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Category Archives: New Zealand

New Zealands pandemic housing policy has baked in Mori inequality for generations – The Guardian

Posted: September 24, 2021 at 11:26 am

The only thing more predictable than rising house prices is the tenor of stories as monthly data from governments or the real estate sector are reported. Record highs in particular places, predictions of trends from economists. Or, the young couple who managed to get on the housing ladder, but upon reading you realise it was with financial help from parents.

However, behind these articles a much larger housing story has gradually unfolded. An account of huge and growing inequality. How a government policy designed to respond to the global pandemic and the fear of economic recession has not just created significant wealth, but distributed it in such a concentrated way that it will change the nature of Aotearoa New Zealand for generations to come.

Our story starts in January 2020 as fears of the coronavirus began to emerge. The political focus quickly turned to the deteriorating economic outlook and cheap money was pumped into the economy via lower interest rates and quantitative easing. There were warnings at the time from the Reserve Bank to Grant Robertson, the minister of finance, that this policy may increase wealth inequality by raising asset prices. And, when uncertainty was making a mockery of many predictions, that particular advice proved accurate, if more than a little understated.

At the end of January 2020 the median house price in New Zealand was $612,000. By August 2021 it was $850,000. Prices are up 25% in the last 12 months alone. All during a pandemic that disrupted economic activity and confidence. And all consolidated on top of recent record price rises.

The Reserve Bank figures of the total value of the housing stock help translate this gain into a national picture of wealth. In December 2019 the total value of housing stock was $1.188tn. The most recent figures are from March 2021, which reveal that since the pandemic hit the total value of housing stock had increased by $324bn. For the team of 5 million mentioned so frequently in conjunction with Covid-19 this equates to about $65,000 each. But that windfall isnt shared equally among players, and to understand its effect on inequality we need to analyse who owns those assets.

People of European ethnicity are far more likely (58%) to own their own home or hold it in a family trust than Mori (31%) or Pacific (21%) ethnicities. This figure is also influenced by demographics, as the median age of those who identify with European ethnicity is 41, while Mori and Pacific peoples are 25 and 23 respectively. As may be expected, homeownership rates tend to increase with age. For example, around 78% of those between 70 and 74 own their own home, while around 21% of those between 25 and 29 do. People with partners are also much more likely (68%) to own their own home than those without (29%).

Inequality also includes how housing provides capital for future speculative investments. The number of properties held by investors almost tripled between 1986 and 2018 and the proportion of equity in owner occupied housing and land is at an all-time high. The average property value is now 7.9 times the average annual household income, the highest disparity recorded, and more evidence of how wages have very little to do with house prices, which has become more to do with the assets owned and access to finance.

As may be expected, with the financialisation of housing we have also seen an increase in renters. In 1991, 23% of households rented, by 2018 over a third of households didnt own their home. But again, this broad figure masks a significant difference. For example, the proportion of Mori living in rental accommodation increased from 41% to 77% between 1986 and 2013.

While government policy has been valuable in maintaining employment and staving off a recession, an additional boost to landlords is that it also ensures renters have the income to help service the loans on their investment assets. But, as renting households also pay a higher proportion of their income on housing than owner occupiers, and the median rent increased by 8% in the last year alone, they are further away than ever from homeownership.

It should be noted there are regional variations and nuances in this data that are difficult to discuss in a short article. For example, home ownership peaked in the 1990s and since has fallen systematically for all age groups and all ethnicities. But it has fallen much less for some than others. While aspects can be explained by the rise in investor ownership and property held in family trusts, it opens up further questions of who is more likely to speculate on housing or have interests in those trusts.

The pandemic response created national wealth and national debt. But it compounded inequality by giving the former to homeowners, older generations, and housing investors, and sharing the latter amongst everyone. The situation is made all the more remarkable as it happened under a Labour government with a leader who has campaigned on fairness and equity. For the team of 5 million, it is clear some players have been rewarded very differently to others.

This distribution is a particular problem in a country with a legacy of settler colonialism. One of the questions for economic historians is if, hiding behind the masking language of averages, medians, and percentages, we may have quietly witnessed one of the biggest increases in inequality for indigenous populations in generations.

To compound this situation, just before the pandemic hit prime minister Jacinda Ardern ruled out a capital gains tax under her leadership. So, this wealth, and the uneven opportunities and inequalities it brings, is set to become embedded in asset inheritances for decades to come.

