NZ

One-way 'travel bubble' opens between Australia and NZ

None of the passengers on the flight from Auckland to Sydney will be required to quarantine in Australia.

However they will have to pay for their own quarantine in a hotel when they return to New Zealand.

At the moment, the bubble is one-sided, with Australians not allowed to enter New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand are among the first countries in the Asia-Pacific region to loosen restrictions on international travel since Covid-19 travel bans came into effect earlier this year.

Thousands of Samoans ready to alleviate worker shortages in Aus and NZ

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour's Lemalu Nele Leila said the government is eager to see some of the nearly 3000 workers waiting to be deployed, leave for opportunities overseas.

Lemalu said she's hopeful a group of workers will head off before Christmas, most likely to Australia.

She told the Samoa Observer the government would like them to go from next week if possible.

Lemalu says workers and their families are continually asking when they can go back to New Zealand or Australia.

NZ resident to be deported to Samoa after raping 71-year-old woman

Matila Ilia-Neemia​ came to New Zealand in 2011 at the age of 13. He became a resident after being adopted by his aunt and uncle, who also have residency.

In 2015, when he was 18, he entered a 71-year-old woman’s home and raped her twice. He was convicted of rape and burglary and sentenced to six years and three months in prison, but was released after serving two years and three months.

At his sentencing, the court heard Ilia-Neemia entered the woman’s home through an unlocked door after hearing the shower running.

Call for more Fijian engagement with language and culture in NZ

It's Fijian Language Week and nearly 20,000 of the islanders in New Zealand are expected to celebrate Fiji's 50th independence on Saturday.

Auckland-based Fijian Nacanieli Yalimaiwai is also a director of Pacific charity trust The Fono.

Yalimaiwai is calling for more participation of his people to ensure their language and culture is preserved for future generations.

"About seven percent of NZ-born Fijians speak the Fijian language. That's very low and should be worrying for our people," Nacanieli Yalimaiwai said.

Fiji still keen for 'bula bubble' with NZ and Australia

The newly-appointed Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said he expects quarantine-free travel with New Zealand to be in place by December.

New Zealand's Prime Minister said she expects her country will soon be in a position to open up to the Cook Islands.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said his country is committed to making the 'Bula Bubble' work with its major partners in the region.

Eden Park keeps Bledisloe Cup test

It means the second Bledisloe Cup test will be played at Eden Park next Sunday, as fans will be allowed to attend.

The test would have been moved to Dunedin if Auckland remained at Alert Level 2.

NZR general manager professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum says it's great news.

"Auckland fans missed out on both the North v South match last month and the Blues v Crusaders match so this is positive news that they will be able to enjoy Test match rugby,' Lendrum said.

The COVID-stricken Air India flight that brought 17 cases to NZ

On August 28, the Ministry of Health confirmed seven imported cases of COVID-19; three men in their 30s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 20s, and two children.  

They arrived in New Zealand on the flight in question - an Air India flight from Delhi, on August 23. 

Christchurch mosque shooter did not want to appear in person

Terrorist and mass murderer Brenton Tarrant will spend the rest of his life behind bars, after he was sentenced yesterday for killing 51 people and injuring 40 at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques last year.

Court documents which were suppressed until the end of the sentencing show Tarrant applied to appear at his sentencing by way of audio-visual link.

His counsel said it would provide cost-saving and avoid the need for secure transfer from Auckland to Christchurch.

Important to keep Pacific communities informed - minister

Pacific people make up close to 75 percent of the cases in the Auckland cluster.

Commenting on whether he was concerned about the susceptibility of Pacific Islanders to Covid-19, Kris Faafoi said things like the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the community were concerning.

But he said Pacific people were no more susceptible now than they were during the first wave of Covid-19 and he reiterated that everyone was at risk.

Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman to represent himself at sentencing

In March, Brenton Tarrant made a late guilty plea to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

He is due to be sentenced on 24 August.

Tarrant appeared via audio-visual link (AVL) in Christchurch High Court this morning where he waived his rights to a lawyer to represent himself for sentencing.

His previous lawyers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson withdrew their application to represent him.