New Zealand

Joint Australian and NZ medical assistance team to help Fiji respond to COVID-19 outbreak

The team will work with their Fijian counterparts from the Ministry of Health & Medical Services to bolster Fiji’s fight against COVID-19.

Australia and New Zealand deployed the highly trained joint multi-disciplinary team following a request from the Fijian Government.

The team’s priority over the next 28 days will be creating additional spaces to offer care to non-COVID patients and to strengthen infection control protocols.

The team are fully vaccinated and, following quarantine, will deploy to Suva to support the Fiji Ministry of Health.

Pasifika high school students face worst housing deprivation in NZ

Scolastica Samoa Faaluaseu Filipo (Samalaeulu, Vailele), 17, is the head girl of Marcellin College.

She lives with her parents and three siblings, and two extended family members stay in the granny flat.

But they are on the move.

Although her two older sisters attended a prestigious private girls school elsewhere in Tāmāki Makaurau, she insisted on enrolling into Marcellin so her parents would be less out of pocket.

NZ Government to formally apologise for 1970’s Dawn Raids on Pacific communities

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families.

The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers often took place very early in the morning or late at night and were routinely severe with demeaning, verbal and physical treatment.

“The Dawn Raids were a defining moment in New Zealand’s history and the emotional harm caused by them remains etched in the living memory of those who were directly impacted,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Five new cases in New Zealand MIQ as another person transferred to hospital

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said two people with COVID-19 were being treated at Middlemore Hospital - both were transferred from the Auckland quarantine facility.

One was transferred yesterday afternoon and the other one overnight on Tuesday and was reported the following day.

"Both are in a stable condition and were taken to hospital safely using strict infection prevention and control measures which are in place for all hospital transfers from managed isolation and quarantine facilities," the ministry said.

NZ should follow Pacific neighbours and implement sugar taxes

A new study by Otago University and Pacific-based researchers shows about three quarters of Pacific nations have implemented taxes on sugar-laden products.

More than a third of them have increased these taxes by at least 20 percent in the past two decades.

University of Otago senior research fellow doctor Andrea Teng said Tonga is leading the way.

Sonny Bill Williams hopes Scott Morrison signs refugee deal

Eight years ago, New Zealand offered to resettle 150 refugees a year from Australia's offshore detention system.

Williams is urging Morrison to finally accept the offer.

"I think 250 people or close to, have been left in Papua New Guinea and in Nauru that can be brought to have a better life.

"They've been stuck for the last eight years. We can't even do it for two weeks in quarantine, imagine doing it for eight years."

He told Morning Report that New Zealand needed to understand the meaning of refugees.

Dame Cindy Kiro is New Zealand’s next Governor General

The Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy has welcomed the news of her successor.

“I am delighted to congratulate Dame Cindy Kiro on her appointment to represent Her Majesty the Queen in New Zealand, and to represent New Zealand and New Zealanders to the world.”

“Dame Cindy will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from her distinguished career in academia and the state sector. Her appointment represents a significant milestone for Aotearoa New Zealand, as Dame Cindy will be the first Māori woman to occupy the office.”

COVID-19 vaccination programme to cost NZ $1.4 billion

The government has revealed the direct cost of the vaccination for the first time, which will be spread over two years.

Nearly a billion dollars has been set aside for the vaccines themselves, as well as the specialist equipment needed to deliver them.

That includes vaccines the country has not got yet - and may never use - but New Zealand has advanced purchase agreements.

The minister said it had purchased enough to support the Pacific roll-out and any leftovers can be used later.

Division over NZ's RSE worker boost, Pacific reacts

New Zealand's Government announced this month about 2400 more migrant workers will be allowed into the country for seasonal horticultural work, many from the Pacific Islands.

Pacific governments remain keen to get as many of their workers into New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer, or RSE, scheme, as possible

But Unions and economists say fruit and vegetable pickers from the Pacific Islands suffer high costs and poor pay and are often left with almost no money to send home.

NZ's Te Papa comes alive for Rotuma

But in New Zealand, the pandemic has failed to dampen the islanders' spirits.

Fiji recorded its fourth covid death yesterday as the Suva and Nausori corridor, home to three towns and one-third of the population, goes into a lockdown from 11pm tonight to 4am Wednesday morning.

Fijian President Jioje Konrote, who hails from Rotuma, said the world was hit with this deadly virus and Fiji was no exception.