NZ

New Zealand-Cook Islands travel bubble to start 17 May - PM Jacinda Ardern

Cabinet ministers have this afternoon signed off on a 17 May start date, pending final confirmation by New Zealand's Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health.

It will be subject to final checks such as airline and airport preparedness.

New Zealand would be providing the Cook Islands with enough vaccine to immunise its population. That roll-out would also commence later this month but is not considered a pre-condition for the bubble.

Australia privacy win could see more litigation for NZ courts

Australian courts recently found Google's privacy settings misled consumers over whether their location data was being stored on Android devices, because although the information was in the terms and conditions - it was not clear.

Law firm Bell Gully senior associate Richard Massey said the case would be of interest to New Zealand's regulators.

Travellers to Western Australia still required to quarantine

Western Australia plans to keep treating New Zealand arrivals like international travellers and enforcing mandatory quarantine - bursting some potential travellers' hopes of travel bubble bliss.

Among them is Moira Green, who launched straight into plans to see her two sons and granddaughter in Fremantle after the announcement of quarantine-free trans-Tasman trips on Tuesday.

Her travel agent broke the news she'd still have to spend two weeks and at least $2500 staying in government-run quarantine if she wanted to get to the state.

Christchurch won't host any 2023 football World Cup games

FIFA has cofirmed New Zealand's host cities are: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.

Australia and New Zealand will jointly host the 32-team tournament with 12 cities from both countries having bid to host games.

The 64 games will be split between the two countries with the tournament opener at Auckland's Eden Park while Sydney will host the final.

Nine cities will host games, Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Dunedin, Hamilton, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington.

Auckland Airport 'ready' with separate zone in terminal

The airport has made plans to segregate at-risk and no-risk travellers - dividing the international terminal into two self-contained processing zones.

Zone A, a safe travel area, will be used exclusively for quarantine-free arrivals and all departures.

Zone B, the health management area, will be used for processing arrivals who are going on to managed isolation facilities.

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood told Morning Report that planning started in August 2020 and its price tag is in the millions.

NZ says committed to getting vaccines into Pacific

Nanaia Mahuta told the New Zealand Parliament, discussions were being held around the implementation of a so-called TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organisation aimed at speeding up the production and delivery of vaccines.

The TRIPS [Trade and Intellectual Property Rules] mechanism looked to protect intellectual property and trade interests but in doing so critics said it slowed collaboration between companies.

NGOs had called for a waiver to be approved immediately.

Mahuta said the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines needed to be addressed urgently.

Plans under way for trans-Tasman bubble by end of April

Ministers are actively working on the proposal and the next step would be for it to go to the full Cabinet, potentially this coming Monday.

That will be on the condition there are no community outbreaks of Covid-19 or lockdowns in the meantime.

There could also be an arrangement for safe travel zones with realm countries, the Cook Islands and Niue, which the government have long said would be a priority.

The door has already been partially opened, with New Zealand allowing passengers from the Cook Islands and more recently Niue to come here quarantine-free.

New positive community case of Covid 19, Ministry of Health confirms

During this afternoon's 1pm press conference, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the new community case was a student at Papatoetoe High School.

The school now remains closed until further notice.

The person is considered a casual-plus contact who had been advised to self-isolate and get tested, the ministry said in a statement earlier today.

Hipkins said the student had not returned to school on Monday. The case was picked up by testing of all students and staff before they were able to return to school.

New Zealand quarantine-free travel into Australia to resume

The one-way travel bubble was suspended last Sunday night after three community cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Auckland and the city went into level 3 lockdown for three days while the rest of New Zealand was put in level 2 Covid restrictions for the same period.

New Zealanders wanting to enter Australia without quarantining will need a negative coronavirus test result less than 72 hours prior to departure, if they have been in Auckland any time in a two-week period before travelling.

Tourism industry calls for clarity on border reopening plans

In December, Cabinet agreed in principle to establish a travel bubble with Australia in the first three months of this year.

While the news was welcomed, those in the tourism industry said they needed to ensure there was enough time to get ready for an influx of overseas visitors.

The managing director of the Scenic Hotel Group, Brendan Taylor, said it would take two to three months for the airlines to ramp up, if the borders reopened.

He said operators needed time to prepare and ensure they have enough staff to cater for incoming guests.