New Zealand

New venue announced for NZ's 2021 Nesian Festival

The event begun in 2007 to give the Pacific community in Hamilton; an annual Pacific festival; a Pacific early learning space; and a Pacific health service.

K'aute Pasifika is a charitable trust based in Hamilton, providing health, education and social services to Pasifika communities and other ethnicities.

The trust is also the organisers of the Nesian Festival and this year have announced that it will take place on Saturday 27 March 2021 and for the first time, it will be held at the University of Waikato sportsground.

Pasifika community urged to remain calm and compliant

Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2 after three community cases of Covid-19 were discovered.

Genomic sequencing revealed the cases were the UK variant of the virus and authorities were conducting contact tracing to try and determine the origin and extent of the latest outbreak.

Auckland Paediatrician, Teuila Percival, urged Pasifika communities to apply all the lessons learned from past outbreaks.

Australia stops quarantine-free travel for New Zealand after Covid-19 cases

The trans-Tasman bubble was set up so people could fly from New Zealand to Australia without needing to spend 14 days in a hotel.

However, Australia's expert medical panel made a decision late on Sunday night to change the system.

It means any New Zealanders that fly into Australia from Monday will have to spend a fortnight in hotel quarantine.

The new rule will remain in place for the next three days before the situation is reassessed.

NZ govt to discuss vaccine rollout in Pacific

Medical authorities in New Zealand have already approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for use to immunise people 16 years and older.

"We'll be really looking to have conversations with our counterparts in the Pacific around what might be possible with some of those trickier vaccines so that we can see similar levels of protection provided in the Pacific at the same time as we might be seeing that in New Zealand," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ardern said her government was also in discussions about how vaccine distribution will work in the Pacific.

New Zealand's first Covid-19 vaccine given provisional approval

It comes after a robust assessment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s safety, effectiveness and quality by medicines regulator Medsafe.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the first phase of rolling out the vaccine can now begin.

“Following Medsafe’s approval, Ministry of Health officials will give advice to the Government this week about the ‘decision to use’ the vaccine. This will essentially set out who are most suited to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, such as age ranges.”

Australia-New Zealand travel bubble reopens

The travel arrangements were paused after a Kiwi woman infected with the highly contagious South African variant of Covid-19 travelled to about 30 locations in New Zealand before testing positive.

The initial 72-hour suspension was extended on Thursday, but flights will now recommence this afternoon.

There were no new community cases reported in New Zealand today.

Australia suspends travel bubble with NZ for 72 hours

All New Zealanders who arrive in Australia will have to quarantine for up to 14 days.

Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt says this has been done "out of an abundance of caution" after a person tested positive in New Zealand with the South African variant.

The infected person visited at least 30 locations.

The changes come into effect immediately.

All passengers from New Zealand with a safe zone flight scheduled in the next 72 hours should reconsider their need to travel.

New Zealand reports first case in the community in months

Health officials said a 56-year-old woman who had recently returned from Europe tested positive days after completing a compulsory two-week period of managed isolation.

Contact tracing efforts are under way, and authorities have published a list of locations the woman visited.

New Zealand has been widely praised for its response to the pandemic.

The country, with a population of five million, has recorded 1,927 confirmed cases and 25 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

New Zealand implements additional measures to keep Covid-19 out

Amendments to Air Border Order include:

Pasifika health and safety education initiative to celebrate 15 years in 2021

PMN News reports the Puataunofo ‘Come Home Safely’ programme, focused on delivering health and safety messages to Pacific workers, will enter its fifteenth year in 2021.

WorkSafe’s National Advisor for the programme Hans Key says he has seen Puataunofo grow from strength to strength.

“Puataunofo is delivered by Pacific people, for Pacific people. Every workshop is tailored specifically to the business, is delivered using Pacific languages and it reflects Pacific values of family and collective wellbeing, allowing us to connect with our audience.”