New Zealand

Child is youngest person with Covid-19 to die in NZ - MoH data

In yesterday's update of the numbers on the Ministry's official website, one death has been recorded in the 0-9 age group.

That age group had no deaths listed 24 hours ago and was last updated yesterday. The data says the child is a Māori boy, registered to the Counties Manukau DHB.

The death was not reported in today's 1pm update from the Ministry.

There have now been 49 deaths of people with Covid-19.

The youngest age group has recorded 2201 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began - 16.5 percent of all cases.

Investors should understand Pacific culture first

New Zealand needs to attract $40 million for a fund that will enable projects targeting climate change, sustainability and covid-19 recovery in the Pacific.

But, Pacific Cooperation Foundation Project Manager David Vaeafe said it's important the Pacific way is acknowledged, and the fund has the potential to do a lot of long term good.

New NZ fund to help Pacific nations recover from Covid-19

"They're prioritising coordinating with the Pacific region - particularly Māori and Pasifika - as a key to maintaining an indigenous focus," she said.

Government officials plan to go to market early next year to speak with those interested in managing the fund.

New Zealand's Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Phil Twyford said if things remain on track, investments for projects will made by the end of next year.

80 new community cases in New Zealand today

There are also two new cases identified at the border.

In a statement, the ministry also reported that several members of a flight crew have been identified as close contacts of an Omicron variant case in Australia.

"These crew members arrived in New Zealand last night and are in a MIQ facility, as per standard international air crew arrival procedure."

Of the new community cases today, 51 are in Auckland, 21 in Waikato, seven in Bay of Plenty and one in the Taupō district.

New Zealand to ban cigarettes for future generations

Anyone born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime, under a law expected to be enacted next year.

"We want to make sure young people never start smoking," Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall said.

The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand's health ministry on Thursday.

Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed the "world-leading" reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes.

New Zealand quietly deploys navy ship to Solomon Islands

The decision to deploy the HMNZS Wellington to the mission was not formally announced by the Government or the Defence Force.

The armed offshore patrol vessel left the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland just before 7:30pm on Monday with a crew of 80 and a Seasprite helicopter on board.

A Defence Force spokesman said it would arrive in the waters of the Solomons later in the week, where it would take over patrolling from an Australian ship.

New Zealand officials urged to move faster on vaccinating children aged 5-11

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said yesterday he expected advice from Medsafe in a couple of weeks and the rollout should start in late January.

But some are urging officials to move faster as a number of schools shut down for days because of infected students or staff.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said while there were no plans at this stage to bring the timeframe forward, it was still under advice.

29 World Cup games to be played in New Zealand

Each country gets an equal share of group matches with four groups based on each side of the Tasman for the opening stages of the 32-team tournament.

This will be the first time the base camp model with be used in a Fifa Women's World Cup.

It is also the first time the tournament has been co-hosted by two countries and two confederations.

Auckland and Wellington are the big winners in New Zealand - while Sydney will be the focal point in Australia with 11 matches including the final on 20 August.

Pasifika communities reach 'key vaccination milestones'

There were a total of 17,899 doses administered yesterday, including 5679 first doses and 12,222 second doses.

To date, 92 percent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 85 percent are fully vaccinated.

The ministry said the country's Pacific communities had reached "some key vaccination milestones", with 90 percent having officially received their first dose, and 80 percent fully vaccinated.

Eleven of the 21 DHBs had reached 80 percent first doses for Māori, it said in a statement.

145 new community cases in New Zealand today, one further death

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were 77 people in hospital, including eight people in ICU.

The person who died was in their 80s and had been in Auckland City Hospital since 17 November.

"Our thoughts are with their whānau and friends at this very sad time," the Ministry said in its statement.

There are 127 new cases in Auckland, with the rest in Waikato (13), Bay of Plenty (4) and Canterbury (1).