New Zealand

ASB Polyfest returns to Auckland after two year break

The hoisting of flags at dawn by Maori and Pacific community leaders was especially poignant as it marks the return of the iconic Maori and Pacific schools festival after two years.

The 45-year-old festival was cancelled over the last two years due to the Christchurch shooting in 2019 and last year’s COVID 19 lockdown.

ASB Polyfest Trustee Mama Tupou Manapouri says it is just so important for our students to return to the stage and celebrate who they are.

“After the lengthy COVID 19 lockdowns we all needed to get back to some kind of normalcy and mental wellbeing.”

Samoan in NZ prison for murder to be deported on release

Esau Vailagilala was 19 when he tackled John Li'a to the ground after a birthday party in Mt Roskill in 2011.

He was joined two other men and they used weapons to attack and stab the victim, who bled to death.

RNZ reports Vailagilala, now aged 28, arrived in New Zealand in 2009 through adoption by his aunt.

Among family he will leave behind in New Zealand when he is released from his 13-year sentence for murder in 2026 and deported, is his twin brother.

28 Samoans in NZ receive scholarships under Toloa Programme

The recipients will pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  

Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said more Pasifika are embracing STEM opportunities, paving a pathway to educational success.

Now in its sixth year, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Toloa Programme is achieving its goal of helping Pacific Aotearoa to thrive.

“Our aim has always been to see Pacific communities in Aotearoa prosper, and encouraging more people into STEM-related study and jobs is a way to do this,” said Minister Sio in a statement.

Man seriously injured after airborne car gets stuck in fruit bins in NZ

A police spokesperson said the car was seen speeding the wrong way down Karamu Road in Hastings and failed to stop for police just after 12.30am, fleeing down Kenilworth Road.

It hit gravel at the base of railway lines, become airborne and went over a fence, crashing into the fruit bins and ending about 10 metres above the ground.

Fire and Emergency spokesperson Mike Wanoa said rescuers used ladders to reach the man in the vehicle, then cut him free.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

NZ's football World Cup venues to be unveiled

Australia and New Zealand will jointly host the 32 team tournament with 12 cities from both countries having bid to host games.

The 64 games will be split between the two countries with the tournament opener and a semi-final to be played here while Sydney has already been confirmed as the host city for the final.

Football's world govenring body FIFA has carried out an eight month survey of each of the 12 candidate host cities which include, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington.

Fiji's Bula Bubble suffers setback

Fiji's government said it has proven itself as a safe destination for travellers during the pandemic with no cases reported for more than 320 days.

Fiji said it was ready to open its border to Australia and New Zealand and urged both countries to join Fiji's so-called Bula Bubble scheme.

But its major regional partners say the Fijians are not on the priority list for a seat on the trans-Tasman travel bubble, just yet.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday several concerns needed to be resolved before a trans-Tasman bubble could go ahead.

Amnesty urges urgent action by Australia, NZ on PNG covid surge

Hundreds of new confirmed Covid cases in the past few days have taken PNG's total number of cases to nearly 2,500.

Despite limited testing, the picture of high community transmission is becoming glaringly clear, particularly in the capital Port Moresby and other urban areas.

A proliferation of cases among health workers has only exacerbated the shortcomings of PNG's ailing health system in this time of crisis.

Pasifika health providers pivotal in vaccine roll-out says Aupito

The first priority group included border and managed isolation quarantine workers and their household contacts.

The second priority group are front-line health workers and people living in high-risk settings such as older people in South Auckland, people in residential care and older people particularly Māori and Pacific.

Aupito William Sio told RNZ Pacific that providers have trusted relationships with the communities they serve, and they will be able to identify and vaccinate the Pasifika elderly in their regions.

NZ Prime Minister says vaccine passport important for travel to Pacific

With many living in New Zealand and wanting to travel, Jacinda Ardern emphasised the vaccine is key to a free travel passport.

“A lot of conversations with our Pacific neighbours, there’s a desire to make sure that we’re protecting our most vulnerable,” she says.

“And so any country I think that is looking to open up and have movement again, is aware that unless we have a vaccination programme that reaches our most vulnerable they are at risk. 

ANZ Bank to pay $280,000 over credit card insurance

The bank admitted breaches of the Financial Markets Conduct Act after the Financial Markets Authority filed proceedings in June last year.

The Authority said ANZ issued duplicate policies to some customers which provided no additional benefits.

It also failed to cancel policies for ineligible customers, while continuing to charge them.

The penalty was in line with the Authority's recommendation to the court.