New Zealand

Air New Zealand 'willing and able' to increase flights from Australia

The trans-Tasman travel bubble is paused for at least eight weeks as the Delta variant continues to spread.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran told Morning Report the airline would do everything to help New Zealanders wanting to return this week from Australia.

"Trust us," he said.

"We have seen plenty of people reach out over the weekend. We've got about 7500 people booked to return to New Zealand through to midnight this Friday."

Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand pull out of tournament

The men's, women's and wheelchair events are scheduled to take place in England this autumn.

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) chief Greg Peters said it was "simply too unsafe" to take part.

Rugby Football League (RFL) chairman Simon Johnson called it a "selfish, parochial and cowardly decision".

"Rugby League World Cup organisers have bent over backwards to offer every assurance to the Australians and the Kiwis," Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We are very unhappy with this decision and we are not prepared to take it lying down."

New Zealand support for reconstruction of schools on Santo

The Agreement is part of New Zealand’s VT814 million commitment to support the Government of Vanuatu’s TC Harold recovery programme and will focus on the reconstruction of damaged schools in Santo.

The Agreement was signed by Prime Minister, Bob Loughman Weibur and the New Zealand High Commissioner, Jonathan Schwass.

Schwass in his statement reiterated the Government of New Zealand’s commitment to supporting the Government of Vanuatu to manage the recovery from TC Harold.

Joint Australian and NZ medical assistance team to help Fiji respond to COVID-19 outbreak

The team will work with their Fijian counterparts from the Ministry of Health & Medical Services to bolster Fiji’s fight against COVID-19.

Australia and New Zealand deployed the highly trained joint multi-disciplinary team following a request from the Fijian Government.

The team’s priority over the next 28 days will be creating additional spaces to offer care to non-COVID patients and to strengthen infection control protocols.

The team are fully vaccinated and, following quarantine, will deploy to Suva to support the Fiji Ministry of Health.

Pasifika high school students face worst housing deprivation in NZ

Scolastica Samoa Faaluaseu Filipo (Samalaeulu, Vailele), 17, is the head girl of Marcellin College.

She lives with her parents and three siblings, and two extended family members stay in the granny flat.

But they are on the move.

Although her two older sisters attended a prestigious private girls school elsewhere in Tāmāki Makaurau, she insisted on enrolling into Marcellin so her parents would be less out of pocket.

Programme seeks to prevent common problems faced by Vanuatu seasonal workers in Australia and NZ

But they've not been without their criticism, from welfare issues and accusations of sub-standard accommodation, to deaths on the road.

The Australian government wants to review the two schemes: the Pacific Seasonal worker program that sees people working in agriculture, as well as the newer Pacific Labour Mobility program where people come to work in meat processing centres or in aged care.

And it's not just the workers themselves who are affected when they head overseas for work -- their families and communities who stay at home, often looking after children, are too.

NZ Government to formally apologise for 1970’s Dawn Raids on Pacific communities

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families.

The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers often took place very early in the morning or late at night and were routinely severe with demeaning, verbal and physical treatment.

“The Dawn Raids were a defining moment in New Zealand’s history and the emotional harm caused by them remains etched in the living memory of those who were directly impacted,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Five new cases in New Zealand MIQ as another person transferred to hospital

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said two people with COVID-19 were being treated at Middlemore Hospital - both were transferred from the Auckland quarantine facility.

One was transferred yesterday afternoon and the other one overnight on Tuesday and was reported the following day.

"Both are in a stable condition and were taken to hospital safely using strict infection prevention and control measures which are in place for all hospital transfers from managed isolation and quarantine facilities," the ministry said.

NZ should follow Pacific neighbours and implement sugar taxes

A new study by Otago University and Pacific-based researchers shows about three quarters of Pacific nations have implemented taxes on sugar-laden products.

More than a third of them have increased these taxes by at least 20 percent in the past two decades.

University of Otago senior research fellow doctor Andrea Teng said Tonga is leading the way.

Sonny Bill Williams hopes Scott Morrison signs refugee deal

Eight years ago, New Zealand offered to resettle 150 refugees a year from Australia's offshore detention system.

Williams is urging Morrison to finally accept the offer.

"I think 250 people or close to, have been left in Papua New Guinea and in Nauru that can be brought to have a better life.

"They've been stuck for the last eight years. We can't even do it for two weeks in quarantine, imagine doing it for eight years."

He told Morning Report that New Zealand needed to understand the meaning of refugees.