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The small township of Mangaweka is known as the gateway to the genuine thrills of the Rangitikei River, but once a year it brings in many visitors keen to experience the pleasures of fake art. Now in its seventh year, the Fakes and Forgeries Festival starts tomorrow at Richard Aslett's Yellow Church Gallery. The festival turns on a surprisingly popular competition to see who can come up with the best replica of a celebrated work of art. Aslett spoke to Susie Ferguson.
The new free trade deal with post-Brexit Britain is almost certainly this country's most significant with our former colonial power since the early 1970s. The deal promises zero tariffs on all UK goods into New Zealand and nearly two-thirds of our exports to the UK. The new agreement, which has been hammered out at our end for the past four years by an MFAT team of negotiators, also covers environmental concerns, telecommunications, the Treaty of Waitangi, intellectual property and much else. Few people have probably followed its progress more closely than the British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke. She spoke to Susie Ferguson.
Wellington's social housing tenants are being called on to help find a solution to the rocketing cost of council rent. The council discounts from market rates, but it's still far too costly for many on a low income. It's not just household budgets at breaking point. Costs to maintain and upgrade the tired, crumbling portfolio is costing Wellingtonians around 30,000 a day. Wellington Issues Reporter Kirsty Frame has more.
The Bay of Plenty of town, Murupara has one of the lowest rates of vaccination for Covid-19 in the country. Just 32 percent of have had the first dose. This compares to just over 80 percent first dose and 58 percent second dose for the wider Bay of Plenty region. First Up's Matthew Theunissen travelled to Murupara to investigate.
Leading medical voices are warning that the majority of Covid-19 cases will need to treat themselves at home unless there is a serious need for hospital care. Dr John Bonning says for every Covid-19 patient needing intensive care, he expects up to eight times more will be treated in emergency departments. He says a much larger number than that shouldn't even approach EDs at all. Leah Tebbutt takes a deep dive into Waikato and Bay of Plenty's hospitals state of preparedness.
An Auckland high school student who tested positive for Covid-19 has criticised the delay in moving him into managed isolation - something he believes caused his 74-year-old mother to also contract the disease. Mt Albert Grammar School deputy head boy Tali Meavale became infected as part of a cluster of cases at Māngere's Assembly of God church in August. He says there was poor communication from health officials in explaining bubbles and close contacts in a way that would connect with the church's Samoan community. He told RNZ's Anric Sitanilei his first three swabs were negative so he went shopping with his mother.
The All Blacks play the United States in Washington DC in a one-off test on Sunday morning. While World Rugby has big plans for growing the game North America, the reality on the ground paints a picture of a sport struggling to gain a foothold. Rugby reporter, Joe Porter, takes a look.
Auckland businesses are eagerly waiting for the curtain to be pulled back later this morning on the Government's enhanced business support package for the Supercity. The announcement was flagged by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday. In setting the stage, she's not let anything slip about what's included. Retail NZ's Greg Harford and Hospitality NZ's Julie White spoke to Corin Dann.
Wellington City Council is calling for whoever stole part of the city's famous bucket fountain to return it. Council spokeperson Richard MacLean told Morning Report that sometime over the past couple of weeks, someone climbed the Cuba St fixture to nab a medium-size yellow bucket. MacLean says he doesn't know if it was a repeat offender, but the same bucket has been stolen before. "I find myself in the unfortunate position of having done this for a second time. Looking back at our archives, in 2016 the same bucket disappeared." The iconic Bucket Fountain sculpture was first erected in 1969 and consists of a series of buckets that fill with water until they tip, often splashing water onto the pavement. MacLean said it has a spotted history, which includes Lord of the Rings movie star Elijah Wood urinating in it. People making off with it appears to come with the territory. "Very weird things happening in the Cuba mall, in the early hours of the morning," MacLean said. "So, we just have to live with this stuff every so often, people make off with parts of the bucket fountain." Last time the bucket was gone for a week before being returned with a "psychedelic paint job", but MacLean is losing hope that will happen this time around. Instead the council has opted to build a replacement for the bucket. "I just asked the question how much it will cost, I mean, we're probably talking somewhat of a four figure sum I would imagine, being realistic," MacLean said. "Apparently it's fiberglass, so probably some sort of specialist surfboard maker or something out there is now forming the bucket as we speak." He's still appealing to whoever took it to take a change of heart through. "All we can say is bring back the bucket. We always prefer original stuff rather than having to rebuild."
When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the free trade deal with the UK, few were paying closer attention than the local dairy sector. The deal, which is expected to be ratified over the coming months, eliminates tariffs on all New Zealand exports, including honey, wine, kiwifruit, onions, most industrial products, beef and - most crucially - dairy products. Fonterra chief executive officer Miles Hurrell spoke to Corin Dann.
