New Zealand power past Vanuatu to book semi-final spot

The pre-tournament favourites flexed their muscles and showed their credentials in a dominant display that ensured a 100% record in the group stages.

Four goals in the first-half by centre forward Angela Pivac set the tone for the ninety minutes, with captain Ela Jerez at the heart of her side’s attacking endeavours. Jerez herself grabbed two in the first 45 minutes to add to the score.

All Blacks back David Havili staying in NZ after World Cup

The Nelson-born utility wants to build on the success he has had in the international arena, Super Rugby Pacific and NPC.

Havili has played 25 tests for the All Blacks, won six consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and claimed a pair of NPC titles as captain of the Tasman Makos.

"I'm very happy and grateful to be re-signing with New Zealand Rugby and I'm looking forward to the future," Havili said.

9047 new community cases and a further 13 deaths reported in NZ

Thursday's seven-day rolling average of case numbers is 7705, down from 7935 last week.

There are 484 people in hospital with the virus - with 15 in ICU.

The 13 deaths reported yesterday included people who had died over the previous nine days, apart from two deaths on 4 April. The Ministry of Health said 723 people with Covid-19 had now died in New Zealand.

Dan Carter takes on 24-hour kickathon for charity

Returning to Eden Park to launch his dedicated fundraising platform in association with UNICEF, the DC10 fund, Carter is taking on a 24-hour kickathon.

He is aiming to knock 1598 kicks between the posts in a period of 24 hours - matching the total number of points the first-five notched in his All Black career.

Funds raised from the event will be put toward UNICEF's water sanitation and hygiene programme for children in the Pacific.


Vanuatu choppers heading to NZ for maintenance

The aircraft have been idle since April 2020 because of a lack of maintenance and a qualified engineer.

An RNZ Pacific correspondent in Port Vila says the choppers are now sitting on the wharf waiting for the next available ship to transport them to New Zealand.

The chief pilot of Vanuatu Helicopters, Andy Martin, said the last operations that involved the choppers were during cyclone Harold last year.

He said it would be a worry if the two helicopters are not back in Vanuatu after maintenance works because the country is approaching the cyclone season.

Christchurch International Airport considering bond offer

The airport's bottom line was affected by the pandemic, as international traveller numbers fell by 95 percent.

This contributed to about $21 million in lost earnings.

Despite the various lockdowns in the past 12 months, domestic tourism fell just 6 percent to 3.6m.

Total traveller numbers through the airport fell from 5.2m in the past financial year to 3.7m.

"We spent seven years building the business back better after the earthquakes," CIAL chief executive Malcolm Johns said.

Vanuatu appoints new country’s High Commissioner to New Zealand

Nipo will be based in Wellington.

He is a long-time civil servant and one of Vanuatu’s first Director Generals since the creation of the DG position.

At that time, Nipo was appointed as DG of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

He has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Vanuatu Football Federation.

Following his appointment yesterday, Nipo will present his credential letters to the President of the Republic of Vanuatu before his departure next month.

His contract is for three years but it is renewable.

New Zealand pandemic strategy in doubt amid Delta spread

Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins said the variant "changes the game considerably" and makes existing protections "look less adequate".

It comes as the country announced a further 21 confirmed cases in the latest outbreak of the virus.

New Zealand had quashed earlier Covid outbreaks with rapid, strict lockdowns.

The country was praised for its efforts, which effectively stopped the spread of the virus. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly referred to New Zealand as "our team of five million".


Eleven crew members on a ship off the coast of Tauranga test positive

Eleven of the 21 crew on board the Rio De La Plata are confirmed to have the virus.

Public Health staff took the test swabs in Tauranga from the crew as part of the requirements for entry for the vessel to its next stop - Napier.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement that it was likely at least some of the 11 crew were active cases of COVID-19 and further test results, expected today, would help determine how many of the crew were likely to be historical cases and no longer infectious.

NZ sends 100,000 vaccine doses to Fiji

Fiji reported 1100 new cases and 13 more deaths today, bringing to total death toll to 254.

Of the deaths, 252 of them have come from the April outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said New Zealand paid for 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine directly from the Spanish government to meet Fiji's immediate vaccine needs. The vaccines were due to arrive today.

"Our thoughts remain with Fiji during this incredibly challenging period," Mahuta said in a statement.