Relatively new entrant to Parliament, former Unilever and Air NZ boss Christopher Luxon has landed the job as leader of the National Party. The situation vacant sign when up last week when Judith Collins was tossed out of the job after a no confidence vote, which was called when she demoted Simon Bridges over inappropriate comments he made several years ago. Bridges was also vying for the leadership but bowed out of the race only a few hours before Tuesday's caucus meeting. Christopher Luxon talks to Lisa Owen.
Red level restrictions are presenting a challenge for pubs and restaurants over the summer break. Auckland venues can reopen from Friday after a three month shutdown, but they are not popping the champagne just yet. At red, venues using the vaccine pass can have up to 100 people but they have to be seated and separated. And dancing is off limits. At orange there's no cap on numbers - as long as everyone is vaccinated. Is red enough to get hospitality out of the red this summer Steve Simms is the publican of the Birkenhead Brewing Company - sister bar of the Lumsden Freehouse in Newmarket and the Wood St Pizzeria in Mangawhai. He talks to Lisa Owen.
You may have noticed empty shelves at some supermarkets, particularly in Auckland. Bare supermarket shelves, swathes of missing products, your favourite must-have ingredients missing. Countdown is playing catch-up after a strike last week across its two Auckland Distribution centres. Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich talks to Lisa Owen.
The new National Party leader Christopher Luxon is promising to revitalise the party, saying his relative inexperience in Parliament is an advantage. The former Air New Zealand boss has been elected by the caucus to replace Judith Collins, who lost the job last week after a no confidence vote. Nicola Willis, National's housing spokesperson, has been elected deputy leader. Luxon says they are the fresh faces for a new National Party. RNZ political editor Jane Patterson joins Lisa Owen with her analysis.
For those areas in the red level of the new Covid traffic light system there are tougher restrictions, including 100 person limits in bars and restaurants. Torben Land from the 2 Mile Sailing Club in Taupō talks to Lisa Owen.
"Beleaguered and weary" in the back room fight against Covid - that is how the team of 4,000 lab workers is feeling after what has been described as a "war-like onslaught" for their services according to their professional body. The New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science says the northern laboratories, which have been in the thick of the Delta outbreak, have been working around the clock with no respite. What is summer going to bring? Institute president Terry Taylor talks to Lisa Owen.
Former National MP and Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman knows what it's like to take a tilt for at the leadership. He threw his hat in the ring in 2016 after John Key announced he was resigning. Back then he was up against Bill English, who eventually got the job, but also Judith Collins. On Thursday Collins was gone by lunchtime after a vote of no confidence by the National caucus. Things came to a head when out of the blue she demoted Simon Bridges, stripping him of his portfolios for an innappropriate comment he made in front of another National party MP about five years ago. Jonathan Coleman talks to Lisa Owen.
Businesses will throw open their doors to customers under the new traffic light framework next Friday, but as the nuts and bolts are being worked through there seem to be more questions than answers. The government has confirmed today the verifier app businesses can use will be optional - which means the printed, paper versions could be widely used, without necessarily having it checked against ID. Emma Hatton reports.
The St Peter's Cambridge school chair has told Checkpoint the police are investigating historical abuse against former students. An investigation launched in 2019 at the prominent Waikato boarding school has found 19 individual cases of historical abuse between 1936 and 1981 relating to eight former staff members. Some of the staff have since died, but police are looking at some cases involving staff who are still alive. John Macaskill-Smith says the school is focusing on apologising to former students and encouraging them to come forward if they were abused.
Exporters fear that MIQ will still be here well into the first quarter of next year after a pilot booking scheme for businesses has been extended into February. Following an initial trial, 25 managed isolation spots a month are being ring fenced for businesses that need to travel overseas to maintain and grow their market. Now NZ Trade and Enterprise has written to business laying out next year booking schedule for managed isolation. Export NZ Executive Director Catherine Beard discusses the details with Lisa Owen.
Police say a 70-year old Auckland woman missing for 12 days was found alone, inside an address, extremely dehydrated. They don't believe foul play was involved in Cindy Li's disappearance, and say she's now in a critical condition in ICU. It has sent shockwaves through her Sandringham community. Our reporter Katie Doyle has been speaking to residents.
The All Blacks and Black Ferns are in very unfamiliar territory, with both sides hoping to bounce back from losses and end the international season on a high with wins over France. Sports editor Stephen Hewson talks to Lisa Owen.
Whangārei's mayor concedes Tai Tokerau wont make the 90 percent double vaccination target by the time the government makes its decision on moving to the new Covid traffic light system. Sheryl Mai talks to Lisa Owen.
Waikato will drop back to alert level 2 at 11:59pm Tuesday, despite new cases popping up in the region. And the government's announced the booster dose will be available from the end of the month, for those who had their second dose more than six months ago. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson talks to Lisa Owen.
The Prime Minster's hinting the whole country could move to the Covid traffic light system ahead of the 90 percent double dose vaccine targets being met by individual regions. Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz talks to Lisa Owen.
A health expert wants Air New Zealand to go a step further and implement a no jab, no fly rule domestically. The airline's announced travellers who are 12 and over will need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test to board internal flights from mid-December. As Samantha Gee reports, most are welcoming it, but some are worried it could lead to Covid spread.
The government could be footing a $200 million bill if Covid kills the summer festival season. The government has announced a safety net for the sector, underwriting 90 percent of unrecoverable costs if events have to be canned or postponed due to Covid and alert level restrictions. But terms and conditions apply. To qualify for "taxpayer insurance", events need to be ticketed, have an audience of at least 5000, use vaccination certificates and be scheduled between December 17 and April 3. Minister for Economic and Regional Development and Tourism Stuart Nash told Checkpoint the event sector needed certainty.
