Australia-New Zealand rugby relations have sunk to a new low. It will take time to regain trust – The Guardian

Power plays and player power seem to be at the heart of the dispute threatening to tear Australian and New Zealand rugby apart after trans-Tasman relations sunk to an all-time low when a decision was made for the All Blacks not to play the Wallabies in Perth as scheduled on Saturday night.

Australian anger is palpable. The game was a Bledisloe Cup dead rubber, but it was also a Rugby Championship fixture. The reason NZ Rugby gave for the All Blacks not boarding their flight to Perth was uncertainty about the Rugby Championship schedule and the length of time the players would be away from home.

It may have been a legitimate concern, but it was the manner in which it was communicated or not that has Australia-New Zealand relations at breaking point. It was no way to treat a partner, let alone a friend. In recent years New Zealand has been successful at alienating its rugby partners. Last year the Kiwis got both Australia and South Africa offside with their hardline negotiating on the make-up of Super Rugby.

It was as if New Zealand was attempting to show that it was more powerful than its partners and that it would do what was in New Zealands interests without consideration for anyone else. This attitude comes from being the best in the world a you need us more than we need you mentality.

It is not just New Zealand rugbys administration that seems to think this way. In professional sport players deserve a voice, but the All Blacks have a very loud voice indeed. The decision not to send a team to Perth should not have been too surprising given a similar situation almost occurred last year when the All Blacks managed to have the Rugby Championship draw re-adjusted in 2020 to ensure they returned home to spend Christmas with their families.

Now the All Blacks have placed the third Bledisloe Test and the Rugby Championship in jeopardy because players did not want to spend too long away from home. It is understandable given the uncertainty with Covid-19 lockdowns and quarantining, but the Wallabies have already made sacrifices to ensure the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championship went ahead.

The Wallabies have effectively been away from home since late June and changed their own travel plans to make sure back-to-back Tests at Eden Park in Auckland were played. New Zealands NRL side, the Warriors, have virtually camped in Australia for two years. But it appears the All Blacks are not willing to put themselves out for anybody.

It would be a brave soul to suggest the All Blacks jersey does not mean everything to New Zealands players, but in this modern, commercialised game, does it mean just as much as it did in the past?

The Original All Blacks toured Britain, France and North America in 1905-06. They departed for England aboard the Rimutaka on 30 July and returned from San Francisco the following January, six months away from home. The Originals set the benchmark for all future All Blacks sides. It is a legacy that has been handed down from one generation of New Zealanders to the next.

After winning back-to-back World Cups in 2011 and 2015 the All Blacks placed themselves head and shoulders above every rugby nation on earth. But they are no longer the No 1 team in the world, even if they do have the most marketable brand. They wallop the Wallabies every year, but the current generation did not beat the British and Irish Lions in 2017 and did not win the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

After defeating the Wallabies for the 19th year in a row in the Bledisloe Cup series, the All Blacks were meant to challenge South Africa in the Rugby Championship. The Springboks are the reigning world champions and recently defeated the Lions 2-1. They are the No 1 side in the world and their match-up with the All Blacks is the game the rugby world has been waiting for. But now it may not happen, at least not this year.

New Zealand is a great rugby nation, arguably the greatest, but it is a small country, which has saturated its own market. In troubling times old friends are good friends. Australia and New Zealand will no doubt patch up their fractured relationship, if only because the two countries are mutually dependent on each other, but it will take time to regain trust.

Australians have complained about a lack of respect from New Zealand in this current imbroglio, but ultimately, there is only one way for Australia to command respect from the Kiwis on and off the field and that is for the Wallabies to start beating the All Blacks again.

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Australia-New Zealand rugby relations have sunk to a new low. It will take time to regain trust - The Guardian

In New Zealand it has been easy to forget Covid. Now we are too complacent – The Guardian

My Kiwi friends ask, somewhat jokingly, how Im finding my first New Zealand level 4. I answer, also somewhat jokingly, that Im a veteran at this, having lived in London and Dublin for most of the pandemic, and had gone through several hard lockdowns.

Thats why it was unfortunate, the day before New Zealand went into one, it felt like Groundhog Day to me.

Supermarket carparks filled and queues snaked out of their entrances. By the end of the night, the same products that ran out at the beginning of the first lockdown were emptied out once again: bread, toilet paper, flour. The government had moved quickly, carrying out a plan developed for a Delta outbreak, but the population did not appear to have the same sense of danger: the shoppers and staff were, for the most part, unmasked.

I had witnessed the same in London, where I was living at the beginning of the pandemic. Back then, we still regarded it as being something that would pass soon enough. We laughed at people stocking up on masks; I turned down a family friends offer to siphon off some supply the Chinese embassy had given her. As we waited for the UK government to announce a lockdown, we continued going out, calling it a last hurrah.

In those days, we were lucky the coronavirus was still in its initial, far less infectious state. We didnt hear much about people we knew getting the virus; these days, everyone in London knows at least one person whos gotten Delta. Over in Australia, weve seen the quagmires New South Wales and Victoria have found themselves in.

We know more now. There is something to be said for Kiwi chillness, but this behaviour seemed downright foolish.

The first day of the lockdown, my mum went out for a grocery shop at a Countdown and she saw no staff wearing masks; in pictures she took for me, one worker had a mask over their chin, another didnt have one on at all. On a local community Facebook group, members announced other supermarkets where staff werent wearing them either. It should be said that this was all legal, as the mask mandate for indoor spaces didnt go into effect until the next day, but the number of maskless people says something.

Perhaps this is a result of how successful the country has been at sealing itself from the ravages of Covid-19: it had gone almost six months without an active community case; there had not been any nationwide lockdowns for almost a year and a half.

When I was overseas, I felt like Kiwis were living in an alternative reality, though really, life continued unabated.

When I returned and came out of managed isolation in May, I went to a cafe for lunch and sat outside. I only had to step a few paces inside to pay, but I felt like my face was unduly exposed. That feeling was easily shaken off; it was easy to forget the virus existed if I didnt look at anything that spoke about the rest of the world. I can see how New Zealands residents have been lulled into this false sense of security.

This complacency has manifested in many ways: only 10% of the population were constantly checking in with the Covid tracing app; masks, which were mandated only on public transport until this lockdown, were not being worn. At least vaccination bookings have skyrocketed these past few days. Those, like some of my parents friends, who were putting them off for whatever reason have realised this is no safe haven.

Though the risk of catching the coronavirus in this country has been small, it was inevitable that Delta or another variant further down the Greek alphabet would eventually breach the bubble. I felt we lacked the constant vigilance required for an elimination strategy. Kiwis, like our namesake bird, have been living without the threats of predators that roam beyond our shores. On Friday, more cases were identified elsewhere in the country. The only way well get through this, and future outbreaks, is if we are ready from the outset.

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In New Zealand it has been easy to forget Covid. Now we are too complacent - The Guardian

Who is New Zealand?: the moment Tampa refugees were told some had a new home – The Guardian

We had been aboard the Tampa for a whole week. With no possessions, we had been wearing the same clothes all this time. On top of the foul stench and the unbearable heat, we were bored to death, sitting cross-legged on the deck for much of the day with absolutely nothing to do, under the constant gaze of the soldiers.

After our breakfast of biscuits and juice, the major who had led the Australian SAS unit that boarded the ship came down for his usual update. Expecting the same old story, few of us were ready when he delivered some actual news.

In a few days you will all be transferred to another ship. It is better, with beds and toilets. New Zealand has agreed to take some of you.

An immediate barrage of questions broke out after these sentences were translated.

Who is New Zealand? one man asked.

Where is he? Let me speak to him! said another.

What about everyone else? Where will the other ship take us?

Why will Australia not accept us?

The major patiently explained that New Zealand was a separate island nation close to Australia.

People were not convinced. No one had heard of New Zealand. Perhaps they were being tricked into getting off on some godforsaken island in the middle of nowhere. By now the level of trust was very low and the interrogation of the major continued. He had come down to give us answers, but none of them had given any comfort.

At the next days update, the major announced that HMAS Manoora would be arriving tomorrow and taking us all onboard. We were also told for the first time that our case was going to court in Australia.

What the major did not tell us was that the lawyers acting for us had petitioned the court to request that we remain on the Tampa until the case was heard.

Had we known there was even the slimmest chance of getting to Australia if we stayed aboard the Tampa, we would have refused to board the Manoora. As intolerable as conditions were on the Tampa, we had suffered for 11 days what was a few more? But we knew nothing about the court petition. The major also failed to mention that the Manoora would be headed to Nauru to offload those not going on to New Zealand. He simply told us the Manoora would be a much more comfortable ship for us while our case was being litigated.

