New Zealand

Australia suspends travel bubble with NZ for 72 hours

All New Zealanders who arrive in Australia will have to quarantine for up to 14 days.

Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt says this has been done "out of an abundance of caution" after a person tested positive in New Zealand with the South African variant.

The infected person visited at least 30 locations.

The changes come into effect immediately.

All passengers from New Zealand with a safe zone flight scheduled in the next 72 hours should reconsider their need to travel.

New Zealand reports first case in the community in months

Health officials said a 56-year-old woman who had recently returned from Europe tested positive days after completing a compulsory two-week period of managed isolation.

Contact tracing efforts are under way, and authorities have published a list of locations the woman visited.

New Zealand has been widely praised for its response to the pandemic.

The country, with a population of five million, has recorded 1,927 confirmed cases and 25 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

New Zealand implements additional measures to keep Covid-19 out

Amendments to Air Border Order include:

Pasifika health and safety education initiative to celebrate 15 years in 2021

PMN News reports the Puataunofo ‘Come Home Safely’ programme, focused on delivering health and safety messages to Pacific workers, will enter its fifteenth year in 2021.

WorkSafe’s National Advisor for the programme Hans Key says he has seen Puataunofo grow from strength to strength.

“Puataunofo is delivered by Pacific people, for Pacific people. Every workshop is tailored specifically to the business, is delivered using Pacific languages and it reflects Pacific values of family and collective wellbeing, allowing us to connect with our audience.”

NZ reports 19 new imported cases in past three days

In its first release of numbers in 2021, the Health Ministry said in a statement that the total number of active cases is 72.

The Ministry also confirmed that the new cases included six which matched the UK variant of Covid-19 known as 20B/501Y.V1 (Lineage B.1.1.7).

Rise in pyramid schemes targetting Māori and Pasifika sparks warning

Natalie Vincent, of Ngā Tāngata Microfinance, said many pyramid schemes use cryptocurrencies, and are promoted primarily to Māori and Pasifika families.

Vincent said a new pyramid scheme is being sold to vulnerable people in the form of 'gifting' or 'koha' with the promise of making quick money.

It suggests people can get up to $20,000 after making three payments of $150.

Vincent said some people might make money at the very early stages, but further on, as is the nature of such schemes, it will collapse, leaving no money for anyone.

New Zealand sex worker given six-figure sum in sexual harassment case

The sum is part of a settlement to compensate the woman for "emotional harm and lost earnings", said the human rights body that represented her.

The case served as a reminder that all workers have the right to freedom from sexual harassment at work, it added.

New Zealand passed a law decriminalising sex work in 2003.

The details of the proceedings, including the identities of those involved, is confidential.

But the settlement announced on Monday was viewed as an important milestone for sex workers' rights.

Queensland opens borders to New Zealand

New Zealanders will be able to travel into to the Australian state without having to quarantine from 1am local time on Saturday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a tweet that more New Zealand citizens call Queensland home than any other Australian state.

"With Kiwis able to travel to Queensland from tomorrow, families can finally be reunited in time for Christmas."

"I was advised late last night by Dr Jeannette Young, our Chief Health Officer, that New Zealanders are welcome to come," the Premier said.

UNDP and NZ sign $5 million partnership to support electoral processes in Vanuatu

The funding assistance of NZD$5 million(US$3.4 million) will boost the current electoral project implemented by UNDP into phase two of the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project (VEEP-II) which will begin in January 2021.

 

Human Rights Commission Launches inquiry into Pacific pay disparity

Labour force data indicates Pacific workers are the lowest paid across the country and the pay gap between Pākehā men and Pacific women in the public sector is 27 percent, the commission says.

Its new report, Talanoa: Human rights issues for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand, heard from Pacific workers who said they were "often overlooked for upskilling opportunities and promotions. These workers also fear retaliation in raising concerns with their employers", the commission said.