New Zealand

102 Covid-19 community cases in NZ today

The Ministry of Health said 94 of the cases were in Auckland and eight in Waikato. Thirty of the cases are household contacts.

Forty of the new cases remain unlinked and there are 199 unlinked cases in the past 14 days.

There were 60 new community cases yesterday.

All of the Waikato cases were in the Te Awamutu area, the ministry said. Seven had already been linked to known cases.

One of the Waikato cases travelled to Hawke's Bay last Friday, but returned to Te Awamutu before testing positive.

Dame Cindy Kiro sworn in as Governor-General of New Zealand

After placing her hand on the Bible as requested by chief justice Helen Winkelmann, Dame Cindy recited the oaths of office in both English and Māori.

She is the first wāhine Māori to hold the position, and is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent.

Dame Cindy was born in Whangārei in 1958 and is the eldest of six children.

She was most recently the chief executive of the Royal Society - Te Apārangi, has been a Children's Commissioner and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland.

Australia, NZ miss out on World Sevens Series event due to Covid-19

The 2022 schedule was announced on Tuesday with the series to kick off with a pair of men’s and women’s rounds in Dubai starting in November.

But while Hong Kong returns as a stop, Sydney and Hamilton (New Zealand) have missed out because of its stringent pandemic protocols.

Instead, Spain will play host for the first time with men’s and women’s events scheduled in Malaga and Seville from January 21-23 and January 28-30.

Toulouse in France will also welcome teams in May next year.

New Zealand five-year funding support for Pacific aviation safety and security

Signed on 8 September 2021, the PASO Support Programme is a five-year New Zealand Aid Programme partnership which provides PASO’s 10 Pacific Island Member States with continued strategic capacity support to improve their international aviation safety and security compliance.

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Deputy Secretary, Pacific and Development Group, Mr. Jonathan Kings said ultimately improving Pacific aviation safety and security means better connectivity for Pacific people and enables sustainable regional economic development and prosperity.

New data shows Pacific vaccination rates by suburb in New Zealand

A number of the highest vaccination rates among Pasifika are in densely-populated areas like South Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

In the South Auckland area, some suburbs with a population of more than 2,000 Pasifika, saw vaccination rates for the first dose in the early 70s.

This included Sutton Park (72 per cent), Clover Park North (71 per cent) and Otara East, Mangere Mascot and Mangere Central (all at 70 per cent).

Pacific Languages Strategy underway in Aotearoa

Consultation has begun on the Pacific Languages Strategy which is aimed at increasing the use of Pacific languages in New Zealand.

Minister for Pacific People's Aupito William Sio said the strategy will allow for more effective leadership and co-ordination across government and supporting communities to drive language revitalisation.

Aupito said unfortunately fewer people are using Pacific languages than they did a couple of decades ago.

He said this strategy celebrates the value of languages and everyone is invited to have their say not just Pacific people.

PM Jacinda Ardern announces new travel rules for leaving Auckland

Ardern announced the changes for people who may need to cross the Auckland boundary at today's media briefing on the Delta outbreak.

There are eight new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and four in managed isolation.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield also spoke at the briefing.

Ardern says from 11.59pm tonight, people will be able to leave Auckland into a level 2 environment if they:

New Zealand confirms dates for One-way Quarantine Free Travel dates for RSE Scheme

“We’re pleased to announce that RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand from 4 October, with Samoan and Tongan workers arriving from 12 October,” Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said.

“This will provide much needed certainty for our growers as they gear up for summer and autumn harvesting.”

12 new community cases in Auckland - Health Ministry

In a statement the Health Ministry said there are now a total of 1177 community cases associated with the latest outbreak of the Delta variant of the virus.

All of the latest cases were identified in Auckland.

The ministry said one of today's community cases had previously been under investigation and is now confirmed and linked to the current outbreak. "The case has now recovered. The case spent 14 days in a quarantine facility along with household members who also tested positive for Covid-19."

Men caught smuggling KFC into lockdown-hit Auckland

The men were charged with breaching the country's tough COVID-19 rules.

Under Auckland's strict Level 4 lockdown, all restaurants, including take-away services, remain closed.

Police said the men, aged 23 and 30, had travelled from Hamilton, about 75 miles south of Auckland.

A police spokesperson told the BBC that officers made the arrest after they noticed a suspicious looking vehicle travelling on a gravel road on the outskirts of the city.