Auckland

Major fire breaks out in SkyCity convention centre in central Auckland

SkyCity has decided to evacuate its entire Auckland precinct, because of smoke from the fire.

That means people will need to leave the Sky Tower, casino, all SkyCity hotels and restaurants and corporate offices.

The company said police were onsite to help with evacuations.

People who were intending to visit SkyCity venues this evening - including restaurants on Federal Street - should make alternative arrangements.

Auckland confirmed as base for Lord of the Rings

Pre-production is already underway and work on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months.

Showrunners and executive producers JD Payne and Patrick McKay said they wanted to find somewhere with majestic scenery and "world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff".

"We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase.

Viral measles outbreak in Auckland has Pacific nations on alert

From 1 January 2019 to 9 September 2019 there have been 1131 confirmed cases of measles notified across New Zealand - 944 of these confirmed cases are in the Auckland region.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the New Zealand government is continuing to give very strong advice to everyone to get immunised.

Hugh Jackman in Auckland: Show times, tickets, and how to get there

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman is set to perform his world tour in the city of sails.

The Australian-born actor and singer is on his way for his "The Man. The Music. The Show." tour.

It will head to Auckland for two shows at Spark Arena on Friday and Saturday.

Here is everything you need to know if you are heading along.

759 measles cases now confirmed in Auckland

Auckland is at the centre of the outbreak with hundreds more cases than the rest of the country combined

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said the number was 143 higher than this time last week.

It was warning Auckland schools to take serious precautions if they were participating in the many sports tournaments due to start around the country next week.

Anyone with symptoms of measles, including a cough or runny nose, should not be included in teams, it said.

Auckland city kava bar hopes to win hearts and minds over drink

The drink - an earthy-tasting ground root which numbs muscles and has been used to treat anxiety and stress - has been used widely across the Pacific and among its diaspora for centuries.

But the West, commercial traction has been held back by a lack of education around Pacific culture and limited research into its effects, experts say. Although legal in New Zealand, kava imports been restricted in many Western jurisdictions, including parts of Australia.

Elton John's New Zealand concerts rescheduled - but Auckland get an extra show

After some confusion on Wednesday, John also confirmed he has changed the dates of three of his concerts in this country "due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict".

The new and third Auckland show will be at Mt Smart Stadium on February 20, 2020. Tickets for that show will go on sale on May 22.

The dates for John's other two Auckland shows, and for the second of his shows at Mission Estate Winery in Hawke's Bay, have been delayed by a week.

Olympic qualifier draw complete

The event will take place between 21 September and 5 October.
 
During the Draw, OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp was assisted by Rajesh Patel, the President of the Fiji Football Association, who are the hosts of this year’s tournament.
 
Fiji will be joined by seven other Member Associations with the winner securing the rights to represent OFC at the Men’s Olympic Tournament at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
 

Variety of Pacific products on show in Auckland

With the cancellation of Pasifika and the final day of Polyfest last month, organisers say Saturday's Path to the Pacific Trade Show may well be the only Pasifika event pre-Easter that incorporates business, entertainment, seminars and food.

The Path to the Pacific will feature Fiji ginger that's making waves worldwide, organic jams and coconut soap from Fiji; rare gems and stunning handicrafts from the Solomon Islands and Pacific fashion, bilum weavers, coffee and baskets from Papua New Guinea.

Polyfest 2019 kicks off in Auckland

The 44th ASB Polyfest, which runs until Saturday, will see more than 12,000 secondary school students take to the stage.

Groups from 66 schools have entered into the competition, which is being held at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, said Polyfest helped ethnic communities hold on to their sense of identity and culture.