New Zealand

Coronavirus: Australia opens 'travel zone' to New Zealanders

People will be able to fly from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory - and avoid mandatory quarantine - from 16 October.

The nations closed their borders in March in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Officials say the risks are now low enough to justify a "travel bubble".

"The establishment of a travel zone between Australia and New Zealand has been finalised," said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

Sounds Air aims to offer first regional zero-emission flights

It has signed a letter of intent to purchase electric planes with the Swedish company Heart Aerospace, which is aiming to manufacture 19-seat, ES-19 aircraft for commercial flights in 2026.

The airline's board chair and director, Rhyan Wardman, told Morning Report the two companies were currently running simulations, to see how the electric planes would work in New Zealand.

Wallabies confirmed to be based in Christchurch ahead of Bledisloe I

The Chateau on the Park, which overlooks Hagley Park near the central city, will be used as the Wallabies’ base as they prepare for the test against the All Blacks at Sky Stadium on October 11.

A spokesperson for Chateau on the Park confirmed the Wallabies would stay at the picturesque venue. The squad is expected to arrive this week, possibly Friday.

It’s also understood the squad will train at the Linwood club, of which All Blacks first five-eighth Richie Mo’unga is a member, about 8km away from the Chateau on the Park.

Call for NZ to turn to Pacific for more seasonal workers

The chair of the PCF, John Fiso, said New Zealand could provide financial support for Pacific people who were suffering because their economies were tanking, while also ensuring the valuable fruit crop was harvested.

One estimate is that New Zealand is 60,000 workers short this season.

Fiso said he could understand the government's wish that unemployed New Zealanders step in, but he said there were also other issues to consider.

Covid-19 alert level restrictions extended across New Zealand

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland will remain at level 2.5 and the rest of the country at level 2.

Cabinet will review Auckland's alert level settings on Monday 21st September.

"With a view to increase gathering limits for Auckland if we are in a similar position of containing the cluster, if the change is agreed on, it will come into effect on the 23rd of September," says Ardern.

Giant wasp nest in NZ took two years to reach final size

The nest, originally the size of a two-person tent, was discovered in the Karekare beach area of the regional park.

Hanging high in a tree, the nest is built from a collection of sticks, bark and leaves.

Auckland Council said it would have been home to tens of thousands of wasps.

The nest is believed to have been expanding for up to two years to its final size of about 1m x 2m x 2.5m.

Two new Covid-19 cases reported in New Zealand today

There was no media conference today.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said both of today's new cases had an epidemiological link to an existing case and they were both associated with the bereavement events sub-cluster that was linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group.

The ministry said one of the new cases is a student at Sunnyvale School in Henderson.

Six new cases in NZ today, four in community

In a statement, the Ministry of Health says one of the imported cases was a man in his 20s who arrived from the Philippines on 3 September and was at a managed isolation facility when he tested positive on day 3 of his stay.

The other is a female in her late teens who arrived on the same flight from the Philippines and also tested positive on day three, it says.

Nine new cases of Covid-19, five in the community - Ministry of Health

Four further cases have been found in isolation.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Deputy Director-General of Health Robyn Shearer have given today's official Covid-19 briefing.

There are nine new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, Shearer says, five in the community and four in managed isolation.

All the new cases are epidemiologically linked to the Auckland cluster, she says, three linked to the Mt Roskill evangelical church and two contacts of previously known cases.

Auckland councillor Efeso Collins calls for amnesty for people with expired visas

 

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said the government would not use any information collected through testing for immigration purposes.

"Regardless of your personal circumstances, if you're asked to get a test or you're in that group that's at greater risk, we won't use that information to punish you in some other way - and I can't state that enough," Hipkins said.

However Collins, who represents Manukau ward, said Pacific people remained fearful of getting tested because of what had happened historically to people who overstayed their visas, such as dawn raids.