New Zealand

Emotional reunions expected as Samoa's borders reopen on Monday

Hundreds of people have booked flights in the first two weeks of August and there is strong demand right through to the school holidays and Christmas season, Air NZ's Karen Gatt said.

NZ Herald reports borders will open on Monday, but the first flight - Air New Zealand NZ990 - will touch down at Faleolo International Airport the next day.

“Next Tuesday will be a significant day for the community here. I expect there will be lots of emotional welcomes and smiles at the airport,” she said.

Ardern to lead delegation to Samoa for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship

Prime Minister Ardern says the trip builds on Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mata'afa’s visit to New Zealand in June and provides another opportunity for us to reflect on our shared past and think ahead to a shared future.

In 1962 Samoa became the first Pacific nation to achieve independence after more than 50 years of New Zealand’s administration. Two months later the Treaty of Friendship was signed, committing both governments to working together to promote the welfare of the people of Samoa, and conduct the relationship in the spirit of close friendship. 

Pharmacist criticises Air NZ decision to offload antibiotics bound for Samoa

Air New Zealand has admitted the medicine destined for a pharmacy in Samoa was left behind because there wasn't enough room for it in the cargohold, and the space was needed for passengers' luggage.

The airline told the Samoa Observer there was a limited number of flights from New Zealand to Samoa at the moment, but passenger numbers had increased, causing the reduction in cargo space.

Apia pharmacist Maria Westerlund-Hunter told the newspaper the decision was alarming.

Auckland Airport domestic travellers face more flight cancellations

Auckland Airport's flight board showed 18 inbound and six departure flights have been cancelled today.

Many are between the city and Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Air New Zealand is offering credit to anyone who wishes to cancel their booking this month.

Flights between Dunedin and Christchurch have also been cancelled.

It is not clear whether the flights were cancelled due to heavy demand adding pressure to Covid-affected crews as the second week of the school holidays begins or weather problems.

New Zealand regain Oceania U-20 title

The Junior All Blacks scored two tries in the first 10 minutes to lead 14-0.

Down 26-0, things got worse for the Australians when both Jayden Blake and Mason Gordon were sent off within minutes of each other, allowing New Zealand to score two more tries immediately after each infringement, ending the half 40-0.

The onslaught continued in the second half though the Australians did manage to get on the scoresheet.

Australia finished third after Argentina's victory against Fiji.


New Zealand sees 10,290 cases in community, 12 new deaths

In a statement, the Ministry of Health, said 522 people were now in hospital, and 10 of those were in intensive care or a high dependency unit.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 7951 - up 661 on yesterday.

Today's death toll covers a period back to 1 July.

One person was in their 60s, three in their 70s, five in their 80s and three were aged over 90.

New Covid subvariant in New Zealand as cases ramp up

The Ministry of Health announced 9629 Covid-19 cases and 24 deaths, just over 3000 more cases than Monday’s figures.

It also announced new Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 was detected in the community for the first time.

“Both cases had recently travelled from India, where this subvariant has been detected,” the ministry said.

New Zealand Labour MP Anae Neru Leavasa reflects on Samoa's 60 years of independence

Anae's great-grandfather Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III was a leader of the Mau Movement of the 1920s, battling to break free from colonial rule.

Lealofi was shot on Black Saturday, 28 December 1929, when New Zealand military police fired on a peaceful demonstration in Apia. He died the next day.

His noteworthy final words were:

"My blood has been spilt for Samoa. I am proud to give it. Do not dream of avenging it as it was spilt in maintaining peace. If I die, peace must be maintained at any price."​

England romp home in third test to complete series sweep

Bairstow, whose batting heroics was key to ensuring England won the second test, picked up where he left off from Trent Bridge as he brought up his half century in 30 balls and then took England to victory on the last day with an unbeaten 71, finishing it off with a six.

A 111-run partnership with Joe Root, who was 86 not out, saw England reach the competitive victory target of 296 as they completed their first clean sweep of a home series in over a decade.

Total number of cases in NZ tops 1.3m, with 4429 new community cases today

The new cases today bring the total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand to 1,301,319.

In today's statement, the Ministry of Health said there were 332 people in hospital with Covid-19, including seven in ICU.

A further six deaths of people with the coronavirus have also been reported today, bringing the total death toll to 1461.

One person was in their 50s, one in their 60s, two in their 70s, and two aged over 90. Five were male and one was female. Three were from the Auckland region, two were from Canterbury, and one was from Waikato.