All Blacks back David Havili staying in NZ after World Cup

The Nelson-born utility wants to build on the success he has had in the international arena, Super Rugby Pacific and NPC.

Havili has played 25 tests for the All Blacks, won six consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and claimed a pair of NPC titles as captain of the Tasman Makos.

"I'm very happy and grateful to be re-signing with New Zealand Rugby and I'm looking forward to the future," Havili said.

9047 new community cases and a further 13 deaths reported in NZ

Thursday's seven-day rolling average of case numbers is 7705, down from 7935 last week.

There are 484 people in hospital with the virus - with 15 in ICU.

The 13 deaths reported yesterday included people who had died over the previous nine days, apart from two deaths on 4 April. The Ministry of Health said 723 people with Covid-19 had now died in New Zealand.

Dan Carter takes on 24-hour kickathon for charity

Returning to Eden Park to launch his dedicated fundraising platform in association with UNICEF, the DC10 fund, Carter is taking on a 24-hour kickathon.

He is aiming to knock 1598 kicks between the posts in a period of 24 hours - matching the total number of points the first-five notched in his All Black career.

Funds raised from the event will be put toward UNICEF's water sanitation and hygiene programme for children in the Pacific.


Two Samoans drown in Palmerston North river

Police said the men were aged in the 30s and 40s and were from the same family.

The two bodies were recovered from the Manawatū River on Sunday afternoon.

Police received reports just after 5.30pm on Sunday that two men who were swimming in the river near Awapuni were missing.

Searchers recovered the men’s bodies a short time later at a nearby location just before dark.

Police are making enquires in relation to the deaths on behalf of the coroner, who will release their findings in due course.

Samoa progresses on plans for December repatriation flights

However, Cabinet in its meeting last week agreed to reshuffle two flights scheduled for December.

Savali newspaper reports a flight originally scheduled for 27 November from Auckland, New Zealand has been rescheduled to 4 December.

Another flight scheduled for 11 December is rescheduled to 18 December.

In announcing the changes, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa revealed during her weekly press conference last Friday that Cabinet zeroed in on a range of factors to justify the new flight dates,

Samoan man convicted of people trafficking and slavery in NZ takes case to Supreme Court

Joseph Auga Matamata, 66, a chief, was convicted in March 2020 for bringing 13 Samoans to New Zealand and exploiting them for more than two decades. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail.

In April, he appealed his convictions arguing the trial judge had misled the jury over what constituted slavery, while the Crown appealed his sentence, saying it was too lenient.

But the Court of Appeal dismissed his bid in August. They also dismissed the Crown's bid to increase the man's 11-year sentence, but ruled he must serve at least five years in prison.

NZ to fund Samoa Conservation Society

The funding has been provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa announced the assistance at the opening of the Art Whistler Memorial Garden Thursday.

“We thank our N.Z. government partners for your ongoing support for conservation in Samoa.”

Sixty metal Manumea birds are being specially made by the Metalbird Company in New Zealand, who have partnered with Samoa to support the recovery of their national bird

Christchurch International Airport considering bond offer

The airport's bottom line was affected by the pandemic, as international traveller numbers fell by 95 percent.

This contributed to about $21 million in lost earnings.

Despite the various lockdowns in the past 12 months, domestic tourism fell just 6 percent to 3.6m.

Total traveller numbers through the airport fell from 5.2m in the past financial year to 3.7m.

"We spent seven years building the business back better after the earthquakes," CIAL chief executive Malcolm Johns said.

New Zealand pandemic strategy in doubt amid Delta spread

Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins said the variant "changes the game considerably" and makes existing protections "look less adequate".

It comes as the country announced a further 21 confirmed cases in the latest outbreak of the virus.

New Zealand had quashed earlier Covid outbreaks with rapid, strict lockdowns.

The country was praised for its efforts, which effectively stopped the spread of the virus. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly referred to New Zealand as "our team of five million".


Former Samoa leader unhappy with NZ judge appointments

The NZ High Court judges are being brought in to hear contempt cases, at least one of which involves the former prime minister.

In a press release Tuilaepa said: "Why didn't they appoint them when we asked for palagi [non-Samoan] judges to handle the appeal case to replace Chief Justice Satiu."

In July, amid acrimonious legal challenges to the FAST party's election majority, Tuila'epa party (HRPP) accused the country's chief justice of being incompetent and not acting in accordance with the law.