We should have been thrilled at the thought of finally getting off the Tampa, but we were not. This was the devil we knew. Questions swirled throughout the square; no one trusted the Australian government by this point. We suspected their every move. What if they were taking us to prison? What if they were sending us back?

We had been a remarkably united group to this point, but divisions started to show now. We had been told New Zealand would only accept families and children. While that provided some relief and certainty for my family and others like us, it was excruciating for everyone else all those who, in leaving their families behind, had arguably sacrificed more than us.

The Manoora was a very different beast to the Tampa. On the Tampa we burned and blistered under the hot sun. Now we missed the light, as we were kept in the enclosed hangar the whole time. The gentle ocean breeze was replaced by the deafening noise of the engine. The smell of sewage was replaced by diesel fumes. We had no way of telling if it was day or night.

The crew brought a large bin full of donated clothes destined for the Solomon Islands. We were also given a toothbrush and a towel each. I will never forget my first shower. We had two minutes before the water was cut off, but in that time I scrubbed myself clean of the filth that had caked my skin. When I finally wore socks over my blistered feet, it felt like I was walking on clouds.

Food was rationed more tightly than on the Tampa, with meals usually no more than one piece of fruit or a slice of bread.

The major was onboard and he and the crew, dressed in their smart navy uniforms, conducted the daily briefs. The next day the major welcomed aboard officials from the intergovernmental International Organisation for Migration and Immigration New Zealand, as well as some Farsi-speaking translators.

These officials had been sent to determine who among us would go to New Zealand and who would stay on Nauru. They set up a table on one side of the hangar and asked us to sit as family units. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, we sat in different parts of the hangar, our lanyards around our necks.

The officials were patient as they took down all our names and connected the dots in our stories. Through a translator, Dad retold our story while the officials took notes and filled out an endless stack of forms. This process continued for much of the day.

People cried as they talked about being widowed, orphaned or separated from their families. For a group of solo teenagers this questioning proved especially harrowing as they had to describe how their fathers had been killed or disappeared at the hands of the Taliban.

Being of military age, many of these boys had left their families when the Taliban overran Bamiyan and Mazar-i-Sharif. Some had spent years in refugee camps in Pakistan before finally deciding on the Australia route. Others had been homeless or in detention centres across Indonesia for almost a year before the Palapa.

These Tampa boys had not been in touch with their families for years. They provided names of family members in the slim hope that they might still be alive.

While we adjusted to our new existence, the world outside changed forever. It was 11 September 2001 9/11. Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing that day. Unlike many, we did not see the horrifying images of New Yorks Twin Towers coming down, nor did we understand its true impact on the world. The news was delivered to us in one of the usual morning briefings. We wondered mostly what it would mean for Afghanistan and our asylum claims.

Were we still the asylum seekers we had been yesterday, or were we now a threat to national security? Would the rest of the world equate us with the very people we were fleeing from?

As a child, I had even less sense of the gravity of the situation. It is only in hindsight that I wonder how the asylum seeker situation would have played out had 9/11 not happened.

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Who is New Zealand?: the moment Tampa refugees were told some had a new home - The Guardian

New Zealand to skip Paralympic opening ceremony over virus fears – FRANCE 24

Issued on: 24/08/2021 - 05:50

Tokyo (AFP)

New Zealand's Paralympic team said it will not attend Tuesday's opening ceremony in Tokyo over coronavirus safety fears, as infections surge in the Japanese capital.

Organisers have reported 161 Covid-19 cases linked to the Paralympics so far, mostly among staff and contractors living in Japan but also including six athletes.

Paralympics New Zealand said its athletes would not take part in the opening ceremony, where two flagbearers usually lead teammates into the Olympic Stadium.

"Our team will not be attending as we continue our commitment to our Covid-19 Operating Principles and Guidelines, aimed at keeping our team as safe as possible," it said in a statement.

Instead of appointing flagbearers, two athletes will be given symbolic "leadership roles".

Throughout the pandemic, New Zealand has pursued a "Covid zero" elimination strategy, resulting in just 26 deaths in a population of five million.

But a national lockdown is currently in place to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, after a virus cluster broke a six-month run of no local cases.

New Zealand is the only one of the 162 Paralympic delegations that has confirmed it will skip the evening ceremony, International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence told reporters on Tuesday.

"We've got to respect the decision," he said, adding that team chief Fiona Allan had told him that despite strict virus countermeasures, they wanted to be "super safe".

There are 32 Paralympians on the New Zealand team, according to Tokyo 2020.

Some other countries and territories have reduced the number of representatives at the ceremony for various reasons including Covid-19 and heat concerns, Spence said.

"We appreciate that the march is going to be a little shorter, there's going to be less athletes compared to normal Games.

"That's a shame, but we respect the decision and actually, it probably speeds up the ceremony."

Japan's virus situation has worsened dramatically in the weeks since the July 23 Olympic opening ceremony, with the country recording more than 25,000 daily infections several times in the past week.

2021 AFP

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New Zealand to skip Paralympic opening ceremony over virus fears - FRANCE 24

New Zealand was set to be the first advanced economy to hike rates. One Covid case put a stop to it – CNBC

Workers and shoppers eat on the steps of Freyberg Place in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, on October 29, 2020, enjoying the freedom of Covid-19 Alert Level 1.

Lynn Grieveson | Newsroom | Getty Images

New Zealand was widely expected to become the first advanced economy to raise interest rates, but the central bank left rates unchanged on Wednesday after one Covid case led the country to announce a nationwide lockdown a day earlier.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said in a statement the decision to hold rates at 0.25% was made "in the context of the Government's imposition of Level 4 COVID restrictions on activity across New Zealand."

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern imposed a nationwide lockdown when the first Covid case in six months was discovered in Auckland, the country's largest city.

The city will be under lockdown for seven days starting Wednesday, while the rest of the nation will observe a three-day lockdown. Level 4 restrictions are the highest in the country and the most restrictive, where people must stay home and can only leave only for essential services.

As of Wednesday morning, the number of cases detected had risen to seven and were confirmed to be the highly transmissible delta variant, according to Reuters.

Paul Bloxham, chief economist for Australia and New Zealand at HSBC called it an "extraordinary 24 hours," and a "very touch and go knife-edge situation."

"This morning ...we find that it's delta (variant), and, you know, at that point 24 hours ago, the market was thinking that the RBNZ wouldn't just deliver 20 but 25 (basis points)," he told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia."

Before Wednesday's rate decision, Michael Gordon, acting chief economist for New Zealand at Australian bank Westpac, said he did not expect a rate increase.

"The key here is that the Government cannot be confident about the scope of the (Covid) problem," he said in a note on Tuesday, after Ardern's lockdown decision.

Analysts mostly expected the central bank to raise rates, at least until the lockdown was announced. The majority of the 32 economists polled by Reuters expected the central bank to raise the official cash rate by 25 basis points from a record low to 0.50%.

Most central banks globally have slashed rates to record lows in a bid to prop up their pandemic-hit economies. Governments around the world have been injecting stimulus into their economies to support businesses.

But New Zealand has been among the most successful in the world to keep their Covid cases in check with tough lockdowns and shutting of its borders.

Major central banks in the APAC region are in no rush to start hiking policy rates ... with the exception of New Zealand and Korea.

Maxime Darmet

Fitch Ratings

Due in part to its zero-Covid strategy, the number of Covid cases has so far been kept at about 2,500 cases, including 26 deaths among the lowest in the world.

That's helped the economy to bounce back, with data showing first-quarter economic growth this year was above expectations. It was mainly driven by strong retail spending, falling jobless rate, and soaring housing prices.

The combination of minimal Covid restrictions and generous stimulus has led to a booming economy and rising inflation, leading analysts to expect higher interest rates.

The New Zealand dollar fell to 0.6944 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday.

The currency has been falling since the lockdown announcement on Tuesday, from above the 0.70 level to above 0.69.

Bloxham said the New Zealand dollar could recover once the Covid situation is contained.

"If (the lockdown) is sufficient to get the virus contained, to keep the numbers small and push it right back to zero ... then you'd imagine in a few weeks time ... the economy's back on track and likewise there'd be sort of upside to the New Zealand dollar," he told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia."

With the expected hike now derailed, analysts said it would now depend on the scale of the virus situation.

"Regardless of the economic case for higher interest rates, there is nothing to be gained from pushing the (official cash rate) higher now, rather than waiting for more clarity on the Covid situation," Gordon of Westpac said.