So what now for a Labour government who speak frequently about social justice? Housing supply is part of the answer, as are increased rights for renters, but how can you even get close to addressing inequality based on inflated financial assets without reopening a debate on taxes relating to land, wealth, or capital gains?

While we can now begin to piece together the story of how the response to one crisis has helped create another, the key issue is whether this rapidly increasing inequality will become a problem similarly worthy of urgent policy attention.

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New Zealand cannot abandon its COVID elimination strategy while Mori and Pasifika vaccination rates are too low – The Conversation AU

Posted: at 11:26 am

Aucklands move to alert level 3 has also triggered speculation about whether the national COVID-19 elimination strategy has failed or is even being abandoned. While the government denies it, others clearly believe it is at least a possibility.

The uncertainty is troubling. If elimination fails or is abandoned, it would suggest we have not learnt the lessons of history, particularly when it comes to our more vulnerable populations.

In 1918, the mortality rate among Mori from the influenza pandemic was eight times that of Europeans. The avoidable introduction of influenza to Samoa from Aotearoa resulted in the deaths of about 22% of the population.

Similar observations were seen in subsequent influenza outbreaks in Aotearoa in 1957 and 2009 for both Mori and Pasifika people. These trends are well known and documented.

And yet, despite concerns we could see the same thing happen again, there have been repeated claims that an elimination strategy cannot succeed. Some business owners, politicians and media commentators have called for a change in approach that would see Aotearoa learn to live with the virus.

Read more: New Zealand government takes a calculated risk to relax Auckland's lockdown while new cases continue to appear

This is premature and likely to expose vulnerable members of our communities to the disease. Abandoning the elimination strategy while vaccine coverage rates remain low among the most vulnerable people would be reckless and irresponsible. In short, more Mori and Pasifika people would die.

Far better will be to stick to the original plan that has served the country well, lift vaccination coverage rates with more urgency, and revise the strategy when vaccination rates among Mori and Pasifika people are as high as possible no less than 90%.

After 18 months of dealing with the pandemic, its important to remember that Aotearoas response has been based on sound science and strong political leadership. The elimination strategy has proved effective at home and been admired internationally.

Of course, it has come with a price. In particular, the restrictions have had a major impact on small businesses and personal incomes, student life and learning, and well-being in general. Many families have needed additional food parcels and social support, and there are reports of an increasing incidence of family harm.

The latest Delta outbreak has also seen the longest level 4 lockdown in Auckland, with at least two further weeks at level 3, and there is no doubt many people are struggling to cope with the restrictions. The long tail of infections will test everyone further.

Read more: The real challenge to COVID-19 vaccination rates isnt hesitancy its equal access for Mori and Pacific people

There is no easy way to protect the most vulnerable people from the life-threatening risk of COVID-19, and the likely impact on the public health system if it were to get out of control. The alternative, however, is worse.

We know Mori and Pasifika people are most at risk of infection from COVID-19, of being hospitalised and of dying from the disease. Various studies have confirmed this, but we also must acknowledge why entrenched socioeconomic disadvantage, overcrowded housing and higher prevalence of underlying health conditions.

More than 50% of all new cases in the current outbreak are among Pasifika people and the number of new cases among Mori is increasing. If and when the pandemic is over, the implications of these socioeconomic factors must be part of any review of the pandemic strategy.

Furthermore, the national vaccination rollout has again shown up the chronic entrenched inequities in the health system. While the rollout is finally gaining momentum, with more and better options offered by and for Mori and Pasifika people, their comparative vaccination rates have lagged significantly.

Community leaders and health professionals have long called for Mori and Pasifika vaccination to be prioritised. But the official rhetoric has not been matched by the reality, as evidenced by our most at-risk communities still having the lowest vaccination coverage rates in the country.

Te Rp Whakakaupapa Urut (the National Mori Pandemic Group) and the Pasifika Medical Association have repeatedly called for their communities to be empowered and resourced to own, lead and deliver vaccination rollouts in ways that work for their communities.

Read more: Research shows Mori are more likely to die from COVID-19 than other New Zealanders

Te Rp Whakakaupapa Urut have also said Auckland should have remained at level 4, with the border extended to include the areas of concern in the Waikato.

As has been pointed out by those closest to those communities, however, their advice has consistently not been heeded. The resulting delays only risk increasing the need for the kinds of lockdowns and restrictions everyone must endure until vaccination rates are higher.

There is a reason we do not hear many voices in Mori and Pasifika communities asking for an end to elimination. Left unchecked, COVID-19 disproportionately affects minority communities and the most vulnerable. Living with the virus effectively means some people dying with it. We know who many of them would be.