Auckland secondary schools are double-checking their stocks of hand sanitiser and facemasks in preparation for Tuesday's partial reopening of classes. Principals say the move will help teenagers in years eleven, twelve and thirteen who have fallen behind in their study. But they warn that not all eligible students will turn up. RNZ education correspondent John Gerritsen has the story.
Two Shots For Summer. That's the edgy, and somewhat boozy, tag line the government's relying on to encourage better vaccination rates in our younger population. Especially low numbers are found in Māori, with fewer than one in three rangatahi fully vaccinated 29 percent. For non-Māori that number almost doubles - but it still lags the adults. Matai O'Connor spoke to some who say, so far, the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has ignored the needs of younger people.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is defending the response to Covid-19 lockdown breaches in alert level 3 areas, as a long weekend approaches. It's been a busy week for Police on the Covid front: there've been anti-lockdown protests, a lockdown-breaching party, and MIQ absconders, all in Auckland. There there are compliance concerns for parts of the country under alert level 3 restrictions ahead of Labour Day. Coster told Morning Report people are justifiably over it. "We can see people are understandably sick of being in lockdown, and that's playing out in terms of some of the behavior. "I think we need to focus on how well we've done and how close we are to being able to transition to something different, and we just need people to hang in there." He defended how police responded to recent lockdown protests, where police attended gatherings of up to 1000 people but did not step in on the day. Instead the organisers were charged once the lockdown had ended. "We've been really consistent in firstly, warning that the protests are not able to occur, secondly, where it's inevitable that they are going to occur, to make sure that they are done as safely as possible and then thirdly to prosecute. "When you have 1000 people gathered there's no police tactic that can make the situation better, and we've seen other jurisdictions try to do that and you end up with running stoushes that only bring people closer together. So, it's not an effective way of intervening." Coster said officers attending on the day were taking note of who to speak to later on and gathering evidence. He said it was a delicate balance to ensure things did not spiral out of control. " Obviously, protest is protected under our laws, and so you're trying to understand the interplay between the restrictions and the right to protest. "We think we've got that balance right by prosecuting the organisers." Mandatory vaccination for officers considered Coster said mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for officers is being considered. High-risk workers in the health and disability sector already need to be fully vaccinated by December, and school and early learning staff by January. Coster said the police are working with the Government and the public service on mandatory vaccination. "We can certainly see the value for our people in terms of protecting their wellbeing. "Also recognising that we go into many places, we wouldn't want police to be a vector for spread of the virus."
Alert level 3 restrictions are sticking around in parts of Waikato until at least the end of next Wedneday - the same day the decision will also be reviewed. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is calling for more people in the region to get tested for Covid-19, despite the Waikato District Health Board saying the 3000 swabs on Wednesday are far above normal rates. Many of the Waikato cases this week have been in Te Awamutu, the main hub of the Waipā District - Eight yesterday, two on Wednesday and six on Tuesday. Waipā District Mayor Jim Mylchreest spoke to Corin Dann.
GPs in Auckland are worried about how to deal with the increasing number of Covid-19 patients who need to be cared for at home. It comes as the daily number of Covid-19 cases in the community hit triple figures for the first time yesterday, with 102 new infections. The Health Ministry says that on the current trajectory, the country can expect up to 180 cases a day within two to three weeks. Already 105 covid patients are isolating at home and that number will certainly increase. It's GPs who will be looking after them and they say they need equipment, advice and funding to do that. College of General Practitioners president Dr Samantha Murton spoke to Corin Dann.
None of Auckland's hospital emergency departments have finished their Covid-19 preparations more than nine weeks into the outbreak and with patient numbers set to surge. Some won't be done until the very end of the year, weeks after they're predicting about 20 emergency Covid-19 patients a day. They're all still building negative pressure rooms, the gold standard for preventing the airborne virus spreading through corridors or air conditioning. Health correspondent Rowan Quinn has been looking into what needs to be done.
The bones of a dinosaur named "Big John" have sold for nearly 11 million New Zealand dollars at an auction house in Paris. Somebody is now the owner of the fossilised remains of the largest and most complete Triceratops ever discovered. Paris correspondent Peter Allen spoke to Corin Dann.
Police are ramping up their presence in coastal King Country towns ahead of the long weekend. Kawhia Community Board chairman Dave Walsh is concerned about people travelling to their baches in his area. He spoke to Corin Dann.
Covid-19 could be slipping south of Waikato, as Kmart in Napier gets added to the list of locations of interest. A case reported yesterday has been deemed infectious while they travelled between Hawke's Bay and Waikato last Friday, later testing positive back in Te Awamutu. There are two close contacts so far: one who lives in Napier and another who lives in Wairoa, but was in Napier the same day as the positive case. Both close contacts have tested negative but will have a day 12 test. Napier City Mayor Kirsten Wise spoke to Susie Ferguson.