He said that experience showed economic activity tends to bounce back once restrictions were lifted. "When that happens, the RBNZ will be left facing many of the same issues as before: an economy that is running up against cost pressures and capacity constraints, with risks that inflation could become more persistent," he said, adding that hikes will still be needed.

Meanwhile, Maxime Darmet, Asia-Pacific director of economics at Fitch Ratings told CNBC that most major central banks in the region are not likely to raise rates soon.

"Major central banks in the APAC region are in no rush to start hiking policy rates ... with the exception of New Zealand and Korea. Generally contained inflationary pressures and Covid-related economic setbacks leave APAC central banks willing to keep policy loose," Darmet said in an email to CNBC on Tuesday, before New Zealand's lockdown was announced.

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New Zealand was set to be the first advanced economy to hike rates. One Covid case put a stop to it - CNBC

Lockdowns or vaccines? Japan, New Zealand and Australia try diverging paths – CHEK

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Cheryl Simpson was supposed to be celebrating her 60th birthday over lunch with friends but instead found herself confined to her Auckland home.

The discovery of a single local COVID-19 case in New Zealand was enough for the government to put the entire country into strict lockdown this past week. While others might see that as draconian, New Zealanders generally support such measures because they worked so well in the past.

Im happy to go into lockdown, even though I dont like it, said Simpson, owner of a day care center for dogs that is now closed because of the precautions. She said she wants the country to crush the latest outbreak: Id like to knock the bloody thing on the head.

Elsewhere around the Pacific, though, Japan is resisting such measures in the face of a record-breaking surge, instead emphasizing its accelerating vaccine program. And Australia has fallen somewhere in the middle.

All three countries got through the first year of the pandemic in relatively good shape but are now taking diverging paths in dealing with outbreaks of the delta variant, the highly contagious form that has contributed to a growing sense that the coronavirus cannot be stamped out, just managed.

Professor Michael Baker, an epidemiologist at New Zealands University of Otago, said countries around the world are struggling to adapt to the latest threat: With the delta variant, the old rules just dont work.

The differing emphasis on lockdowns versus vaccines and how effective such strategies prove to be in beating back the delta variant could have far-reaching consequences for the three countries economies and the health of their citizens.

Japan has never imposed lockdowns against the coronavirus. The public is wary of government overreach after the countrys fascist period before and during World War II, and Japans postwar constitution lays out strict protections for civil liberties.

Before the delta variant, the country managed to keep a lid on coronavirus outbreaks in part because many people in Japan were already used to wearing surgical masks for protection from spring allergies or when they caught colds.

Now, almost everyone on public transportation wears a mask during commuting hours. But late at night, people tend to uncover in restaurants and bars, which has allowed the variant to spread. Hosting the Tokyo Olympic Games didnt help either.

While strict protocols kept infections inside the games to a minimum, experts such as Dr. Shigeru Omi, a key medical adviser to the government, say the Olympics created a festive air that led people in Japan to lower their guard.

New cases in Japan have this month leaped to 25,000 each day, more than triple the highest previous peak. Omi considers that a disaster.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday expanded and extended a state of emergency covering Tokyo and other areas until at least mid-September, though most of the restrictions arent legally enforceable.

Many governors are urging the prime minister to consider much tougher restrictions. But Suga said lockdowns have been flouted around the world, and vaccines are the way to go.

Daily vaccinations in Japan increased tenfold from May to June as thousands of worksites and colleges began offering shots, but a slow start has left the nation playing catch-up. Only about 40% of people are fully vaccinated.

In Australia, a delta outbreak hit Sydney in June, after an unvaccinated limousine driver became infected while transporting a U.S. cargo air crew from the Sydney Airport. State authorities hesitated for 10 days before imposing lockdown measures across Sydney that have now dragged on for two months.

Early in the pandemic, Australias federal government imposed just one nationwide lockdown. Now, amid the delta outbreak, it is pursuing a strategy it calls aggressive suppression including strict controls on Australians leaving the country and foreigners entering but is essentially letting state leaders call the shots.

New infections in Sydney have climbed from just a few each week before the latest outbreak to more than 800 a day.

Its not possible to eliminate it completely. We have to learn to live with it, Gladys Berejiklian, premier of Sydneys New South Wales state, said in what many interpreted as a significant retreat from the determination state leaders have previously shown to crush outbreaks entirely.

That is why we have a dual strategy in New South Wales, Berejiklian said. Get those case numbers down, vaccination rates up. We have to achieve both in order for us to live freely into the future.

The outbreak in Sydney has spilled over into the capital, Canberra, which has also gone into lockdown. Government worker Matina Carbone wore a mask while shopping on Friday.

I dont know that anyones ever going to really beat delta, she said. I think we just have to try and increase our rates of vaccinations and slowly open things up when we think its safe to do so.

But Australia lags far behind even Japan in getting people inoculated, with just 23% of people fully vaccinated.

Last year, soon after the pandemic first hit, neighboring New Zealand imposed a strict, nationwide lockdown and closed its border to non-residents. That wiped out the virus completely. The country of 5 million has been able to vanquish each outbreak since, recording just 26 virus deaths.

It went six months without a single locally spread case, allowing people to go about their daily lives much as they had before the pandemic.

But this month, the Sydney outbreak spread to New Zealand, carried by a returning traveler.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promptly imposed the strictest form of lockdown.

By Sunday, the number of locally spread cases in New Zealand had grown to 72, and the virus had reached the capital, Wellington. Officials raced to track 10,000 more people who might have been exposed.

Ardern has been steadfast.

We have been here before. We know the elimination strategy works. Cases rise, and then they fall, until we have none, she said. Its tried and true. We just need to stick it out.

Baker, the epidemiologist, said he believes it is still possible for New Zealand to wipe out the virus again by pursuing the burning ember approach of taking drastic measures to stamp out the first sign of an outbreak.

That remains to be seen.

New Zealand doesnt have much of a Plan B. A recent report by expert advisers to the government noted the nation has comparatively few intensive care hospital beds and said an outbreak could quickly overwhelm the health system.

And New Zealand has been the slowest developed nation to put shots in arms, with just 20% of people fully vaccinated.

Nick Perry, Mari Yamaguchi And Rod Mcguirk/The Associated Press

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Lockdowns or vaccines? Japan, New Zealand and Australia try diverging paths - CHEK

Tiny New Zealand airport that tells Mori love story in running for global design award – The Guardian

A tiny regional airport in New Zealand that weaves a Mori story of love and longing into its architecture is in the running for a prestigious design award, up against international heavyweights including New Yorks LaGuardia.

Unescos Prix Versailles recognises architecture that fosters a better interaction between economy and culture, and includes a range of categories from airports to shopping malls. The finalists for the airport category include the New York LaGuardia upgrade, Berlins Brandenburg airport and international airports in Athens, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.

The sixth airport finalist is Te Hono meaning to connect and is found in New Plymouth, a town with a population of 85,000, on the western shoulder of the North Island.

After six design options were floated, Rangi Kipa a member of the local Puketapu hap (subtribe) and lead figure on cultural design, settled upon a story. The Ascension from the Earth, Descending from the Sky, tells the story of Tamarau, a celestial being, who was so captivated by the earthly beauty of Rongo-ue-roa, a terrestrial being, that he came down to meet her.

This story aligns closely with the creation narrative of Te tiawa iwi [tribe], said Rangi.

The terminals silver and blue roof cascades in large stepped planes, like the feathers of a large wing, or, Tamarau coming to meet Rongo-ue-roa. Their symbolic and literal joining is represented along the public concourse by a brightly coloured tukutuku panel traditionally, a woven wall panel that depicts an iwis stories.

The spine of the building is oriented to represent the journey from the mountain to the river the main ancestral walking track in this area, and while visitors may notice these aspects of the architecture first, there are many subtle stories told through the details.

Manaakitanga the Mori concept of hospitality also influences the design.

Campbell Craig, the projects architect and associate for design at firm Beca, said the project attempted to challenge western architectural practices that do not bear any relationship to Mori design.

It was important for Puketapu to welcome and take care of guests in a place that is in many ways the gateway to the region, said Craig. The faceted curved forms of the building at the entrance and airside embrace travellers, to shelter them from the elements.

In 1960, the land the airport sits on was confiscated from Mori, under the Public Works Act to build an aerodrome. This was a major source of grievance for the hap, who had urup [burial grounds] on the site.

Honouring the iwis story is meant to be the first step in righting this wrong.

Kipa said: For the most part, we have been invisible in our own landscape for 160 years, so its amazing to have the chance to influence, and give life to, some of the things that make us who we are.