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Air NZ announces mandatory vaccination for more than 50 per cent of staff – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: at 11:26 am

Air New Zealand will require more than half of its full-time staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

In an email sent out on Thursday evening, chief people officer Nikki Dines said about 4000 of Air NZs 7840 full-time employees would be required to vaccinate under the new mandate.

Air NZ proposed expanding its mandatory vaccination policy to all staff who interacted with customers and baggage at the start of the month.

Chief executive Greg Foran said the company did not take the decision lightly.

READ MORE:* Covid-19: Employees' vaccination status set to pit human rights against workplace safety* Vaccines are a legal minefield for employers* Air NZ proposes making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for 4000 staff

Our people have been on the frontline through the pandemic, helping Kiwis get home and keeping goods moving and, as a result, have a greater risk of coming into contact with Covid-19, Foran said.

Foran said that the emergence of the Delta variant had made previous health and safety protocols less effective.

Extensive PPE, isolation and testing have helped protect our people, but we need another layer of protection which the Covid-19 vaccines provide, Foran said.

Martin De Ruyter/Stuff

About half of the 7840 full-time staff at Air NZ will be required to be vaccinated under new company policy.

Foran said that, before the announcement, Air NZ recieved substantive feedback from staff, but ultimately the only option was mandatory vaccination for the bulk of its staff.

In making this decision we have balanced the need to move swiftly to address the increased safety risks created by Delta with the need to thoroughly understand the perspectives of our employees and the unions. We dont underestimate the impact this decision will have on our people, Foran said.

Further information as to which particular Air NZ workgroups would be affected by the decision is expected to be announced on Monday.

Supplied

Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran says the decision was not taken lightly.

E t unions head of aviation, Savage, said the union supported vaccination, but believed the process could have been handled better by the airline.

We felt the process was being rushed unnecessarily, and the timelines were too tight for a company as large and diverse as Air New Zealand, Savage said.

Savage said that the best way for employers to keep their workers safe from harm was to ensure members had access to sound information, and had a voice in decision-making, Savage said.

However, by mid-November, we are hopeful that 90 per cent of all those eligible for vaccination will have received at least their first dose, and that this will lessen the need for internal risk controls at Air New Zealand, Savage said.

More than 80 per cent of all E t members at Air New Zealand are already vaccinated, and the union said that worker support for vaccination is increasing.

The move for mandatory vaccination from Air NZ comes at a time when businesses across the country are being forced to consider the role of mandatory vaccination and workplace safety.

Epidemiologist professor Michael Baker said the mandate to vaccinate in businesses would continue to spread.

The force of vaccine requirements is further than just New Zealand, its a global phenomenon as its going to determine entry into other countries, its going to be a driving factor as to what we can do, Baker said.

Earlier this week an Auckland construction site asked subcontractors who could not provide proof of vaccination to not attend their work sites.

The move prompted unions and industry safety groups to urge companies to be careful when polices around mandatory vaccination.

Under current legislation, vaccinations are not mandatory and employees cannot be dismissed for refusing them.

However the case is different within border organisations, which are subject to the Covid-19 Public Health Response Order requiring frontline workers to be vaccinated.

Some border workers have been fired for refusing to be vaccinated, with one port worker lodging a legal challenge against her dismissal which was dismissed by the Employment Relations Authority.

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New Zealand Expo 2020 pavilion designed as a ‘living building’ – The National

Posted: at 11:26 am

The New Zealand Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site has installed a moving facade, which replicates the sound of a river to signify the building itself is alive.

The 2,000-square-metre structure takes inspiration from the Whanganui River, which was legally recognised as a living entity in 2017 after decades of negotiations between the Te Ati Haunui-a-Paparangi tribe and the New Zealand government.

Just like a river, the facade ripples with an audible pulse, occasionally booming.

It not only expresses our interconnectedness, but also the idea that we are indivisible from the natural world

Matt Glubb, Jasmax architects

The pavilion's theme is Care for People and Place, which is based on the Maori aboriginal ethos that humans and nature are inextricably linked.

By entering the pavilion, the visitor will reconnect to the Mauri, or life principle, inherent in natures order, organisers said.

Every element of the pavilion is interconnected; from the immersive visitor experience and storytelling rooms inside the pavilion, to the pulse, which starts in our river room and ripples all the way to the exterior facade, said Clayton Kimpton, New Zealands commissioner general to Expo 2020 Dubai.

This is the life force of our story - a story of a nation of innovators who 'Care for People and Place'," he said.

The facade took 22 days to install and is 25 metres high, but only weighs 85 kilograms. Made from a unique mesh known as Kaynemaile, it took six years for the team to create, and refracts heat from the sun.

The lead designer of the material was Kayne Horsham, who previously worked for the design crew of the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, as art director for creatures, weapons and armour.

Kaynemaile is effectively bringing to life the exterior of the New Zealand pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, adding a unique look and feel that draws visitors in with its beautiful and complex 3D design, said Mr Horsham.

Significantly for the Middle East, the mesh also radically reduces the radiant heat transfer from direct sunlight to internal environments by up to 70 per cent, thereby reducing pressure on installed cooling systems.

Matte Glubb, the Kiwi architect behind the pavilion said the moving effect on the facade ties the whole project together.

It not only expresses our interconnectedness, but also the idea that we are indivisible from the natural world, through its pulsating movement that extends from the centre of the building all the way to the exterior of the facade making the building appear alive, said Mr Glubb, principal architect at Jasmax.

Updated: September 23rd 2021, 12:35 PM

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Westpac names Catherine McGrath as its New Zealand chief executive – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: at 11:26 am

SUPPLIED

Catherine McGrath, Westpac's new chief executive.

Westpac has named Kiwi Catherine McGrath as its next New Zealand chief executive.

The Australian-owned bank said McGrath would take over the role from acting chief executive Simon Power.

Power was appointed acting chief executive following the retirement of David McLean, who had headed the bank since June 2014.

McGraths last position was with Barclays Bank in the United Kingdom, where she had worked since 2013, before returning home to New Zealand recently.

READ MORE:* Here to stay: Westpac won't sell its New Zealand business* Westpac reports $964 million profit as boss pockets $2m* Westpac posts A$4 billion profit for first six months, NZ profit up 2%

Westpac Group chief executive Peter King said: Catherine is an experienced and well-respected financial services leader.

He said McGrath's banking career started at the Bank of New Zealand.

Since then, she has driven large-scale transformations at some of the worlds best-known banks, including Barclays Group and Lloyds TSB in the UK, he said.

RNZ

Westpac NZ has focused strongly on gender equality, but still has a significant gender pay gap, RNZ's podcast The Detail reports. (First published in October 2019)

Barclays was heavily criticised after the global financial crisis, as well as for its part in the illegal manipulation of interest rates, both of which occurred before McGrath was with the bank.

In 2013 an independent report commissioned by Barclays board concluded the bank had become so aggressive that it had put profit before customers.

In New Zealand Westpac is among the banks that has faced criticism from the Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank.

Banks here had underinvested in systems, the regulators concluded, and part of McGraths brief will be to improve the banks digital banking systems.

In our recent portfolio review of the business, we identified ways to improve service for customers, including improving our digital capabilities, an area in which Catherine has considerable management expertise, King said.

Westpac has had recent run-ins with New Zealand regulators.

In August the bank was warned for weaknesses in its anti-money laundering systems by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Te Ptea Matau.

In March, the bank was ordered by the Reserve Bank to pay for two independent reports into its risk governance processes.

Getty Images

Westpac has coped well during the Covid pandemic, and extended the loans of households who hit financial hardship.

The Reserve Bank, which is tasked with ensuring the stability of the financial system, said the Australian-owned bank needed to take a close look at its risk governance practices.

We have experienced ongoing compliance issues with Westpac NZ over recent years, most recently involving material failures to report liquidity correctly, in line with the Reserve Banks liquidity requirements, deputy governor Geoff Bascand said.

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Device used to send threat to New Zealand team belonged to India: Fawad – DAWN.com

Posted: at 11:26 am

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that the device used to send a threat to the New Zealand cricket team belonged to India.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the minister said that the entire situation started due to a fake post by someone claiming to be Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant Ehsanullah Ehsan.

Fawad said that in August, a fake post was created under Ehsan's name which told the New Zealand cricket board and government to refrain from sending the team to Pakistan as it would be "targeted".

He said that following this post, the bureau chief of The Sunday Guardian, Abhinandan Mishra, published an article claiming that the team may face a terror threat in Pakistan citing the fake post by Ehsan.

According to its website, The Sunday Guardian was founded by politician MJ Akbar, who served as the minister for external affairs in the Modi-led BJP government till 2018.

"Interestingly, [Mishra] has strong links with [former Afghanistan vice president] Amrullah Saleh," he said.

He said that on August 24, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill's wife received an email threatening her husband from ID with the username "Tehreek-i-Labbaik".

"When we investigated further, we discovered some facts. Firstly, this email is not affiliated with any social media network [...] and only one email has been generated from this account," he said.

The minister added that the email was sent via ProtonMail, a secure service. "The details [of the email] are not available and we have requested Interpol to assist us and tell us how it was generated."

Despite these events, the New Zealand cricket team did not cancel the tour at this point and travelled to Pakistan. "As the interior minister said, the security we provided outnumbered the number of people in their forces," he said.

Fawad said that once the Black Caps arrived, the interior ministry issued a detailed protocol programme for them and the teams began focusing on the practice sessions. The New Zealand team participated in the practice sessions "without any issues," he said.

However, on the day of the first match New Zealand officials said that their government had concerns of a credible threat and cancelled the tour, he said.

"Pakistan Cricket Board officials, the interior ministry security team, everyone went to them and asked them to share the threat ... [but] they were as clueless as us."

He said that a day later, a second threatening email was sent to the New Zealand team using the ID, Hamza Afridi.

He said that when authorities probed the email, they discovered that it was sent from a device associated with India. "It was sent using a virtual private network (VPN) so the location was shown as Singapore."

He said that the same device had 13 other IDs, nearly all of which were Indian names. "All IDs were made using the names of Indian actors and celebrities. Only the name Hamza Afridi is different to show that this email was generated from Pakistan.

"His name was used deliberately to show that a terrorist threat is present in Pakistan."

He said that the user of the particular device had been identified as Omprakash Mishra from Maharashtra. "The device used to send the threat to the New Zealand team belonged to India. A fake ID was used but it was sent from Maharashtra."

The minister added that the interior ministry had registered a case and had requested Interpol for assistance and information on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik ProtonMail and the ID of Hamza Afridi.

"This whole threat was primarily generated from India."

He said that the West Indies team was travelling to Pakistan in December. "A threat has already been issued to the team," he said, adding that this was also issued via a ProtonMail account.

"This is unfortunate. We believe this is a campaign against international cricket. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and other bodies must take notice," he said, adding that it was apparent that a fake threat was created by India to cancel the New Zealand tour.

He also called on the New Zealand government to share the specifics of the threat they had received. He said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who is currently in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly had also lodged a strong protest with New Zealand.

"We hope that they will share their stance."

Commenting on England's decision to follow in the footsteps of the Kiwis, Fawad said that British High Commissioner Christian Turner had made it clear that the United Kingdom government's advisory for Pakistan was not being changed.

"So if the government has no reservations, who is the English Cricket Board [to cancel the tour]? To claim that players are tired is a shoddy excuse," he said.

He added that he had asked Pakistan Television to evaluate the financial losses it had suffered. "We are working on this and if our legal team permits, we will sue the ECB," he said.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that if anyone thought Pakistan would be isolated from NZ's tour cancellation, "they are bereft of reason".

"We can not be isolated and the day of the New Zealand [tour cancellation], I said that England's team would not come as well," the interior minister said.

"Cricket is our passion but disappointment is [equivalent] to disbelief. A day will come when the teams of the world will come to Pakistan," Rashid said.

He said the entire situation had been "blown up" and had told the information minister earlier that the matter should now be closed, adding that "we have other big problems [to focus on]."

Rashid claimed that "India frees many people from prison on bail and then trains them. It is not desisting from [promoting] terrorism in Pakistan."

Recounting Pakistan's sacrifices, he said the country had thwarted terrorism before as well. "Peace is our stance and it will be established in the country."

He said Pakistan had played a "historic role" and had evacuated over 10,000 people from Afghanistan including Nato forces, IMF and World Bank personnel and Americans.

"India has been disappointed that Pakistan couldn't be made a scapegoat and it's thinking that there would be civil war [in Afghanistan] and so much killing and slaughter that there would be a rush of refugees here not a single refugee has come."

He said the Torkham and Chaman borders were functioning normally and more people were going to Afghanistan from Pakistan than those coming here.

"Everything is peaceful. This is all a drama and the gloved hands behind this drama will be unsuccessful.

"Pakistan is a great nation and has great security agencies and army. There is an elected government and no one can isolate us. We will move forward," the interior minister stressed.

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America’s Cup: Mark Dunphy disputes Team New Zealand’s claims; remains committed to funding bid – New Zealand Herald

Posted: at 11:26 am

The location for the next America's Cup is yet to be revealed. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Mark Dunphy has not given up on keeping the next America's Cup in Auckland, despite Team New Zealand cutting ties with the Kiwi rich-lister over what it claims were "devious" attempts to ensure a home defence in 2024.

Dunphy, the chairman of Greymouth Petroleum and the man behind the Kiwi Home Defence campaign, has hit back at comments from Team NZ boss Grant Dalton suggesting the multi-millionaire former investment banker plotted court action against the UK's Royal Yacht Squadron - the Challenger of Record for the next regatta.

Dunphy has proposed a private funding plan for the 37th America's Cup - including $20 million of his own money - to have the next regatta on New Zealand waters. He has denied Dalton's claims, saying yesterday he remains committed to "securing a successful defence" in Auckland.

"We remain surprised at the level of hostility displayed by Team New Zealand in the last few weeks against a group of patriotic New Zealanders with the best intentions," Dunphy said in a statement.

"We are perplexed at their lack of willingness to engage positively with Kiwi Home Defence and their preference for repeatedly dismissing our offers of funding assistance.

"We are buoyed by the messages of support we have received in recent days from many members of the public who are keen to see the Cup defended in Auckland.

"An America's Cup defence on the Waitemat Harbour in March 2024 will be a brilliant coming-out party for New Zealand following the challenges of lockdowns and closed borders caused by the pandemic. It will also help achieve a return on the big investment New Zealanders and Aucklanders have already made in the infrastructure needed to run the America's Cup here."

In a scathing attack on Wednesday night, Dalton claimed to be in possession of a "damning" email - allegedly sent to the Commodore of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) by Dr Hamish Ross on August 26 - with Dunphy copied in.

Ross previously worked as legal counsel with Alinghi during their 2003, 2007 and 2010 campaigns.

Quoting the email, Team NZ said it outlined the "intentional lobbying of the NYYC to take legal action in the New York Supreme Court against the Challenger of Record [the Royal Yacht Squadron] with a purpose of intentionally disrupting the venue selection process".

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While Dunphy acknowledges the existence of the email, he denies instructing Ross to send it.

"As part of his due diligence about the possibilities of raising funds to host the Cup Defence in Auckland, Mr Dunphy has talked to members of the New York Yacht Club about their attitude to Auckland being the venue for the 2024 defence. He has been transparent about this throughout," the statement said.

Dalton has previously claimed that to put on a credible defence of the Cup it needs to be held overseas. He last week delayed announcing the venue for 2024, saying the process had thrown up "three compelling and professional international proposals" - reportedly Cork (Ireland), Barcelona (Spain) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking on Thursday, he called Dunphy's efforts a "massive waste of time".

"The opposition offshore will be looking and hearing and just laughing at the time we've had to spend dealing with this. We've got three credible bids.

"Can I say that this is the end of Mark Dunphy but it's not the end of Auckland. It never will be the end of Auckland until it is, effectively. All we are wanting to do is put up a team and a defence that can win the Cup. My sole purpose in life is to retain the Cup in New Zealand, even if that means it must be sailed outside New Zealand to do it."

In response, Dunphy insisted the Kiwi Home Defence "will continue to actively raise funds in support of an America's Cup defence in Auckland in the coming days".

"We believe the defence both can and should be held in Auckland, and that sufficient funding is available from devoted and loyal Team New Zealand supporters, with help from the Government and Auckland Council, to fund both the team and the event.

"We remain ready for face-to-face discussions with the Squadron and TNZ Squadron whenever they are."

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Health New Zealand and Mori Health Authority board members announced – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: at 11:26 am

The Government has announced the interim boards of Health New Zealand and the Mori Health Authority.

The Government announced it would abolish all 20 District Health Boards and create a single health organisation, in a sweeping plan to centralise New Zealands fragmented healthcare system and end the postcode lottery of care, in November.

The interim board members will help create the structure of the new entities with the new system to start on July. Legislation on the changes will be introduced next month.

There are eight interim board members for Health New Zealand, including former National MP Amy Adams. The board will be chaired by Rob Campbell, who Health Minister Andrew Little said is a professional director with extensive union, public and private sector governance experience.

READ MORE:* Sir Mason Durie the first Mori Health Authority appointment * Poverty and high health needs driving GP shortage in south Auckland* Points of Order: A total wipe out of DHBs, and Nanaia Mahuta sets a cat among the pigeons

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Health minister Andrew Little.

Two of its members are medically trained.

