Auckland

Elton John's New Zealand concerts rescheduled - but Auckland get an extra show

After some confusion on Wednesday, John also confirmed he has changed the dates of three of his concerts in this country "due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict".

The new and third Auckland show will be at Mt Smart Stadium on February 20, 2020. Tickets for that show will go on sale on May 22.

The dates for John's other two Auckland shows, and for the second of his shows at Mission Estate Winery in Hawke's Bay, have been delayed by a week.

Olympic qualifier draw complete

The event will take place between 21 September and 5 October.
 
During the Draw, OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp was assisted by Rajesh Patel, the President of the Fiji Football Association, who are the hosts of this year’s tournament.
 
Fiji will be joined by seven other Member Associations with the winner securing the rights to represent OFC at the Men’s Olympic Tournament at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
 

Variety of Pacific products on show in Auckland

With the cancellation of Pasifika and the final day of Polyfest last month, organisers say Saturday's Path to the Pacific Trade Show may well be the only Pasifika event pre-Easter that incorporates business, entertainment, seminars and food.

The Path to the Pacific will feature Fiji ginger that's making waves worldwide, organic jams and coconut soap from Fiji; rare gems and stunning handicrafts from the Solomon Islands and Pacific fashion, bilum weavers, coffee and baskets from Papua New Guinea.

Samoa Airways cancels some Auckland flights after Boeing 737 Max grounding

The airline had been leasing an older generation 737 from Europe to perform its flights - but the lease has expired. Samoa Airways was due to lease a new 737 Max 9 in late March. However, the airline has announced it has cancelled its lease in the wake of two fatal crashes and the global grounding of the Boeing aircraft.

Samoa Airways is now scrambling to find another plane to operate its international flights.

Polyfest 2019 kicks off in Auckland

The 44th ASB Polyfest, which runs until Saturday, will see more than 12,000 secondary school students take to the stage.

Groups from 66 schools have entered into the competition, which is being held at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, said Polyfest helped ethnic communities hold on to their sense of identity and culture.

Powerful winds cause 'chaos' in Auckland

All flights into Auckland Airport are being diverted because of debris on the main runway caused by strong winds.

The airport said flights were either being returned to their originating airport or Christchurch.

There is no estimated time for when the runway will reopen, it said.

MetService said the winds have eased but would remain strong overnight in Auckland, Coromandel and Waikato.

Civil Defence said it was not activating or mobilising but were standing by to monitor the response.

Pasifika festival opens in Auckland

Festival organisers this year are wanting to focus the two-day event on connecting with village co-ordinators and Pacific communities.

Twenty six years ago the festival began as a joint initiative between community leaders and the council to bring Pasifika communities together.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate and share Pacific Island cultures with the wider Auckland community.

The event now attracts over 60,000 visitors over the two day festival.

Thirty exporters to feature at Pasifika

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ is working in association with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), an organisation of the Auckland Council, to create the Pacific Hub that will host exporting companies from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

Though PTI has hosted Pacific companies at Pasifika since 2016, stalls of PTI-hosted companies tended to be scattered across the ‘villages’ throughout the sprawling Western Springs property.

Second fish falls from sky in Auckland

James Wakefield, manager of No. 1 Queen Street Café in Britomart, was pulling the café sign down at about 8am this morning when something unusual happened. 

"I noticed a flash out of the corner of my eye, looked around and saw a fish on the ground," he told Newshub.

Mr Wakefield says his first reaction was to Snapchat the incident, "as you do".

He assumes the fish was a "seagull's breakfast" that had been dropped as it was flown over downtown Auckland. 

Alama Ieremia to coach Auckland

Some might say he's gone out of the frying pan and into the fire, but former All Black Alama Ieremia has been tasked with turning round the fortunes of the problem Auckland provincial side.

Ieremia's appointment as head coach for the next three seasons was announced on Monday by the Auckland Rugby Union. The 47-year-old former Hurricanes assistant and most recently in charge of the Manu Samoa setup takes over from Nick White who stepped aside at the end of a horror 2017 campaign that saw the Auks go 3-7 and narrowly avoid relegation from the Mitre 10 Cup's Premiership division.