COVID-19 pandemic

Pacific community come out in force during Covid-19 testing

At a news conference for Pacific media on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, paid tribute to the community for the way it had responded to the call to get tested.

"That's a 23.2 percentage of testing for Pacific people and of course New Zealand's Pacific population is less than half that," Ardern said.

That could be seen in the long queues that had formed at testing centres right across Auckland's south in the past week, with queues that had stretched for kilometres down roads.

Auckland Airport's profits down 63%

The net profit for the year ended June fell to $193.9 million compared with $523.5m in the previous year, which included significant property value gains.

However, underlying earnings fell by nearly a third to $188.5m, as operations were severely curtailed from March when border restrictions were put into place and domestic travel all but dried up during the lockdown.

Chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the company had faced some of its most challenging conditions, which were set to continue for some time.

Covid-19 pandemic hits ANZ's profits

The New Zealand arm of ANZ's net profit for the three months ended June has fallen by 10 percent or $40 million on the previous quarter to $351m.

It also put aside $79m to cover bad and doubtful debts, on top of the $233m it set aside for the first half of the year.

ANZ chief financial officer Stuart Taylor said the bank's performance had been solid given the economic blow dealt by the pandemic, but he expected bad debts to increase further before the end of its financial year.

Pacific pharmacists reaching out to communities during lockdown

The Pacific Pharmacists Association is a pharmaceutical workforce that aims to meet the health needs of Pacific people in accordance with their culture, custom and heritage.

Auckland is currently on alert level three, while the rest of New Zealand is on alert level two. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the settings would be reviewed on 21 August.

Japan suffers its biggest economic slump on record

The world's third largest economy saw gross domestic product fall 7.8 percent in April-June from the previous quarter, or 27.8 percent on an annualised basis.

Japan was already struggling with low economic growth before the crisis.

The figures released today are a stark reminder of the severe financial impact faced by countries around the world.

Japan slipped into recession earlier this year following two successive quarters of economic contraction.

New Fiji Rugby chair keen to forge closer ties with NZ, Australia

Fiji Rugby announced in April it was cutting costs in an attempt to manage the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

Conway Beg was appointed to the FRU Board late last month by the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who is also President of the rugby union.

The pandemic was causing upheaval with sporting organisations all over the world and Fiji Rugby was no different.

Rugby and Netball hit by Covid-19 restrictions

The government annnonced Tuesday night that Auckland will return to Alert Level 3 at midday Wednesday, following the discovery of four positive cases of Covid-19 in one south Auckland family.

The rest of the country will move into Alert Level 2.

The government said at this stage Alert Level 3 would finish at midnight Friday.

While the Crusaders had already been awarded the title, their game against the Blues at Eden Park on Sunday was a sell out.

Australia's Northern Territory extends border restrictions for virus hotspots

Australia is battling a second wave in its south-east, with about 8000 active cases in Melbourne and smaller clusters in Sydney.

But elsewhere around the country, the virus has effectively been eliminated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said interstate travel restrictions will likely persist until Christmas.

Last week, Queensland re-closed its borders to New South Wales - which includes Sydney - and the Australian Capital Territory.

Pacific climate warriors call for a 'just recovery'

Patricia Mallam, of the 350 Pacific organisation, said the climate crisis had not slowed or gone away.

Mallam said Pacific government priorities were more geared towards helping health systems to address the pandemic.

"It's a shame that it took a pandemic for us to see clearly where allegiances lie," she said.

"While governments and industries are figuring out an economic recovery, we want to remind them that you need to put the people first and we're talking about the health of the people and that also includes the environment that they're in."

Pacific to talk about how to reopen amid Covid-19

The virtual roundtable is being convened by the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank with representatives from Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Fiji.

The UN's Sanaka Samarasinha said the discussion would be addressing border security.