NZ

Professional sport allowed under Alert Level Two

But just when Super rugby or netball's ANZ premiership returns is unknown as the government will decide on Monday whether the country will shift from level three to two.

Under level two rules though spectators will not be allowed at games.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) confirmed there will be a New Zealand Super Rugby competition involving the five franchises and it will be played over ten weeks, two games each weekend and 20 matches in total.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said in the best case scenario the competition would start in June.

Covid-19: State Of Emergency declared in New Zealand

Government officials have given an update on the the Covid-19 national response, the latest health update, border issues and an essential services update.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were now 205 confirmed and probably cases, and there had been a total of 9780 tests undertaken so far.

Eight people who arrived in Auckland airport yesterday tested positive for Covid-19.

NZ virus case may mean ban on Pacific flights, government told

There are fears the coronavirus could spell a repeat of an epidemic of measles that spread from New Zealand to Samoa, where it has killed 83 people and made nearly 6000 ill since October.

Samoa's Ministry of Health has already confirmed that two Samoan sailors are in quarantine for 14 days at the Faleolo District Hospital amid fears they might be carrying China's coronavirus.

Samoa has stopped direct flights from China to reduce the risk of introducing the coronavirus.

Lineup announced for 'I Love Samoa' benefit concerts in NZ

The 'I Love Samoa 2020' concerts will take place in Auckland, Wellington and Australia's Gold Coast from the end of the month.

The concerts will include Ardijah, Annie Crummer, Sammy Johnson, Lole and traditional powerhouses Punialava'a.

Hip hop stars Savage and Swiss will also perform as well as other Pasifika stars.

Organiser Danny 'Brotha D' Leaosavai'i told 531pi the response from the musicians had been heart-warming.

"They're all donating their time and their talents for this.

Samoan seasonal worker denies rape and strangulation charges

According to New Zealand media reports, Melota Metuala has elected trial by jury on the two charges.

Police allege the incident took place in Blenheim on September 14. 

Metuala, who was working in Marlborough on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, faces charges of sexual violation and intentionally impeding the breathing of his victim by applying pressure to her throat and neck.

His appearance at the Blenheim District Court was excused on Monday, as he had previously been granted electronically monitored bail to an Auckland address.

Pacific migrant workers can now access measles vaccine in New Zealand

The Ministry of Health has amended laws barring non-residents from accessing vaccinations in a bid to curb the spread of measles among workers, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) said on Friday. It comes as the death toll from a measles epidemic in Samoa - currently at 79 - continues to rise.

The changes will mostly affect Samoans in or travelling to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, which enables around 13,000 Pacific workers to visit New Zealand each year on temporary work permits.

'Export' of measles to Pacific 'very disappointing' - NZ Opposition MP

A sick traveller from Auckland carried the disease to Samoa, where seven measles cases have been confirmed.

There are also 169 suspected cases in Samoa, including one that lead to the death of an infant.

And in Tonga, a measles outbreak was declared yesterday after members of a school rugby team contracted the virus on a trip to New Zealand.

Sixty-eight cases have been confirmed in Tonga.

New Zealand has to help its Pacific neighbours tackle the disease, the MP Shane Reti said.

Call for Australia and NZ to help fund Pacific rugby

Tonga, Samoa and Fiji's performances at the World Cup were hampered by a lack of economic resources, Fiji economist Wadan Narsey said.

He said if a Pacific team was included in the Super Rugby competition, it would strengthen Pacific rugby unions financially.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that New Zealand and Australia gave to the Pacific had a negligible political impact, he said.

Māori, Pasifika teens suffer more ethnicity-related discrimination from teachers than peers

The report, He Whakaaro, says nearly 15 percent of Māori students and 12 percent of Pasifika students said teachers were unfair to them because of their ethnicity in the previous year, but only 3 percent complained of bullying related to their ethnicity.

The figures were based on new analysis of data gathered in the Youth 2000 University of Auckland survey of 8500 teenagers in 2012.

NZ win first gold medals at Pacific Games

The Auckland teenager snatched 94kg and clean and jerked 112kg for a 206kg total, to win all three gold medals in the women's 76kg division.

It really does mean a lot because it just shows that all my hard work is paying off, at the end of the day, and I'm just very pleased with myself and all of my team members."