New Zealand

Covid-19 community case reported in the South Island with positive test in Blenheim

The case flew from Rotorua and arrived in Blenheim on Thursday. They were tested upon arrival after developing a sore throat.

"The initial test, including a follow-up swab, returned a weak positive result."

The ministry said the case is now isolating awaiting the results of further testing.

The case is considered low risk, due to their likely late stage of infection.

The ministry said initial case interviews suggested the case was linked to the Te Awamutu cluster.

102 Covid-19 community cases in NZ today

The Ministry of Health said 94 of the cases were in Auckland and eight in Waikato. Thirty of the cases are household contacts.

Forty of the new cases remain unlinked and there are 199 unlinked cases in the past 14 days.

There were 60 new community cases yesterday.

All of the Waikato cases were in the Te Awamutu area, the ministry said. Seven had already been linked to known cases.

One of the Waikato cases travelled to Hawke's Bay last Friday, but returned to Te Awamutu before testing positive.

Dame Cindy Kiro sworn in as Governor-General of New Zealand

After placing her hand on the Bible as requested by chief justice Helen Winkelmann, Dame Cindy recited the oaths of office in both English and Māori.

She is the first wāhine Māori to hold the position, and is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent.

Dame Cindy was born in Whangārei in 1958 and is the eldest of six children.

She was most recently the chief executive of the Royal Society - Te Apārangi, has been a Children's Commissioner and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland.

Vanuatu seasonal worker dies in New Zealand

COL Murielle Meltenoven confirmed the deceased is from Malekula and he was employed with the Seeker Farm, but his name is being withheld according to the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Arrangements to repatriate the deceased are yet to be discussed, once the Labour Department receives all confirmed details from the coroner.

Meltenoven confirmed her office will be liaising with the High Commission based in Wellington and the New Zealand High Commission in the repatriation arrangements.

Nearly 300 Ni-Vanautu workers arrive in New Zealand

As part of the government arrangment, RSE labourers will complete five days' isolation at their places of work instead of the normal two-week stay in hotel quarantine.

New Zealand Ethical Employers chairperson Tanya Pouwhare said the incoming workforce leave behind struggling families and economies at home.

She says they're cooperating with strict health measures to keep them safe from Covid.

Tanya Pouwhare said 150 RSE workers will arrive from Samoa on Saturday and in upcoming weeks, a Tongan contingent.

     

Australia, NZ miss out on World Sevens Series event due to Covid-19

The 2022 schedule was announced on Tuesday with the series to kick off with a pair of men’s and women’s rounds in Dubai starting in November.

But while Hong Kong returns as a stop, Sydney and Hamilton (New Zealand) have missed out because of its stringent pandemic protocols.

Instead, Spain will play host for the first time with men’s and women’s events scheduled in Malaga and Seville from January 21-23 and January 28-30.

Toulouse in France will also welcome teams in May next year.

New Zealand five-year funding support for Pacific aviation safety and security

Signed on 8 September 2021, the PASO Support Programme is a five-year New Zealand Aid Programme partnership which provides PASO’s 10 Pacific Island Member States with continued strategic capacity support to improve their international aviation safety and security compliance.

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Deputy Secretary, Pacific and Development Group, Mr. Jonathan Kings said ultimately improving Pacific aviation safety and security means better connectivity for Pacific people and enables sustainable regional economic development and prosperity.

New data shows Pacific vaccination rates by suburb in New Zealand

A number of the highest vaccination rates among Pasifika are in densely-populated areas like South Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

In the South Auckland area, some suburbs with a population of more than 2,000 Pasifika, saw vaccination rates for the first dose in the early 70s.

This included Sutton Park (72 per cent), Clover Park North (71 per cent) and Otara East, Mangere Mascot and Mangere Central (all at 70 per cent).

Pacific Languages Strategy underway in Aotearoa

Consultation has begun on the Pacific Languages Strategy which is aimed at increasing the use of Pacific languages in New Zealand.

Minister for Pacific People's Aupito William Sio said the strategy will allow for more effective leadership and co-ordination across government and supporting communities to drive language revitalisation.

Aupito said unfortunately fewer people are using Pacific languages than they did a couple of decades ago.

He said this strategy celebrates the value of languages and everyone is invited to have their say not just Pacific people.

PM Jacinda Ardern announces new travel rules for leaving Auckland

Ardern announced the changes for people who may need to cross the Auckland boundary at today's media briefing on the Delta outbreak.

There are eight new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and four in managed isolation.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield also spoke at the briefing.

Ardern says from 11.59pm tonight, people will be able to leave Auckland into a level 2 environment if they: