New Zealand

Samoa Cabinet approves charter flights for seasonal workers

Cabinet approved the charter flights at its latest meeting.

There will be four flights to Australia and another four to New Zealand.

The flights to Australia are scheduled to depart Samoa on 1,7,23 and 25 March.

The dates for flights to New Zealand are 8, 15, 27 and 29 March.

Samoa govt approves regular repatriation flights from NZ

The chair of the National Emergency Operations Center Agafili Shem Leo confirmed the change saying Cabinet approves repatriation flights from Aotearoa New Zealand every three weeks.

The next repatriation flight is scheduled for 6 March.

Normal cargo flights continue without inbound travellers and are allowed to take outbound passengers.



Photo Samoa Airport Authority/Facebook  Caption: Faleolo International Airport 

NZ to donate more vaccines to COVAX

The Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the latest donation to COVAX will also support vaccination programmes in developing countries, including in parts of the Pacific and in Africa where immunisation rates are low.

New Zealand is contributing a further 7.3 million vaccines to COVAX including 5.8 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.5 million doses of Janssen vaccine.

Through New Zealand's Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pfizer, paediatric vaccine doses are also being provided to countries in Polynesia.

Negative Covid test results for 272 passengers on Samoa repatriation flight

The passengers were swabbed upon arrival, and all returned negative results on Sunday morning.

The National Emergency Operations Centre said the passengers are now in 21 days of quarantine at quarantine sites.

The NEOC said 134 highest risk frontline workers were also quarantined, straight after processing the flight, a new policy measure now in place to ensure minimal threat of the spread of Covid-19 beyond our borders.

Pacific Covid-19 survivors in New Zealand wanted for new study

The study, which is led by Victoria University, will ask nearly 8,700 people over the age of 16, what it was like to live with Covid-19.     

Pacific team leader Tuiloma Lina Samu is making sure people are able to take part in the survey in many Pacific languages. 

“If you are willing to take part, you can go through an interview with our Pacific researchers to fa’amatala, to go deeper into what you experienced when you went through Covid, as well your family members.”

Pasifika Festival cancelled

The event was due to be held from 18-20 March at Western Springs Park and marked the 30th anniversary of Pasifika.

The festival can only be delivered at the orange or green Covid-19 Protection Framework settings.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the cancellation is disappointing but the right call given the risks posed with Omicron spreading rapidly in the community.


Photo PMN News  Caption: Pasifika Festival


Samoan Methodist Church leaders contribute to Tonga relief effort

Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee co-chair, Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, said it has been overwhelming to see more than 20 pastors and their wives handing over the goods.

She said the distribution system in Tonga has changed, people can now pick up their barrels via contactless methods from the wharf.

Thirteen Churches were represented by their leaders who offloaded the goods themselves by hand.

Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee spokesperson Jenny Salesa said this is a representation of the hundreds of years of love between Samoa and Tonga.

446 new community cases in New Zealand today

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the new cases are in Northland (16), Auckland (340), Waikato (48), Lakes (13), Bay of Plenty (14), Lakes (13), Taranaki (1), Hutt Valley (7), Capital & Coast (4), and Southern (3).

The ministry said the number of cases would continue to fluctuate from day-to-day but "our expectation is that cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks".

NZ's border reopening 'too little, too late' - horticulture industry chief

They say more could and should have been done to avoid the crisis facing the 2021-2022 harvest season.

From 28 February, New Zealanders will be able to arrive back from Australia and expatriates from the rest of the world can return from 14 March.

Aotearoa was expected to open to foreigners from visa-waiver countries such as the United States no later than July.

For those who benefit from New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) Scheme, the move had come "too little too late".

Samoa and New Zealand celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations

This year also marks Samoa’s 60th anniversary of independence from Aotearoa New Zealand as well as the signing of the Treaty of Friendship.

In a joint statement, the New Zealand High Commission and the Government of Samoa said the special occasion will be celebrated with a number of events observing the warm relations that the two countries value and enjoy.

The Treaty of Friendship was signed on 1 August 1962.