New Zealand

Two new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the couple returned to New Zealand on a repatriation flight from Delhi - AI-1306 - and arrived on 5 June. They also have an infant who has not been tested due to age.

The couple showed no symptoms and returned a positive result after being tested on day 12 of isolation.

"This morning the couple and their child have been transferred from the hotel where they have been, the Grand Millenium, to the Jet Park quarantine hotel."

7.4 magnitude shake hits off New Zealand's coast

At 12:49am on Friday, the shake hit at a depth of 33km and was listed by GeoNet as happening 700km north-east of Gisborne. New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) put it as being south of the Kermadec Islands. It was deemed "weak" by GeoNet.

Enthusiasm for NZ travel bubble into Pacific dampens

But it's also further highlighted the difficult bind they find themselves in - risk the devastation of the coronavirus or prolong their economic suffering.

Fletcher Melvin, the head of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Private Sector Taskforce, has been pushing hard for a travel bubble.

When Aotearoa declared zero cases a week ago, he was ecstatic, and so was the government - 87 percent of the country's economy relies on tourism, three quarters of those visitors from New Zealand.

Two new COVID-19 cases in New Zealand, both arrivals from UK

In a statement released this afternoon, the Ministry of Health said the two new cases were related to the border as a result of recent travel from the UK.

The ministry said both cases were connected.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield would give a media briefing at 3pm, the release said.

Presuming the cases have not already been notified to the World Health Organisation by the UK, they bring New Zealand's confirmed cases to 1156, and the combined total of confirmed and probable cases to 1506.

New Zealand has had 22 deaths from the virus.

History-making researcher calls for more voices of Pacific workers

Angie Enoka recently completed her Doctorate of Philosophy, examining media coverage of New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer or RSE scheme.

Her work was the first doctoral study to look at media coverage of the scheme and one of the few Pasifika-researcher-led studies on any aspect of it.

Ms Enoka, who will graduate on 24 June, will also become the first Samoan fa'afafine with a PHD.

Her latest research analysed over 115 articles from regional newspapers and she said it showed the voices of the workers were lost.

Jacinda Ardern explains why there's no Pacific travel bubble yet

Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna told Newshub earlier this month that without any cases of the disease, the Cook Islands poses no threat to New Zealand - and vice versa. Samoa, Kiribati, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu also haven't reported any cases.

New Zealand's last confirmed case was more than three weeks ago, and it's been four weeks since the last patient known to be infected via community transmission left self-isolation.

Thousands of NZers march for Black Lives Matter

Over the past three weeks, people across the US have already protesting over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in police custody. Since then, the Black Lives Matter movement has come to life again throughout many countries, with protesters taking to the streets, demanding an end to police brutality and racism.

In Dunedin, hundreds of people gathered at the Otago Museum reserve to show solidarity with the movement. They marched down George Street to the Octagon, where a rally was held.

NZ Govt unveils plan to improve Pacifika health

The New Zealand Government said an action plan launched today shows its commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of Pacifika in this country.

Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa, said "Ola Manuia - the Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan for 2020-2025 - is about driving more effective and equitable health outcomes."

She said Pacific peoples are consistently over-represented across all the vulnerability indicators for health and wellbeing.

No new coronavirus cases in New Zealand for 21st day

In a statement, the Ministry confirmed another significant cluster had also been closed, bringing the total number of significant clusters closed to 10 out of 16.

A significant cluster is 10 or more cases connected through transmission who are not all part of the same household, and is considered closed when there are no new connected cases for 28 days after the last case is no longer isolated.

The last day that New Zealand reported an active case of Covid-19 was on 22 May.

New Zealand moves to COVID-19 alert level 1 from midnight

Things will be just about back to normal for Kiwis after the move to level 1, with social distancing no longer required and no more limits on gatherings - but the border will remain closed to non-New Zealanders.

Hospitality providers will no longer have to ensure guests are seated and only served by one waiter, and night clubs will be able to fully open, with the Government hoping to control any potential future outbreaks with contact tracing.