Millions of 5-11 year olds in the US will receive their first shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in a few weeks. A similar announcement can be expected out of Canada, where the health authority is also reviewing Pfizer pediatric shots. CNBC Senior Health & Science Reporter Meg Tirrell spoke to Susie Ferguson.
For many exporters, a new deal with the United Kingdom couldn't come at a better time. New Zealand has agreed in principle to the UK's second free trade deal since Brexit. The agreement will eventually eliminate tariffs on all New Zealand exports to the country. It promises one billion dollars for our economy and is a shot of great economic news in the middle of an otherwise tough week. It's also a shot in the arm for the country's efforts to diversify its trade portfolio. ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard spoke to Corin Dann.
None of Auckland's hospital emergency departments have finished their Covid preparations, as daily community case numbers top a hundred, Alert level three restrictions in parts of Waikato will remain in place for at least another six days, we speak to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster about Covid rule compliance, and Two Shots For Summer - the tagline the Government's relying on to get young Maori vaccinated this summer
We've seen a smorgasbord of incentives from health authorities to get people vaccinated - but the West Coast's latest initiative has taken the campaign to new heights. Its pop-up vaccination centre at Arthur's Pass, which has an elevation of 739 metres, has become the clinic on the highest ground in the country. West Coast vaccination programme manager Helen Gillespie spoke to Susie Ferguson from the Southern Alps.
The business model around home printers is well known - buy the hardware at an affordable price but then shell out the big bucks again and again for ink cartridges. In the US, things have moved to a new level of irritation. Tech corporation Canon is being sued for $5 million for selling an all-in-one printer which disables all of its functions - including scanning and faxing - when the ink runs low. North Carolina technology journalist Steven Vaughan-Nichols spoke to Corin Dann.
Taking a few extra showers or baths each day is the best Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer Tupou Neiufi can do while she's locked out from a swimming pool. Neiufi hasn't been in a pool for seven weeks since winning the 100-metre backstroke title at the Tokyo Paralympics. She hopes to compete at next year's World Championships and Commonwealth Games and so wants to get back into training as soon as possible. Neiufi went straight from MIQ to lockdown with her family in Māngere.
Demonstrations have been held in cities across Nigeria to mark one year since security forces violently suppressed mass protests against police brutality. Last year's rallies, the largest in Nigeria's recent history, began by calling for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad but escalated into protests over bad governance. They ended when security forces shot at thousands of peaceful protestors at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, killing at least 12 people. Susie Ferguson spoke to Amnesty International Nigeria director Osai Ojigho, who said protesters in Lagos circumvented police by protesting in vehicles to commemorate the anniversary.
The outgoing head of the Financial Markets Authority says there are plenty of hard yards yet to be done to improve finance sector behaviour. Rob Everett leaves at the end of the month after seven years at the authority to head the Crown owned venture capital NZ Growth Fund. He says the industry has been less complacent since Australia's banking scandal and the FMA-Reserve Bank survey of local behaviour. But Everett says there's still a lot of work to do.
Ditching studies for work, forced into sharing rooms, and paying through the nose for damp, mouldy flats. As Wellington's median weekly rent surges to $600, the life of a student in the capital is getting less and less appealing. As Jake McKee reports, there's fear that the capital is fast becoming a no-go area for students.
Napier City Council's decision to add Māori seats around the council table is being labelled a bittersweet victory by mana whenua. The council has voted to establish Māori wards, but they won't exist for another four years. This is because the vote was delayed until yesterday, meaning it is now too late for the wards to be in place by next year. Te-Matau-a-Māui Tom Kitchin reports.
Aged care providers say they're thrilled by the decision to guarantee 300 places a month in managed isolation for people in the health and disability sectors. The pledge came from Health Minister Andrew Little yesterday, because the much-needed workers are having to compete for MIQ rooms with other travellers. That's welcome news to resthome operators who say they're seeking assurances on how the MIQ places will be allocated. Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace spoke to Corin Dann.
Hospital emergency nurses say they're under pressure, anxious and exhausted as Covid-19 cases continue to rise. There were 43 people in hospital yesterday with Covid-19, and during the outbreak many more have passed through emergency departments on the way to managed isolation or other places. Nurses say it's tough, and district health boards haven't done enough to prepare for the pandemic. New Zealand Nurses Organisation Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku spoke to Corin Dann.
Organisers of the WOMAD festival in Taranaki say the event next March - featuring a completely New Zealand-based line up - will be just like any other year. They say home based artists will go hard out to fill the event with the sounds, tastes and vibes from the four corners of the globe. RNZ Taranaki Whanganui reporter Robin Martin was at the WOMAD 2022 launch in New Plymouth last night.
