Auckland

Pasifika ministers won't 'isolate' church-goers for refusal of COVID-19 vaccine

It comes as nine ministers from the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa (EFKS) Synod were in line to take their first jab at the Otara Vaccination Centre.

EFKS Sandringham minister Reverend Featunai Liuaana says he’s talked with his congregation about the possible consequences of not taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We don’t isolate them, we try to get everybody else to be vaccinated, but at least there’s protection there for those who have been vaccinated.

Auckland's Polyfest allows students to take 'first step' in their cultural journey

For many students, this year’s ASB Polyfest was their first chance to embrace their heritage on the grandest stage of them all.

With the Samoan and Tongan stages kicking off, it was natural some had butterflies.

"It feels good but I’m nervous at the same time," says a Year 7 St Peter's College Samoan student.

While for others, their competitive side was on show.

A Tongan student at Sacred Heart College says he joined the group to "make history, take home the dub and rep the culture".

Armed police respond to gunfire reports at Auckland's Sofitel hotel

Police say they were called to an address on Viaduct Harbour Avenue shortly after 9am today.

They say there were no reported injuries. Armed police are at the scene.

A friend of a Sofitel worker says a gunman entered the lobby firing.

A man who works near the Sofitel says he witnessed a man being arrested by at least eight police officers.

And a guest who was staying at the hotel told RNZ they heard two loud bangs.

The guest was staying for two nights and said he was sitting in the hotel restaurant when he heard the bangs.

Oceania Healthcare plans $100 million expansion

The company is buying the Waterford complex on Hobsonville Point in Auckland which comprises of 64 independent living villas and 36 independent living apartments.

It is also buying 6.1 hectares of land in Franklin, South Auckland, part of which has a care-only facility on it. Oceania planned to develop an integrated village, with housing and care facilities.

Auckland’s Pasifika festival postponed to April

The festival was originally planned to start this weekend at Western Springs Park but will now take place on 10-11 April at Mt Smart stadium.

“I look forward to attending Pasifika this year and enjoying all the performances, music, art, culture and heritage and the festival offers,” says Goff.

Richard Clarke, the Auckland Unlimited Head of Major Events says: “Pasifika festival is a hugely popular celebration of our region’s Pacific communities, and we are determined to give ourselves every opportunity to deliver a great and safe event this year.

Auckland enters Covid-19 alert level 3

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at a briefing at 9pm last night saying that the alert level changes would come in from 6am today and would be in place for seven days.

She said Cabinet would assess the alert levels but it was likely that Auckland would remain in alert level 3 for the full seven days.

Ardern said the announcement comes after two new Covid-19 community cases that could not be directly linked to earlier cases.

TVNZ doubles profit and repays $4.9m in wage subsidies

Revenues slipped $3m to $175m due to a drop in advertising.

But the state-owned broadcaster said it experienced “positive audience and revenue momentum” in the final quarter of last year which had continued into the new year.

Because of that, it expected to “significantly exceed” its financial forecasts for the full year to the end of June.

The company’s profit was up from just under $16m in the same period in 2019, thanks to a $33m drop in costs, almost three-quarters of which was attributable to lower spending on content because of Covid.

Three new Covid-19 community cases in Auckland

There have been no changes to the alert levels at this stage.

Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have provided an update.

Hipkins confirmed the three new cases of Covid-19 in the community are a mother, father and daughter from the same household in Papatoetoe.

The mother works for laundry and catering company LSG Skychefs, which services planes at the airport.

Her main duties at the company involved laundry duties, but she was also involved in some of the packing and preparation of food.

Patient with Covid-19 dies in an Auckland hospital

In a statement today, the Ministry of Health said the death has not been included in the official Covid-related deaths "at this stage".

The Ministry said the patient was transferred from a managed isolation facility into hospital-level care for the treatment of a serious non-Covid related condition earlier this month, and then returned a positive result.

The Ministry said the patient spoke with family daily, either by zoom or phone.

"On behalf of New Zealanders, I want to recognise this family's loss," said Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Sony-backed Whisper makes its move in NZ with an eye on the All Blacks

In the middle of the year, the 40-year-old Aucklander will return home after more than a decade in the UK, with wife Olivia and young sons Teddy (2) and Toby (4 months) on board for the adventure.

And when he settles back into life in Aotearoa, the fast-changing sport, media and entertainment landscape could also be in for a serious shake-up.

Gemmell will head up the Auckland office of Whisper, the production company that Spark Sport recruited to produce its coverage of the Black Caps in the deal with NZ Cricket. But Whisper sees that as only the first step.