For Craig, the most heartening aspect of the project was the intensive collaboration between Mori, the airport and the architects, which enabled a sense of collective ownership over it.

The experience at Te Hono provided a blueprint for working with tngata whenua [people of the land], he said, adding that it would be an approach embedded into all of their future projects.

The airports chief executive, David Scott, said the co-design process had resulted in a building that was both functional and of cultural significance. It demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together as true partners, he said.

The winners of the Prix Versailles Airports 2021 will be announced at Unesco headquarters in late November.

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Tiny New Zealand airport that tells Mori love story in running for global design award - The Guardian

Opinion: Stop putting a spin on New Zealand’s vaccination numbers, we are woefully behind – Newshub

OPINION: Last Christmas I sent a picture to my family in the UK of my children and me in a pool enjoying a summer of freedom that was the envy of the world.

Two days later, my brother, his wife and son in England all had COVID-19.

My parents, who are in their 70s, began what turned out to be a six-month lockdown as England battled with its latest outbreak.

I regretted being so glib about how we were spending the festive season.

Friends of mine in England started to message me about moving over here, such was the positive publicity around the success of New Zealand's elimination of the virus.

Those friends endured a miserable winter in the northern hemisphere, locked down for many months.

Today the tables are somewhat turned, as we are in our second level 4 lockdown, the UK is emerging from its COVID winter of discontent largely vaccinated and seemingly in a new phase of dealing with the virus.

My parents are so confident they have booked a cruise, albeit around the British Isles but it is something a few months ago they were wondering if they would ever do again.

As long as they give a negative COVID test and are both fully vaccinated they can board the ship.

And that is the key, they have both been fully vaccinated for a few months now. All of my family, including my teenage nieces and nephews have received both doses of the vaccination.

Earlier this year, I was told I would be getting my first dose of the vaccine in April. My age and an underlying health condition meant I would be among the first in the queue.

May came and went and no dose.

The information then changed and I was then told I could book in July, not be jabbed but book. So when I got another email saying I was eligible I tried to book online, except the website crashed so I called instead.

I was given a date of September 12. Five months after I was originally told I could get the jab.

I know there were issues securing doses of the vaccine, but when the Prime Minister begins a press conference by saying "I have good news," and then telling us the record number of people who were vaccinated on Friday is something to cheer, it's not good news, it's just catching up.

Putting the country back into lockdown was the right move from Ardern, there was little option once the Delta variant was discovered in the community.

Her management of the crisis has been generally excellent, but stop spinning the vaccination programme.

It has so far not been a success. We are not at the bottom of the list of countries that have vaccinated their populations, but we are a long way from the top.

It doesn't matter how many people have booked for their vaccine, a booking won't protect you. What is important is how many people have been vaccinated twice.

I am at risk from COVID-19, males in my age group have some of the worst survival rates. I would really like the vaccine but won't be fully vaccinated until October.

Meanwhile the Delta variant is in the community and many of us who are at risk shouldn't be.

I would hardly call that good news.

Mark Longley is the managing editor of Newshub Digital

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Opinion: Stop putting a spin on New Zealand's vaccination numbers, we are woefully behind - Newshub

13yo becomes one of New Zealand’s youngest COVID-19 vaccine recipients at drive-through vaccination centre – Newshub

He wasn't the only teenager at the Auckland site. With people aged 12-15 now eligible for the Pfizer shot, 15-year-old Annabel Patterson also rolled down her window and rolled up her sleeve.

The vaccination centre was set up in two days, and on Sunday it accommodated those who had their jab appointments cancelled during the lockdown.

This includes essential workers such as bus drivers and supermarket employees who will get their chance to get their shot.

"We know it's been a really fluid environment and dynamic over the last couple of days and we just want to apologise to people who've been inconvenienced," Northern Region Health Coordination Centre's Matt Hannant told Newshub.

Staff hope to be doing 2000 jabs a day, with the potential to increase in the future.

"So you come through, get screened, check those symptoms, then you get registered then you go through to the tents to get your jab," Hannant says. "The vaccinator comes around the car - does everyone individually."

Once people get their vaccinations, it's over to an observation area where they sit in their car for 15 minutes.

If everything is okay then they're good to go but if there are any issues they honk their horn, flash their lights and medical staff will be instantly there.

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13yo becomes one of New Zealand's youngest COVID-19 vaccine recipients at drive-through vaccination centre - Newshub

Coronavirus: New Zealand needs high uptake of vaccine to mitigate cases, hospitalisations, deaths once borders reopen – study – Newshub

Professor Colin Simpson from Victoria University of Wellington says the modelling of predictions from different vaccination programme strategies to consider the number of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths over two years with open borders could help support New Zealand's vaccination strategy.

"The aims of the study were to predict how many people do you need to immunise for herd immunity, which age groups should be targeted first and in what order and what the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths would look like under a number of different vaccine effectiveness, R0 and population coverage," he says.

The modelling found that reaching the herd immunity threshold based on the infection rate of the Delta variant was almost impossible.

"Based on a 90 percent vaccine effectiveness (VE) against disease and 80 percent VE against infection we would require at least 86.5 percent total population uptake (including children) for R0=4.5 (with high vaccination coverage for 30-49-year-olds) but that would jump to 98.1 percent uptake for R0=6 (the Delta variant)," Simpson says.

ESR chief scientist Dr Brett Cowan says the results show that vaccinating as many New Zealanders as possible will reduce the risk of widespread community outbreaks. As a result, vulnerable populations will have a greater chance of protection from the disease, but other public health and social measures will still be needed as part of a response.

"Vaccination modelling has been proved to help anticipate potential public health outcomes based on different vaccine effectiveness reported in clinical trials and 'real-world' studies and vaccination programme strategies," Simpson says.

"While the study was primarily developed with New Zealand in mind, our experience will also provide valuable insights to the international community to inform future actions."

Andrew Sporle, from the University of Auckland's department of statistics, says it is critical to include strategies to ensure Mori and Pasifika have maximum protection since they're at higher risk for hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

"Prioritising vaccinations for those most at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection (including Mori and Pasifika) benefits the whole population as well as protecting those groups," he says.

"We know that opening the border will result in local cases of COVID. Minimising the resulting hospitalisations and deaths requires prioritisation of those groups and communities most at risk, as Australia and Canada have done."

Sporle adds that the risk of a border breach before vaccinations are complete means prioritisation must be a focus so it doesn't become a catch-up strategy.

There have been 148 cases in New Zealand's current outbreak so far, 41 of which were announced on Tuesday.

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Coronavirus: New Zealand needs high uptake of vaccine to mitigate cases, hospitalisations, deaths once borders reopen - study - Newshub

Rugby: Resolution found? All Blacks set to leave New Zealand next week – New Zealand Herald

The All Blacks are set to leave Perth for the third Bledisloe Cup match after previously being held back on player welfare grounds.

After New Zealand Rugby controversially opted out of flying the All Blacks to Perth this week, a solution appears to have been found, with the All Blacks set to leave New Zealand next week. Liam Napier reports.

The All Blacks are likely to board a plane to Perth next week for the third, rescheduled Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies on September 4.

The difference between next week and last, when New Zealand Rugby sparked an outcry by pulling pin on the All Blacks travelling for the scheduled August 28 Bledisloe test in Perth, is the Rugby Championship destination is expected to be finalised by Tuesday or Wednesday.

The continued uncertainty surrounding whether Europe, Queensland or South Africa will host the four-nation tournament is the rationale NZ Rugby cited for not sending the All Blacks last Saturday.

Provided health protocols remain the same, allowing the All Blacks to travel to Perth, stay in a controlled bubble and play seven days later, and Rugby Australia can negotiate with AFL to secure Optus Stadium on September 4, the final sold-out Bledisloe is expected to be staged then.

Amid the backdrop of seething anger from Australia at the way NZ Rugby has handled the complex situation, the dead rubber Bledisloe, which doubles as the All Blacks' second Rugby Championship fixture, promises to be a tense occasion.

Like last week, the All Blacks need to leave New Zealand by this Saturday in order to land in Perth a week before the September 4 date.

Much of the context around NZ Rugby's decision to hold the All Blacks back at late notice, and force Rugby Australia to reschedule the third Bledisloe for a second time, has been overshadowed by furious criticism and some dubious claims, particularly those from RA chief executive Andy Marinos about a lack of consultation.

Sanzaar held a chief executive meeting last Thursday where NZ Rugby boss Mark Robinson flagged issues facing the All Blacks' departure, including the challenges assembling a group of 60-odd players and management from all parts of the country with domestic flights significantly reduced while New Zealand is in lockdown.

