands security cooperation programme with Vanuatu

“New Zealand and Vanuatu have worked together in the law enforcement and justice sectors for a long time. We’re now looking to extend that cooperation by providing additional support to the Vanuatu Police Force and significantly stepping-up our defence assistance,” said New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jonathan Schwass.

New Zealand will provide NZ $7 million [VUV 540 million] in policing support, including the deployment of three New Zealand Police officers to advise on community and preventative policing, road policing, prosecutions, and investigations.

New Freemasons centre in NZ part of modernisation drive

After about two years of work, the Canterbury Kilwinning Lodge is opening in Woolston's Ferry Road today.

It's hoped that the new centre will give the Freemasons a renewed presence in Christchurch, after earthquakes forced the closure of a number of centres.

For the past five years a centre in Shirley has hosted the majority of masonic events in the city.

Freemasons New Zealand Grand Master, Mark Winger, said the new, purpose-built, boutique-style building would accommodate masonic ceremonies, as well as social activities for the wider community.

NZDF delivers voting equipment for Solomons

Air Commodore Tim Walshe said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided the voting screens to the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission.

New Zealand, together with its Pacific partners, contributed to restoring peace and stability in the Solomons in the early 2000s so they are pleased to support the islands again in a tangible way as it prepared for the elections, Mr Walshe said.

The RNZAF Boeing 757 flew to Honiara to deliver the voting equipment, as well as supplies for the Fred Hollows Foundation, an NGO providing eyecare in the region.

     

NZ ups its diplomatic presence in Pacific

The reset aims for a heightened focus on the Pacific and today's announcement will see 14 new diplomatic and development positions created offshore.

Mr Peters said the new posts would be in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Honolulu.

In addition four new diplomats will be placed in Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels, and New York, "to co-ordinate development policy and partnerships for the Pacific region".

Strong, deep earthquake felt across central New Zealand

GeoNet has reported the quake was a magnitude 6.7, although it was centered at a depth of 193km.

Parliament has been suspended after the quake.

More than 15,000 people have already reported feeling the quake on GeoNet.

GNS Science duty siesmologist Lara Bland warned local residents to expect aftershocks.

Ms Bland said longer, rolling quakes tend to produce fewer aftershocks but there would "certainly" be some coming.

Civil Defence said there is no tsunami threat.