The Mori Health Authority will be led by Sharon Shea, chair of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, and Tipa Mahuta, the deputy chair of the Counties Manukau District Health Board. It has a total of eight board members. Shea will also sit on the Health New Zealand board.

Little said Thursdays announcement was another step towards a future health system where everyone has access to consistent, high quality health services when and where they need it.

Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare said the new Mori health authority would be a game changer for our people.

Its not about creating a separate system for Mori, he said.

Health New Zealand will bring together the countrys 20 DHBs, a workforce of about 80,000, an annual operating budget of $20 billion and an asset base of about $24 billion.

The Mori Health Authority will work alongside Health New Zealand with a joint role in developing system plans, commissioning for primary and community services, and will commission kaupapa Mori services.

It will also work alongside the Ministry of Health to develop strategies and policies that work for Mori.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the reforms gave the health system the opportunity to build on and amplify the changes it has undergone over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is an exciting time and I am looking forward to working with the new boards and new chairs, he said.

Stephen McKernan, the director of the reform's transition unit and the former Director-General of Health, said the reforms were a major undertaking but had widespread support.

The transition months ahead, and years beyond, will pose many challenges, he said.

Rob Campbell (Chair) an experienced professional director with extensive union, public and private sector governance experience.

Amy Adams a former National Party MP and Cabinet minister.

Cassandra Crowley a chartered accountant and barrister and solicitor of the High Court.

Vui Mark Gosche a senior leader within the Samoan and Pasifika communities, and across the health, disability and community sectors, and former MP and Cabinet minister.

Dame Karen Poutasi a former Director General of Health and chief executive of the Qualifications Authority, medically qualified with a specialisation in public health.

Vanessa Stoddart a senior leader with executive and governance experience in the manufacturing, packaging, airline and engineering industries with a strong focus on change management and performance improvement.

Dr Curtis Walker a GP and kidney specialist with MidCentral District Health Board who has extensive experience in governance, clinical leadership and public policy.

Sharon Shea current Chair of the Bay of Plenty DHB and an experienced leader across the health, disability and community sector. Shea will also serve as Co-Chair of the Mori Health Authority.

Sharon Shea (Co-Chair) current Chair of the Bay of Plenty DHB and an experienced leader across the health, disability and community sector.

Tipa Mahuta (Co-Chair) current Deputy Chair of the Counties Manukau DHB with a background in facilitation, research, policy and community development, and extensive Iwi governance experience.

Dr Sue Crengle a specialist in general practice and public health medicine, and an experienced researcher who is Professor, Hauora Mori, at Otago Medical School.

Dr Mataroria Lyndon Equity Lead at Mahitahi Hauora Primary Health Organisation and a Senior Lecturer in medical education at the University of Auckland.

Lady Tureiti Moxon an experienced leader in the Mori health, education, social, and justice sectors at a local, regional and national level.

Fiona Pimm an executive leader with experience in governance roles in the health sector, government agencies, community, local iwi and rnanga.

Awerangi Tamihere an senior leader with extensive experience working across central government, regional crown entities, the private sector, and with her local iwi.

Dr Chris Tooley an experienced governor and Chief Executive of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua based in Whakatne which provides healthcare and social services across the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

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New Zealand is not as clean or green as we think plastic waste is polluting our land – The Guardian

Posted: September 20, 2021 at 8:50 am

Growing up my school lunches were covered in plastic wrapping, like those of many of my schoolmates. I was taught from a young age to pick up my rubbish and recycle, and I trusted the recycling systems in place especially because New Zealand streets were so clean. Years later, I saw a video on Facebook of a turtle with a straw in its nose, but I knew Kiwis werent to blame, our rubbish systems were too sturdy. Ignorance is bliss, and ignorance is the cause of the worlds plastic pollution crisis.

The illusion was shattered for me when I watched For The Blue, a documentary by Project Blue, a group of young ocean enthusiasts from Aotearoa, who travelled across the globe to investigate the worlds plastic-waste crisis only to find themselves back in clean, green New Zealand experiencing the effects of the global plastic epidemic in their own back yard. During their visit to a once pristine area in the South Island, they found plastic trash strewn across the land, after the Fox river breached a closed landfill on its banks.

The surging water sent waves of plastic trash through untouched landscapes, including a marine reserve and unmodified wetlands. This shocking event emphasised the hidden reality of plastic pollution on our own soil, the result of broken recycling systems and poorly placed coastal landfills. There are at least 321 closed landfills set up across Aotearoa situated next to the coastlines and riverbanks, and its only a matter of time until many of these may burst under rising seas and increasing floods.