With no MIQ spots available for the All Blacks until November, once the team leaves New Zealand they cannot return until then. They, therefore, want certainty around the Rugby Championship destination before being away from home for up to 14 weeks.

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Following the Sanzaar meeting the Herald understands Robinson and Marinos spoke two further times on Friday, with the latter well aware of the 2pm deadline to guarantee Queensland's ability to host the Rugby Championship before the All Blacks were willing to fly out.

The prospect of pushing the third Bledisloe back a week to September 4, in order to allow time for the Rugby Championship situation to be resolved, was raised only to be rejected by Marinos.

As the deadline loomed, Marinos asked for three additional hours to secure a letter or approval from the Queensland Government that is still yet to arrive and Robinson made it clear that, given logisical challenges, they would not wait that long.

Having not received assurances from Queensland around the Rugby Championship, NZ Rugby took a hard-line stance to issue its statement that the All Blacks would not be travelling as planned, sparking furious criticism and suggestions from Marinos that he found out via the media.

One other factor widely overlooked is the quarantine situation facing the Springboks and Pumas. Both teams originally planned to satisfy their two-week quarantine in Sydney, where they were permitted to train during that time. As of last Friday, however, that was no longer the case with the Covid-19 situation deteriorating in Sydney.

While Perth remains keen to host the third Bledisloe they, too, aren't comfortable with the potential risks associated with welcoming the Boks and Pumas from South Africa, a Covid-19 hot spot.

Perth therefore changed its stance on staging the Rugby Championship, as had been touted.

With the Queensland State Government yet to provide assurances it is willing to host the tournament, or clarify the quarantine situation for the Boks and Pumas, much uncertainty surrounds how and where those teams will enter Australia.

NZ Rugby's move left ticket holders in Perth disillusioned, and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie "bloody angry" as, among other things, his team is now left in limbo.

The decision to delay travelling is not unprecedented, however. Just last year the Springboks pulled out of playing the Rugby Championship in Australia at the 11th hour citing player welfare. That decision had major ramifications in reducing the tournament to the Tri Nations.

Sanzaar is set to meet on Monday to determine where the Rugby Championship will be held, with Queensland and Europe essentially in a head-to-head battle. South Africa's inability to host crowds would significantly reduce revenue.

Europe is enticing for all four nations from a financial point of view and if the third Bledisloe can't be staged in Perth on September 4, there is the prospect of instead playing it at Wembley on October 9.

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Rugby: Resolution found? All Blacks set to leave New Zealand next week - New Zealand Herald

Karate New Zealand – HOME

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Karate New Zealand - HOME

Where to Survive the End of the World? Head to New Zealand – The Daily Beast

New Zealand is already envied for its secluded nature and, more recently, its early management of COVID-19. It may also be the best place to survive the end of the world as we know it, according to a new study. Researchers found the Kiwi home to be the best place to survive a global collapse of society, citing its reasonable climate, ability to control its borders, and grow food. We werent surprised New Zealand was on our list, Prof. Aled Jones at the Global Sustainability Institute, which conducted the study, told The Guardian. The study, published in the journal Sustainability, found human civilization to be on the brink of collapse, citing its hyper-focus on interconnectivity and its impact on the environment. This left it unprepared to handle potential shocks, including an unprecedented financial crisis or a pandemic much deadlier than COVID-19. With hindsight, its quite obvious that large islands with complex societies on them already [make up the list], Jones said.

Other countries to make up the list include the United Kingdom, Iceland, Tasmania, and Ireland.

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Where to Survive the End of the World? Head to New Zealand - The Daily Beast

Winston Reid’s New Zealand edged out by Honduras in Olympics – West Ham United F.C.

Winston Reid's New Zealand suffered a late 3-2 defeat to Honduras in their second group stage game at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Sunday.

The Oly Whites captain and West Ham United defender was forced out of the action early in the first half due to injury, and had to watch on as his teamlooked on course to take a major step towards the quarter-finals when they twice led thanks to goals from Liberato Cacace and Burnley's Chris Wood, only to be thwarted by Honduras.

Goals in the final twelve minutes byJuan Carlos Obregn Jr and Rigoberto Rivas were enough to overcome the deficit and hand their side a dramatic 3-2 victory.

The defeat leaves New Zealand with three points from their opening two Group B games, but they know progression is still in their own hands.

Should they defeat Romania in their final match, in Sapporo on Wednesday, they will make the tournament's last eight for the first time at an Olympics.

Meanwhile, Reid was sent for a scan on the knee problemand will now face await to see if he will be able to return to help his team's bid for Olympics glory.

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Winston Reid's New Zealand edged out by Honduras in Olympics - West Ham United F.C.

New Zealand is not the world’s post-Covid future – Stuff.co.nz

OPINION: About a year ago, North American friends started looking to New Zealand as an early glimpse of their own potential post-Covid world.

They were still stuck in lockdowns; we had emerged from ours. They wanted to know what their future might look like. Would working from home prove sticky? Or would everyone go back to their offices?

The answers mattered for thinking about whether firms might relocate to places where rents were lower, with obvious consequences for real estate prices.

The geographic time-vortex has since changed direction.

READ MORE:* Mixed fortunes for Kiwis seeking to get back from Australia * Covid 19: Vulnerable Kiwis still waiting as next vaccine stage begins * Tourism businesses can no longer afford to ignore Kiwis

New Zealand is not the worlds post-Covid future. Covid now seems globally endemic, with no prospect of the rest of the world eliminating it as much as we desperately hope they would.

North America instead provides visions of what a post-vaccination world may look like. If our luck holds, New Zealand will join the post-vaccination world without ever having to endure any real Covid outbreak like Australias. If our luck does not hold, New Zealand will get there the harder way.

Canadas vaccination rates are now among the best in the world. As of last week, 52 per cent of Canadas population was fully vaccinated and a further 18 per cent had had their first shot.

Cameron Burnell/Stuff

Dr Eric Crampton is chief economist with The New Zealand Initiative.

Those who are not vaccinated still impose risk. Vaccines sharply reduce the likelihood of serious illness with Covid, but some risk remains. Canadians support measures helping them to stay safe, and to avoid passing the virus on to others who are vulnerable, by staying clear of those who are unvaccinated.

Majorities of Canadians surveyed in late May, when only 54 per cent of Canadians had had at least a first vaccination dose, and again in July, supported proof-of-vaccination requirements to board commercial airline flights; to travel internationally; to attend public events or large gatherings; to visit public places like restaurants, movie theatres and churches; and, to attend ones own place of work.

Quebec will be requiring proof of vaccination for entry into high-risk places like gyms, concerts, and festivals in any fourth wave. And, last week, the University of British Columbias alumni association urged the university to require vaccination for students in the residence halls a measure supported by 82 per cent of students.

Across the US border, vaccination rates have plateaued at about 56 per cent and the costs of low vaccination rates are more obvious.

Americas National Football League last week set a new policy. If a vaccinated player returns a positive test, without symptoms, he can return to play after two negative tests a day apart; unvaccinated players must quarantine for 10 days.

If a game is cancelled due to a Covid outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with unvaccinated players does not just forfeit the game. It also bears responsibility for any resulting financial losses.

The leagues policy does not mandate vaccination. It simply ensures that the costs of not being vaccinated fall where they should.

Some American universities are requiring that their students be vaccinated. Indiana Universitys mandate survived a court challenge last week.

Looking ahead to New Zealands post-vaccination future, we might expect similar preferences here if New Zealand has taken the hard road and endured the kind of real outbreak that makes the risk of the unvaccinated more tangible.

Some businesses and employers might cater to the more risk-averse who, like me, would strongly prefer shopping, eating, commuting and working in places where there are no unvaccinated people around. Other venues could cater to the less risk-averse, like restaurants that were once allowed to cater to smokers.


Might our vaccine passport be ready in time for our post-vaccination future?

Canadas vaccine passport enabling reliable checking of vaccination status might only be ready by December. Might ours be ready in time for our post-vaccination future?

On the other side, some measures that make sense in a pre-vaccination world prove sticky afterwards.

Last week, economist Josh Gans excellent newsletter on Covid and economics highlighted University of Toronto rules restricting people against sharing offices, and mandating mask wearing indoors, even for vaccinated faculty alone in their offices.

Borders can also prove sticky.

Canada aimed to reopen the border when Canadian vaccination rates hit 75 per cent. The re-opening of the Canadian land border to vaccinated and tested travellers from the United States is scheduled for August 9, but Americas land border is remaining closed to Canadians despite Canadas much higher vaccination rates.