As students in years 11 to 13 get ready to return to classes in Auckland next week, many parents are prepping for a slightly more normal life. Natalie Robinson, a mother of three from Parnell, is one of those who cheered the government's decision to allow some students to get back to school. She spoke to Susie Ferguson.
An intensive care specialist says more spots in MIQ for health workers is a start, but more needs to be done. The Government says it will now guarantee 300 spots a month in managed isolation for people in the health and disability sectors. Those groups of workers, who are urgently needed in this country, currently have to compete for scarce MIQ spaces with other travellers. Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society spokesperson Andrew Stapleton told Morning Report it's a step, but more needs to be done. "We've been arguing that we need a centralised process that is looking across the whole of the barriers to getting ICU nurses particularly and specialists into the country. "That requires one agency to take control of this issue to advertise interview, to sort out visas, to get nurses through MIQ." Stapleton said DHBs now have approval to recruit new nurses, but that means they will all be competing with each other to get new nurses on board. He said from his point of view, what he cares about is preventable deaths and working on increasing ICU capacity is just as important as vaccination. "We must vaccinate until the models are showing us that the system can cope with what happens when we open up. "There's two parts of that, there's the prevention part, that's the vaccination, and then there's the capacity part. I would like to see a lot more emphasis, and money frankly, spent on the capacity part, so that we can open up earlier."
Could forcing supermarkets to charge a fixed profit margin on all goods create fairness for shoppers and suppliers alike? That's one expert's suggestion for curbing alleged price gouging by the two big chains, which control 95 percent of the market in New Zealand. RNZ reporter Ruth Hill.
The gates to Mount Roskill Grammar will swing open this Friday for students to get their Covid-19 vaccine, ahead of the school reopening. A pop-up vaccination centre is being set up in the school's carpark, to encourage students and their whanau to get a jab. Mount Roskill Grammar School associate principal Karen Collins spoke to Susie Ferguson.
The Health Minister is assuring health workers the government is doing what it can to prepare for a rise in Covid-19 patients in hospitals. An emergency nurse and NZ Nurses Organisation delegate in Auckland says her already stressed colleagues fear hospitals are not ready for a tsunami of cases. Middlemore Hospital is predicting 20 cases a day through its emergency department by next month. Little told Morning Report he understands the pressure and anxiety staff are feeling. "We're at that point now where things are starting to change, people are concerned about that rise in number of cases. "The whole way that this government has managed the response to Covid, right back to last year, one of the critical issues we've had in our mind is the impact on the health system, and making sure that the decisions we take in what we do minimizes that impact so that we don't see overwhelmed hospitals." Little said more health workers will arrive from overseas in about a month and more than 120 nurses have been brought to Auckland from other parts of the country since the start of this outbreak. He said the health system is prepared for a jump. "The surge capacity is available. We've trained up to nearly 1400 extra nurses to be able to work in an ICU environment under supervision. "If you have a looked at the numbers now, roughly 760 odd cases. We have 37 people in hospital and at the moment two of those in ICU. So, the need to draw on that surge capacity is not required just at the moment. But I get the daily report on what is happening in the hospitals, we get the daily report on Covid cases and how many are hospitalised, and we are keeping a very close eye."
An Auckland emergency nurse says she and her colleagues can feel a tsunami of Covid-19 cases coming and the hospitals are not prepared. The nurse, who is a union delegate at one of the city's hospitals, also says many colleagues go home after work, wondering if they can steel themselves to go back in. There were 43 people with Covid-19 in hospital yesterday - only one fewer than the highest recorded level back in September. Middlemore Hospital is expecting to see 20 cases coming through the emergency department a day by next month. Health correspondent Rowan Quinn reports.
A 10-point plan from the National Party for opening the country up again includes a boost to wage subsidies, tax cuts for small business, $100 hospitality vouchers and our airports humming once again with fully vaccinated international visitors. The government says it's already pursuing the plan's good bits, but thinks the timeline of a 1 December starting date isn't so flash. What do Auckland businesses say about the latest plan for ending lockdown limbo? Flight Centre managing director David Coombs, and Vivace restaurant co-owner Mandy Lusk spoke to Corin Dann.
An Auckland emergency nurse says many of her colleagues go home after every shift, wondering if they can go back for the next one, as Covid-19 cases rise. There were 43 people in hospital yesterday - just one short of the record number, and Middlemore hospital is predicting 20 cases a day through its ED by next month. The nurse is a delegate for the Nurses Organisation and works in one of the city's main hospitals. She told health correspondent Rowan Quinn not enough has been done to prepare.