Kiwis trust their plastic waste will be recycled when its put in the recycling bin. Unfortunately, New Zealand facilities can only recycle three types of plastic (1,2,5), the other plastics (3, 4, 6, 7 and contaminated plastics) are difficult to recycle and therefore sent to landfills across the nation or exported overseas. By and large, every day we are using single-use plastics which are polluting our earth.

The plastic pollution crisis is naively blamed on countries in South-east Asia which have become dumping grounds for the western worlds plastic waste. In 2018, the wests recycling system collapsed when China refused to import any more plastic waste indefinitely to help prevent further pollution to their nation. This left western countries offloading difficult to recycle plastic to developing countries who are without adequate recycling facilities.

Developing countries accept the imported plastic for money, contributing to their populations health problems and environmental disruption through often dangerous recycling practices, as well as the dumping and burning of materials. Since China shut the doors, nations like Malaysia have been the recipients of New Zealands trash. For Kiwis its largely a case of out of sight, out of mind.

But the consumer isnt wholly at fault. We need accessible options that allow us to refuse plastic at the source. Single-use plastic consumption thrives off our busy lifestyles and need for time convenient products like pesky plastic takeaway containers. Our linear take, make, dispose consumerism style needs to transition to a circular one reduce, reuse, recycle.

The swapping of traditional cosmetics and household products for plastic-free alternatives has already started gaining momentum in mainstream stores. But our economy needs to normalise sustainable packaging options if its within peoples means to buy products that leave zero waste, they should, as this will help drive the demand for companies to provide affordable and accessible sustainable options for everyone. Reusabowl are an example of Kiwi ingenuity that allows customers to still enjoy takeaway options but waste free. Takeaway stores partner with Reusabowl, who offer a bowl borrowing system; borrow a bowl for $10 and get a full refund upon returning it. Its the perfect example of a circular economy.

The New Zealand government has kicked off its mission to phase out single-use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025, after its ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in 2019. This includes bans on polystyrene takeaway packaging, plastic cutlery and plates, straws and fruit stickers. The government is sending a clear message about its stance on transitioning to a low-waste economy. However, there will still be a large amount of plastic waste which is unaccounted for on our supermarket shelves, that we will not have the capacity to recycle for some time, and that will ultimately go to landfill as plastic can only be recycled a handful of times. This is a good first step, but we have much more work to do.

New Zealanders misinformed ideas about where our plastic waste ends up has tricked us into guilt-free plastic consumption. Unknowingly we have polluted developing countries, the ocean and our own home. We are running out of time. Plastic producing giants and broken recycling systems need to take accountability for the mess theyve created and put in meaningful work to fix their unsustainable practices. As individuals we can refuse plastic at the source to limit waste from landfill. But ultimately the decision makers at the top of our waste systems and mass corporations need to change our future depends on it.

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New Zealand director Jessica Hobbs wins Emmy for The Crown – The Guardian

Posted: at 8:50 am

New Zealand director Jessica Hobbs has won the Emmy award for best directing of a drama series, for her work on The Crown.

Hobbs directed the season 4 finale War, which depicts the unravelling marriage of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The visibly shocked director let out an expletive in surprise after her name was read out, and went on to thank writer and creator Peter Morgan, Netflix, and the television academy.

Hobbs thanked her children, and her partner Jonathan, before signalling her appreciation to female directors who have come before her.

Not a lot of women have won this award, so I feel like I am standing on the shoulders of some really extraordinary people. Im very grateful for the path that they led and I would particularly like to pay tribute to my mum, who at 77 is still directing.

Hobbs mother is drama and documentary series maker Aileen OSullivan.

Hobbs was born and raised in Christchurch and began directing short films in her 20s, during an eight year stint as an assistant director. After helming Cliff Curtis teleplay Overnight in 1995, she moved to Australia and added City Life, Heartbreak High, Love My Way and The Slap to her resume. After relocating to England, she directed miniseries Apple Tree Yard, before working on The Crown.

The 2021 award is Hobbs first Emmy win she was also nominated in 2020 for an episode in The Crowns third season.

The drama series was one of the big winners of the night, picking up 11 awards in total including for outstanding drama series and best actress for Olivia Colman.

Most of the cast and crew were beamed into the event from London, after Covid-19 restrictions prevented many from attending. Josh OConnor, who plays Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4, and won the award for lead actor in a drama series, was the only cast-member in attendance in LA.

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