If New Zealand luckily avoids outbreaks before we reach the post-vaccination world, our border may prove stickier than it needs to be.

The Government has signalled that border policy will change in the post-vaccination world. But, quietly around the edges, we hear signals that nobody should really be able to expect to travel for another year.

New Zealand needs to be able to join the rest of the post-vaccination world in 2022. If the Government believes that world still to be too risky, then improving border quarantine now, so it will be able to accommodate a lot more vaccinated travellers for much shorter stays, will be important.

Dr Eric Crampton is chief economist with The New Zealand Initiative. The NZ Initiative is a research group funded by a range of corporates, universities and other organisations. You can view the full list of its supporters here.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this column said that Quebec already required proof of vaccination. (Updated 26/7, 9.49am)

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New Zealand is not the world's post-Covid future - Stuff.co.nz

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Live updates – New Zealand athletes and events in action, how to watch in NZ, live streaming – New Zealand Herald


29 Jul, 2021 11:00 AM4 minutes to read

Two more medals for New Zealand as NZ Herald Focus Sport's Cheree Kinnear wraps day six, and rowing legend Eric Murray reviews all the action on the water. Video / NZ Herald / Sky Sport

All of today's action from the Tokyo Olympics.

After two close calls yesterday, New Zealand have their best chance yet to claim their first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Here's all you need to know about today's action (Thursday, 29 July).

Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast set a world record time in their semifinal to progress to the final of the women's pair, and, as you'd expect after a performance like that, the world champion crew have been inserted a $1.45 favourite to win gold early this afternoon.

Their closest rivals are deemed to be the Canadian crew, followed by Great Britain and Greece, who broke the world record previously held by Gowler and Prendergast in the first semifinal, only for the Kiwi pair to amusingly/cruelly immediately take it right back from them in the following semifinal.

While Gowler and Prendergast are gold medal favourites, another Kiwi rower in the medal mix is Emma Twigg, who competes in her semifinal this afternoon, looking to progress to a third consecutive Olympic final.

The biggest of New Zealand's gold medal favourites are also in action today, but the Black Ferns Sevens are only beginning their campaign, while fellow Rio silver medallist Luuka Jones has a chance at a medal in the C1 canoe slalom event, but after qualifying 11th for the semifinals it would be a surprise for her to medal in her less-favoured event.

Also participating in his less-favoured event is Lewis Clareburt, who has a chance to qualify for the 200m Individual Medley final after another storming personal best in his heat last night saw him qualify third-fastest for the semifinals. However, a tough turnaround will see him again have to battle with the "morning blues", and it would be a harsh ask to expect a better time than what he produced last night.

Finally, golfer Ryan Fox tees off in his first round this morning, and in a sport with plenty of variance, and a field not containing as many stars as some of the big events he usually plays in, he can't be ruled out as a medal prospect.

Check the "who's competing" interactive above to see the full list of Kiwis in action, and when they begin their events.

28 Jul, 2021 10:00 PMQuick Read

29 Jul, 2021 03:30 AMQuick Read

29 Jul, 2021 05:16 AMQuick Read

29 Jul, 2021 04:34 PMQuick Read

Archery (Individual Round of 32 and 16 matches)Artistic Gymnastics (Women's all-round final)Badminton (Knockouts)Baseball (Pool Play)Basketball (Pool Play)Beach Volleyball (Pool Play)Boxing (Round of 16)Canoe Slalom (Women's canoe final)Cycling BMX racing (Quarter-finals)Fencing (Women's Foil Team Matches)Golf (Men's Round 1)Handball (Women's Pool Play)Hockey (Pool Play)Judo (Women's 78kg and Men's 100kg medal matches)Rowing (Four finals)Rugby Sevens (Women's Pool Play)Sailing (Classification Races)Shooting (Trap finals)Swimming (Five finals)Table Tennis (Women's singles medal matches, men's semifinals)Tennis (Quarter-finals and semifinals)Volleyball (Women's Pool play)Water Polo (Men's Pool play)

The Herald will have live updates running from 10am, while you can catch all the action on Sky Sport. Every event on Sky can also be watched via streaming on Sky Sport Now or Sky Go.

Archery (Women's individual medal matches)Athletics (Heaps)Badminton (Knockouts)Baseball (Pool Play)Basketball (Women's Pool Play)Beach Volleyball (Pool Play)Boxing (Round of 16, quarter-finals)Canoe Slalom (Men's kayak final)Cycling BMX racing (Finals)Diving (Women's 3m Springboard Preliminary)Equestrian (Eventing Dressage)Fencing (Men's Epee Team finals)Football (Women's quarter-finals)Golf (Men's Round 2)Handball (Men's Pool Play)Hockey (Pool Play)Judo (Women's 78kg+ and Men's 100kg+ medal matches)Rowing (Four finals)Rugby Sevens (Women's Pool Play and quarter-finals)Sailing (Classification Races)Shooting (25m Women's Pistol Final)Swimming (Four finals)Table Tennis (Men's singles medal matches)Tennis (TBC)Trampoline Gymnastics (Women's final)Volleyball (Men's Pool play)Water Polo (Women's Pool play)

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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Live updates - New Zealand athletes and events in action, how to watch in NZ, live streaming - New Zealand Herald

Covid-19: The cost of keeping New Zealand safe – Stuff.co.nz

Bevan Hurley/Stuff

While the border remains shut, the tourism sector struggles to remain solvent and fill core roles to provide a premium service to New Zealand and, when the time is right, the world. (File photo)

OPINION: While we deal with the challenges of Covid-19, there is no doubting the political wisdom of a closed border to help manage the threat of the virus getting into and running rampant in New Zealand.

The management of Covid propelled the Government to become the first post-MMP majority Government, and it must feel comforted that a recent UMR poll found around 66 per cent of New Zealanders remain supportive of this policy and will probably continue to feel that way until a much greater proportion of the population is vaccinated.

We have low unemployment, most people are in some way connected to work, and the economy has rebounded remarkably strongly after a couple of stuttering quarters.

Right now New Zealand, along with the rest of the world, is trying to figure out how to get the lights back on safely after lockdowns, and how to get production under way to meet continued strong demand for our goods and services.

READ MORE:* Record number of job opportunities as employers struggle to find qualified staff* What's next for interest rates?* New Zealanders rate economy as among world's strongest* There is still plenty of Covid pain to come

So far this is good news.

But the pain of living with a closed border persists. While the border remains shut, the tourism sector struggles to remain solvent and fill core roles to provide a premium service to New Zealand and, when the time is right, the world.


BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope.

While tourists arent flying here, taxpayers are having to subsidise the exports flown out of the country. And until the planes are full of passengers again, that will remain the case.

The exports that travel on those planes have been reduced since Covid hit exports overall are down some 25 per cent but that isnt related to demand for the products, its because we simply dont have people to pick the fruit, or tourists to populate the planes that carry the fruit, or workers that used to holiday here, or students that used to study and work here.

Despite the best efforts of the industries concerned doing all they can to find, train and pay locals, there are still critical skills shortages in almost all parts of the economy. Employers in primary industries in regional New Zealand are now thinking about what the next season might look like. Similarly, the designers, architects, engineers and constructors of new infrastructure are thinking twice about whether to compete for contracts when they dont know if there will be the skills available to complete projects.

The theme overwhelmingly coming through key business surveys is that businesses are having to constrain their output because of lack of staff to do the work.

The implications of continued labour shortages on future inflation could be substantial, with increased costs passed on to households as higher prices for everyday goods and services. There will be increased pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates, and with high levels of household debt, those higher interest rates will eat away at households disposable income.

Probably the biggest pain right now is at the personal level. We have a workforce that is working at full capacity, businesses report high level of stress among owners, staff, suppliers and customers, and the mental health of the workforce operating at this pace is at risk.

Helpfully, there are signs they are listening and have already taken some steps. Many temporary visa holders have had their visas extended for two years. These people work in critical and essential industries such as our aged care sector, and in our productive sectors, and it is good that they now have some certainty over their future and the value New Zealand places on their skills.

The Government also pushed back the timing of the overly bureaucratic employer-assisted visa programme as they work with industries to more thoroughly assess the balance between the skills that are available and what will be needed to ensure our people dont burn out.


Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi. The government recently announced they had extended many visas for temporary visa holders. (File photo)

Here are seven suggestions that could shift the dial in the short term while borders are shut, and in the medium term when hopefully the borders are open:

Allow family reunifications and pathways to residency, acknowledging that for those already here, this will not significantly increase housing and infrastructure pressures.

