New Zealand

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes Kermadec Islands region

The quake was at a depth of 10 kms (6.21 miles). It was followed by a magnitude 5.4 aftershock 20 minutes later. 

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System said there is a tsunami threat following the initial earthquake.

New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it's assessing whether there is a tsunami risk but urged anyone near the coast who felt "a long or strong quake" to get to the nearest high ground immediately. 

University of the South Pacific, NZ govt ink new 10-year deal

The 10-year deal, which will see the Aotearoa contribute $NZ38.5 million to USP's core funding for the first five years, was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni in Suva on Wednesday.

The partnership is expected to support USP's long-term planning and stability as it tries to bounce back from a challenging period after the former Fijian administration cut off its financial contribution to the university.

First mission to the Pacific since Covid-19 led by New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni

Sepuloni, who is also the Associate Foreign Affairs Minister for the Pacific, left for Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga on Sunday.

It would be an invaluable opportunity to strengthen New Zealand’s relationships and reaffirm the commitment to working alongside Pacific whānau to respond to challenges, Sepuloni said.

The region was the government’s “foreign policy priority”, Sepuloni said.

“We proudly take a Pacific-led approach to solving the issues facing the region, not least to mention, climate change.

NZ-born lock Meafou commits to France over Australia

The 24-year-old - born in Auckland to Samoan parents - grew up in Australia and played lower-tier rugby with clubs in Melbourne and Sydney before ending up in France at the end of 2018 following a failed bid to break into American football.

Having lived in France for over four years, Meafou will soon be able to represent the nation when he meets World Rugby's five-year residency eligibility criteria.

"I would love to play for France," Meafou said in comments published by Britain's Telegraph newspaper.

Air Vanuatu flights continue to be disrupted

The airline's one international plane has been out of action awaiting parts, which have been sourced via partners in Asia.

RNZ Pacific reports Air Vanuatu has offered full re-ticketing and refund policies, and is scheduling staff to work over Easter to further assist customers.

It has apologised for the disruptions.


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New Zealand stands with Vanuatu on climate at UN

The United Nations voted unanimously to adopt a resolution led by Vanuatu to ask the ICJ for an advisory opinion on states’ climate change obligations.

The resolution tabled by Vanuatu and a core group of 17 countries, aims to clarify what the obligations of states are in protecting the rights of current and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change.

“This decision has the potential to change the landscape,” Climate Minister James Shaw said in a statement.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister announces further $1m for cyclone relief in Vanuatu

“This visit is an opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen the close links that already exist between our countries. I look forward to connecting with Vanuatu leaders to discuss our work together on issues facing Vanuatu and the Pacific,” says Mahuta.

Mahuta's visit comes nearly a month after severe tropical cyclones Judy and Kevin​ made landfall on the country in quick succession and caused widespread destruction to the country reports PMN News.​

11,258 new cases, 76 further deaths attributed to the virus in NZ

Of the new cases, 4712 were reinfections.

RNZ reports there were also 211 people with Covid-19 in hospital as of midnight Sunday, with seven cases in ICU.

The seven-day rolling average of cases was 1605.

Last week 11,544 new cases were reported and 12 further deaths attributed to Covid-19.

PM says NZ is "proud" to provide disaster response aid for Vanuatu

Vanuatu is recovering after two devastating cyclones and an earthquake​ ripped through the island two weeks ago, destroying homes and livelihoods.

Chris Hipkins says regular Hercules flights delivering essential supplies is ongoing and personnel are still on the ground providing disaster response co-ordination.

“If they’re asking for more support in that area, that’s something we’d certainly look at.”

11,171 new cases, 24 further deaths and 200 in hospital in New Zealand

Of the new cases, 4630 are reinfections reports RNZ.

The ministry reported 24 deaths over the past week.

The ministry said 26 deaths were attributable to Covid-19. It said the change in total deaths with Covid-19 may not be equal to the number of new deaths reported today.

"This is because deaths that occurred more than 28 days after a positive test that are subsequently determined to be unrelated to Covid are removed from the total."