New Zealand

New Zealand reports 34,528 new Covid cases, 418 hospitalised over past week

As of Sunday midnight, 418 cases were hospitalised and 10 were in intensive care.

Of the 40 people with the virus who died, two were from Northland, 14 were from Auckland region, four were from Waikato, one was from Bay of Plenty, four were from Lakes, one was from Hawke's Bay, three were from MidCentral, three were from Whanganui, one was from Wellington region, one was from Nelson Marlborough, three were from Canterbury, two were from Southern.

Relative of children found dead in suitcases in Auckland believed to be in South Korea

The woman, a Korean-born New Zealander, arrived in South Korea in 2018 and had no record of departure since then, a police officer told Reuters.

Her whereabouts and whether she had other relatives with her when she arrived in South Korea were not immediately known.

"New Zealand police had requested confirmation whether the person who might be related to a crime case was in South Korea," the police officer said, adding that given her past address and age, she could be the mother of the kids.

Group of friends 'jumped', leaving one dead and another injured in an Auckland park

On the night of October 3, 2020, Nigel Fuatimu​ and Samtuiosa Osa​ were socialising with friends in Jellicoe Park in Manurewa, south Auckland.

“Without warning, he and his friends were jumped by some other men,” Crown prosecutor Dale Dufty told a jury on Monday.

Fuatimu​ and Osa were randomly attacked, Dufty said.

Isaac Ramese-Stanley​ and Simon Tavita​ are jointly charged with murdering Fuatimu. Kitiona Stanley​ is charged with assault with intent to injure Samtuiosa Osa.

All three have pleaded not guilty and are on trial at the High Court at Auckland.

Samoan govt puzzled as to how seasonal workers were able to leave

All seasonal workers who take up employment in New Zealand and Australia must first be approved by Cabinet.

The government suspended the scheme in March while a special committee conducted a review.

The Minister for Commerce, Industry and Labour, Leatinu'u Wayne Sooialo, said the committee report had not been completed and he wants to know how RSE workers managed to fly to New Zealand without formal approval.

Samoa Observer is reporting 17 fruit pickers and freezing workers left Samoa this week.

New Zealand to stay at Covid-19 Orange traffic light setting until at least September

Under the orange setting you must wear a mask in most indoor settings. However, you can visit cafes and bars, attend gatherings and events, and go to gyms and hairdressers with no capacity limits or distancing requirements.

There are to be no changes to rules for case isolation and household contact quarantine requirements - and the next review setting will be in September.

Minister for the Covid-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall said significant pressure on hospitals meant current measures were still required.

The Samoan man who has taught 160,000 kids financial literacy in NZ

Vane Sopoaga from Porirua Wellington has entered 6,000 classrooms and taught financial literacy to over 163,000 students as part of the ASB Getwise program. The workshop is delivered all over Aotearoa and focuses on teaching children how to save, spend and use their money.

Sopoaga, a performing arts major, remembers his first days teaching in front of primary school children. “I was super nervous and anxious because I had to learn all these scripts and present it. But my performing arts background kicked in and I was able to make that connection with the kids.”

Samoa and New Zealand mark 60th anniversary of Treaty of Friendship

Ardern is accompanied by Christopher Luxon, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, and Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

The two-day visit to Samoa reflects the special nature of the relationship between the two countries as defined in that Treaty.

The treaty between the two countries was signed in 1962 two months after Samoa gained independence, after being previously administered by New Zealand since 1920.

Koko Samoa business stamps its mark in West Auckland

Aunty Tommy’s is the name given to a new cacao business which is modernising traditional methods of manufacturing koko Samoa.

Rivers says the business specialises in everything involving Pacific Cocoa or the ‘traditional koko block’.

“We’ve got a full production facility here. We make cacao paste. We also do nibs – and we’re looking to maybe expand into cocoa powder,” he says.

Its unique name has a familial significance for its co-founders who also happen to be cousins.

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.