Look at immigration in terms of workforce priorities and integrate these with education and welfare needs. Improve the capacity of the health and education workforce to cope.

Improve the capacity of the essential services workforce allow more critical workers to come here.

Keep as many businesses and workers operating as possible reduce the number of unhelpful regulations and provide government services more efficiently.

Help growth industries lead the recovery primary industries, construction, infrastructure and technology companies.

Open up investor category visas for border exemptions to allow more foreign investment into the country, to build the infrastructure thats so badly needed.

Make a plan for business travel to be able to safely resume, as a priority export and other businesses need this urgently.

Our prospects for continued health, prosperity, and the sustainability of our workforce depend a great deal on the good work the Government has done in keeping us Covid-free, but these prospects also require the Government to listen to business to help reduce the ongoing pain of our closed border and ensure New Zealand can remain internationally competitive.

Kirk Hope is Chief Executive at BusinessNZ.

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Covid-19: The cost of keeping New Zealand safe - Stuff.co.nz

This is New Zealand’s best pie – and for the first time in awards history, a woman baked it – Stuff.co.nz

A female baker has taken out the top prize in the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards for the first time in their quarter century history.

Sopheap Long, of Euro Patisserie in Torbay on Aucklands North Shore, won the coveted Supreme Award for her steak and cheese at a ceremony held in Auckland on Tuesday night.

The Supreme Pie is the best of the best, named by the competitions judges to be the top entry among the 11 category winners.


Sopheap Long's Supreme Award-winning steak and cheese pie.

In all, Longs pie beat out nearly 5000 entries from 465 bakeries around the country.

READ MORE:* Take the ultimate Kiwi pie roadie* New Zealand's best mince and cheese takes baker to historic Pie Awards win* Why are South Island bakeries under represented at the NZ pie awards?

Bakels managing director Brent Kersel said Longs steak and cheese had everything going for it.

The steak was chunky but so tender it just melted in your mouth, he explained. It was surrounded by rich, dark gravy and topped with a semi-soft tangy cheese; just delicious. The golden flaky pastry had perfect layering and the base was lightly golden brown with a hand hold-able firmness. We just couldnt fault it.


Sopheap Long, left, winning Best Apprentice Pie Maker in 2019; shes now baked the countrys best pie.

Steak and cheese is, along with mince and cheese, one of the most hotly contested categories in the annual awards, receiving the highest number of entries.

In winning the steak and cheese award, Long edged out seven-time supreme winner Patrick Lam, of Goldstar Patricks Pies in Tauranga, who placed second.

Long, who was Apprentice Pie Maker of the Year in 2019, also took out bronze in the bacon and egg category, won by another female baker, Shuly Ngann of Le Royal Bakery in Grafton, Auckland, and was highly commended for her mince and cheese, a category won by Ny Chan of Ronnies Cafe and Bakery in Matamata.

Chris McKeen/Stuff

Judges, including celebrity guest Peter Gordon, second from right, sampled close to 5000 pies.

Kersel said the standard of entries this year was very high across the board, after Covid-19 meant the competition did not go ahead this year.

On more than one occasion we had to go back and take another look at the top finalists in a few of the categories because the results were either a tie or half a point difference... Maybe during periods of lockdown in 2020 our bakers spent time polishing their skills.

Longs big win will almost certainly mean a run on her bakery, as has been experienced by previous winners, including Lam.

Pie fans from everywhere will be heading for [Longs] bakery to try her pies and Im sure they wont be disappointed, said Kersel.



Gold Award: Jason Hay, Richoux Bakery, 119 Main Highway, Ellerslie

Silver Award: Chenth Bun, Euro Bake & Espresso Ltd, 45 Main Road, Kumeu

Bronze Award: Sok Heang Nguon, Taste Cafe & Bakery, 1a Crayford Street West, Avondale

Highly Commended: Vong Hean, Mairangi Bay Bakery, 366 Beach Road, Mairangi Bay


Gold Award: Michael Gray, Nada Bakery, Suite 4, 72 Main Road, Tawa

Silver Award: Patrick Lam, Goldstar Patricks Pies, Shop 14, 2 Taurikura, Tauriko

Bronze Award: Bunnarith Sao, Dairy Flat Bakery Ltd, 1443 Dairy Flat Highway, Dairy Flat

Highly Commended: Buntha Meng, Wild Grain Bakery, 16 Wainui Road, Silverdale


Gold Award: Sopheap Long, Euro Patisserie Torbay, 1028 Beach Road, Torbay

Silver Award: Patrick Lam, Goldstar Patricks Pies, Shop 14, 2 Taurikura, Tauriko

Bronze Award: Geemun Chao, Baker Bobs Bakery Cafe, 135 Chadwick Road, Greerton

Highly Commended: Jason Hay, Richoux Bakery, 119 Main Highway, Ellerslie


Gold Award: Jason Danielson, Kai Pai Bakery, 17 Frederick Street, Wanaka

Silver Award: Nap Ly, Target Bakehouse & Cafe, 241 Manukau Road, Pukekohe

Bronze Award: Savanchamnan Ly, PieFee, 349 Karangahape Road

Highly Commended: Jacksea Tang, Penny Lane Bake Shop, 248 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga


Gold Award: Lentil, potato, onion, carrot & celery; Brad Dalton, Ginger Dynamite go go food & coffee, 488 Main Road Riwaka, Riwaka

Silver Award: Venison & bacon; Jason Heaven, Caf Ahuriri, 16 Mahia Street, Ahuriri

Bronze Award: Beef, bourbon, bacon, aged cheddar cheese & garden herbs; Nicole Peake, The Whistling Frog, 9 Rewcastle Road, RD 2, Owaka

Highly Commended: Chicken breast with creamy mushrooms; Chi Meng Lo, Bay Coffee Hub, 279 Emerson Street, Napier South


Gold Award: Slow cooked Wagyu beef curry; Jason Hay, Richoux Bakery, 119 Main Highway, Ellerslie

Silver Award: Steak, mushroom & cheese; Geemun Chao, Baker Bobs Bakery Cafe, 135 Chadwick Road, Greerton

Bronze Award: Chicken, leek, mushroom & bacon; Jason Danielson, Kai Pai Bakery, 17 Frederick Street, Wanaka

Highly Commended: Roast pork, potato, mixed veg, gravy & apple sauce; Sopheap Try, Chelsea Bakery & Roast, 113 Randwick Road, Moera


Gold Award: Kaing Sok, My Bakery Cafe Kelston, Suite 6, 4055 Great North Road, Glen Eden

Silver Award: Jason Danielson, Kai Pai Bakery, 17 Frederick Street, Wanaka

Bronze Award: Shuly Ngann, Le Royal Bakery, 21 Park Road, Grafton

Highly Commended: Patrick Lam, Goldstar Patricks Pies, Shop 14, 2 Taurikura, Tauriko


Gold Award: Shuly Ngann, Le Royal Bakery, 21 Park Road, Grafton

Silver Award: Chenth Bun, Euro Bake & Espresso Ltd, 45 Main Road, Kumeu

Bronze Award: Sopheap Long, Euro Patisserie Torbay, 1028 Beach Road, Torbay

Highly Commended: Ratanak Nov, Corner Bakery, 180A Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough


Gold Award: Ny Chan, Ronnies Caf & Bakery, 74 Broadway, Matamata

Silver Award: Vong Hean, Mairangi Bay Bakery, 366 Beach Road, Mairangi Bay

Bronze Award: Sok Heang Nguon, Taste Caf & Bakery, 1A Crayford Street West, Avondale

Highly Commended: Sopheap Long, Euro Patisserie Torbay, 1028 Beach Road, Torbay


Gold Award: Creamed white sauce, spinach, sweetcorn, pumpkin, mushroom; Vong Hean, Mairangi Bay Bakery, 366 Beach Road, Mairangi Bay

Silver Award: Spinach, pumpkin, kumara, cranberries sauce & camembert; Geemun Chao, Baker Bobs Bakery Cafe, 135 Chadwick Road, Greerton

Bronze Award: Creamy sauce, carrot, kumara, peas, broccoli, onion, sweetcorn & coriander; Ty Lim, Orewa Bakery, 8 Moana Avenue, Orewa

Highly Commended: Kumara, pumpkin, potato, mixed vegetables; Sok Heang Nguon, Taste Caf & Bakery, 1A Crayford Street West, Avondale


Gold Award: Terry McMahon, Couplands Bakeries, 140 Carmen Road, Hornby

Silver Award: Tim Milina, Oxford Pies, 142 Maui Street, Pukete

Bronze Award: Martyn Mayston, Bake Shack Bakery, 59 Hewletts Road, Mt Maunganui

Highly Commended: Adelle Neilson, GWF, 78 Kerrs Road, Wiri


Gold Award: Steak & Cheese; Sopheap Long, Euro Patisserie Torbay, 1028 Beach Road, Torbay

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This is New Zealand's best pie - and for the first time in awards history, a woman baked it - Stuff.co.nz

The best New Zealand airport to fly into, according to Air New Zealand’s chief pilot – Stuff.co.nz

Queenstown is the most spectacular place in New Zealand to fly into, a Boeing 787 takes off at between 260km and 300km an hour, and you need to return to your assigned seat before landing so the planes centre of gravity isnt out of whack.

So said Air New Zealand chief pilot, Captain David Morgan, in a question and answer session with members of the public on the airlines Facebook page this week.


Morgan said flying into Queenstown Airport on a nice day is spectacular.

Asked which route is his favourite, Morgan said that was a tough one as hes flown the airlines entire network since he started with it in 1985.

Still, he conceded: The most spectacular flight Id say is flying into Queenstown on a beautiful day.

READ MORE:* Miss or Ms? Airline's serious stuff-up on passengers' weight * What causes in-flight turbulence and should passengers be worried?* Upgrades, doors and toilets: The nine biggest myths about air travel

Several people asked which New Zealand airport was the most difficult to fly into, but Morgan refused to be drawn, saying all airports can be challenging in bad weather.

However, he acknowledged that some have a unique set of challenges, such as windy Wellington and Queenstown when there are crosswinds.

Air New Zealand flight attendant Nicole Astle chipped in, saying her roughest-ever landing was in Dunedin followed by Queenstown and Wellington respectively.

Ross Giblin/Stuff

Morgan said windy Wellington presents a unique set of challenges for pilots.

To the question of why passengers are distributed to balance smaller planes, Morgan said aircraft are loaded so the pivot point (the central point at which the plane balances or turns) falls within its centre of gravity range.

That pivot point moves during the course of the flight. Because we calculate this before we depart, we ask passengers to return to their original seat prior to landing so that the centre of gravity is where it should be.

Morgan also explained that the window blinds need to be up for landing so cabin crew can see out the window if there is an emergency.

If youre travelling on an Airbus A320, look out for a small back triangle on the sidewall. It marks the spot crew stand to look outside if necessary.


Morgan said Queenstowns crosswinds can make it tricky to fly into.

Air New Zealand flight attendant Paige Valentine added that open window blinds also enable crew to see if there is fire or smoke outside in the event of an emergency evacuation.

Fire = dont open that emergency exit!

Morgan handled a lot of questions about turbulence, with many asking whether it posed a real danger.

His standard answer was No. The atmosphere is energetic, so its always moving. Its the moving of air layers that cause turbulence. Our aircraft are designed to fly through it and our pilots use our flight simulator to practice flying through turbulence.

A self-described terrible flyer asked whether it was true that pilots decide to cancel flights in bad weather because of the discomfort it would cause passengers rather than the planes capabilities.

Morgan gave his standard turbulence response, but Kiwi pilot Matt Wilcock said it was not.

(W)e cancel for unsuitable weather conditions normally at the destination airport or if any alternate airports are also unsuitable. Passenger comfort isnt a consideration as everyones comfort levels are different.

One person wanted to know how pilots remember which button does what in the cockpit when there are so many, asking whether they ever forget and press a button at random to see what happens.

Morgan said pilots use only about 10 per cent of the buttons on a Boeing 787 in-flight.

Most switches concern aircraft systems, which are used at the start and end of flights, he said.

During the flight, most switches are associated with the flight management computer and the autopilot of the aircraft I fly.

Spirit Airlines pilot Chris Reopelle said its a myth that planes can practically fly themselves on autopilot.

We utilise the autopilot to manage workload when things get busy. Its more a tool to help us manage an incredibly complex and diverse environment.

Morgan said the best seat on a plane is the captains, but passengers after a smoother ride should select a seat somewhere near the centre of gravity, which is typically over the wing.

Asked whether it was strange not being able to see out the windscreen when flying through cloud, Morgan admitted it was at first.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

Air New Zealand has apologised for the way the situation was handled.

It was quite unusual actually because when you learn to fly, you learn by flying with reference to the ground.

However, he said pilots are trained to be able to fly using their instruments alone. When a plane flies through cloud, their eyes are solely on their instruments.

To the question of why a plane can feel like it is losing power after take off, Morgan said levelling off at low altitude can give the illusion that the aircraft is descending.

I tend to raise this in my pre-departure PA to ease any concerns.

As for whether planes can speed up if a flight is delayed to make up the time, Morgan said they can to a degree.

Matty McLean/Twitter

Cookies will continue to be offered on domestic flights.

However, its the same as a car if you speed up, you burn more fuel more quickly. We very rarely do this.

A couple of people enquired about pilots stamina on long-haul flights, asking whether they flew the whole journey or put the plane on autopilot for some of it.

Morgan explained that there are four pilots on long-haul flights who work in pairs.

We rotate regularly and take breaks, he said.

Many questions went unanswered. Among them: Do you ever get bored on a long-haul flight?, Do you avoid the fish?, and How is it that plane manufacturers can make a plane fly yet they cant make the announcements from the cockpit clear and legible a matter of metres back?

With the post generating more than 520 comments, you cant really blame him though. And, to be fair, he did take the time to answer arguably the most burning question of all: Whether the cookie or the chips are the best in-flight snack.

Morgan declared himself a cookie man, but said hes looking forward to the alternatives being trialled.

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The best New Zealand airport to fly into, according to Air New Zealand's chief pilot - Stuff.co.nz

Air New Zealand ‘willing and able’ to increase flights from Australia – RNZ

The clock is ticking and New Zealanders have until 11.59pm on 30 July to get on a quarantine-free flight back home from Australia. However, travellers from New South Wales must go through managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ).

Air New Zealand aircraft. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The trans-Tasman travel bubble is paused for at least eight weeks as the Delta variant continues to spread.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran told Morning Report the airline would do everything to help New Zealanders wanting to return this week from Australia.

"Trust us," he said.

"We have seen plenty of people reach out over the weekend. We've got about 7500 people booked to return to New Zealand through to midnight this Friday."

The prime minister this morning said it was not known how many of the 21,000 New Zealanders in Australia would want to come home but there would be space for them on return flights.

There were still about 2000 seats available, and about 4500 people were booked to go back to Australia, Foran said.

"We've put on now four extra flights and had put on some planes that have got some more seats on as well so at this stage things are looking very much in control and ... we're going to do everything we can to ensure that friends and whnau get back home."

He said the airline could increase the number of flights if need be.

"At this stage, the people who want to get back have already taken some action. I'm not saying it won't continue to be a little bit busy this week.

"But we're ready, willing and able to get people home at later notice if we need to."

Foran said the team was now working towards a drop in the number of flights over the next eight weeks when the travel bubble is suspended.

"Demand is going to fall away pretty quickly across the Tasman both ways. So we'll make the adjustments there and ... we're putting on some extra activity domestically.

"Domestic is continuing to perform well, we're now actually running above pre-Covid levels, we're running at about 104 percent."

He said about 250,000 seats had gone on sale today for under $100 around the country.

And Rarotonga flights were also running about four times than usual.

He could not say how the travel pause would affect finances but was sure "the length of this will have a bearing on it".

"This is not a situation that has caught us completely by surprise."

He said the Delta variant of Covid-19 had "changed the game in terms of how not just here in New Zealand, but any airline is regarding travel".

"We're committed to vaccinations. I can tell you that in Air New Zealand over 80 percent of our frontline workers are now vaccinated."

Travel Agents Association president Brent Thomas told First Up travel booking portals had been busy.

"There's been a rush ... people trying to get home through this situation.

"But it does highlight that the government needs to continue with this process of getting vaccinations, hopefully 60-65 percent by September, 80 percent by November, and then they can tell us what the plan [is] so people can travel safely when they are fully vaccinated."

He said it was a "mad scramble" with people trying to book flights, and travel agents were being sought after as travel became more complex.

"Time is of the essence and there's only so many seats and so many flights. Air New Zealand and Qantas have been looking at that ... can they put on more because there's certainly demand there."

It was not an easy operation for an airline, he said.

Thomas said it was possible not everyone wanting to return would make it back on flights this week.

He urged the government to open emergency MIQ spots.

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Air New Zealand 'willing and able' to increase flights from Australia - RNZ