Auckland will move to level 3 step 2 restrictions on November 10. It means from Wednesday restrictions will ease somewhat, allowing retail to open with social distancing, and groups of up to 25 people to gather outdoors. Jacinda Ardern says the greater freedoms are possible due to Auckland's high vaccination rates. The Prime Minister has also signalled the Auckland region is highly likely to end its level 3 lockdown and move to the new traffic light protection framework. Auckland hospitality venues can now prepare to be open in December. At the red traffic light, venues using the vaccine passport can host 100 people, seated and separated. Tricky Hartley owns The Conservatory on Auckland's Waterfront. He talks to Lisa Owen.
The Black Caps have stormed their way into the semis at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The New Zealand side beat an in-form Afghanistan in their final group game today to book a place in the next round. They'll face an injury-hit England in the semis and head into the match with plenty of confidence. Felicity Reid reports.
No more window shopping, Auckland stores can swing the doors again on Wednesday. At level 3 step 2, shops can reopen - so long as social distancing is in place and facemasks are in use. Glenfield Mall owner Dallas Pendergrast talks to Lisa Owen.
Primary school students stuck in level 3 are still waiting to hear if they'll make it back into an actual classroom this year. In the meantime remote learning is continuing. Ministry of Education spokesperson Ellen McGregor-Reid talks to Lisa Owen about resourcing schools where students have difficulty accessing internet connections and devices.
As daily community covid cases continue to crack three figures more government isolation facilities could be converted to quarantine hotels for those unable to stay at home while sick. Joint head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King talks to Lisa Owen.
The self isolation trial is underway for some of the 150 people chosen to be guinea pigs for the pilot. They've had to meet strict criteria, including isolating at a private residence on their own, within 50km of Auckland or Christchurch airports. It's also only open to business people arriving back in the country by December 8. Sacha Coburn got back from the US yesterday and started self isolating as part of the pilot. She describes the process to Lisa Owen.
It was remarkably good news for Perth today as the little Australian girl abducted while on a camping trip with her family 18 days ago was found alive. She was locked in a house just minutes away from her own family home. The four-year-old was silently taken from a tent at a rural campsite in Western Australia in the dead of the night while her parents slept. It sparked a massive police hunt and today they raided a house in Carnarvon - a town about 75 kilometres south of the campsite - and they found Cleo in one of the rooms. A man has been taken into custody and Cleo has been reunited with her family. Channel 9's Joshua Dawe talks through the details with Lisa Owen.
Auckland retail stores should be able to reopen next week, if Cabinet gives a final sign off next Monday. That will be a move to alert level 3 step 2 in Auckland. In an open letter to the Prime Minister a collective of Auckland business associations have called for an immediate move to alert level 3 step 1. That would allow retailers, hospitality and close contact businesses like hairdressers to open to face to face customers, with some safety guidelines. Viv Beck is from Heart of the City - one of five organisation who signed the letter. She talks to Lisa Owen.
The small Bay of Plenty town Murupara has seen vaccination rates climb in the last few weeks - despite battling misinformation in the community. When vaccine data was first released the town had the lowest uptake nationwide - with 32 percent having had the first dose. According to the most recent data, it is up to 44 percent. But that is still half the nationwide vaccine rate - which now sits at 88 percent single dosed. One of the people helping to get the message out about the vaccine is Murupara Community Board Chair Jackie Te Amo. She talks to Lisa Owen.
Auckland retail should be able to fling open the doors next week, if Cabinet gives the final sign off. The Prime Minister says the high vaccination rates in the city means the risk of spread in shops is low risk. Waikato will drop down to the same level tomorrow. The Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins talks through the details with Lisa Owen.
Some tourism operators fear they are kissing another summer of international business goodbye after yesterday's MIQ announcement. Come mid-November double vaccinated NZ returnees will spend seven days, instead of the current 14, in MIQ before heading to home isolation for a further three days and a final Covid test before being freed. The government has also signalled a phased move to more home isolation in the first quarter of next year. But at this stage it is basically for New Zealanders coming home, there's no date for international tourists to return and one of the biggest domestic markets, Auckland is penned in. Fiordland Jet co-owner Chris Adams talks to Lisa Owen.
A show for Veterans ... from Veterans. In today's show, Cal and Tom welcome Thomas Prator and Brad Wallace from Bishop State about their truck driver training program ... and Lisa Owen from the Alabama Career Center ... plus Tom's Tirade- "Wanted Patriots ... Dead or Alive".
It might sound hard to believe, but this morning more than 200 Tesla executives toured a Manawatu farm, despite closed borders. It is virtual tourism, and Palmerston North based lifestyle farmer Arthur Chin is making the most of it. He started New Zealand Nature Highlights tours mid-2020 and has played host to more than 4,000 guests. Now a finalist for the 2021 NZ Tourism Awards and Sustainable Business Awards. He's hoping to show other tourism operators how they can make money online. Arthur Chin talks to Lisa Owen.
Close to 300 Covid-19 cases are now isolating at home in Auckland, as the city moves to a suppression strategy. A strict assessment criteria has to be met for someone to isolate at home and there's regular health checks. Case numbers for this outbreak are currently at 2921, putting more pressure on an already strained MIQ system. Dr Christine McIntosh is the Northern region Primary Care Clinical Lead for Covid-19 care in the community. She talks to Lisa Owen.
Covid 19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins explains why he did not put Christchurch into a snap lockdown given the two positive cases. He told Lisa Owen that requiring vaccination for those travelling across the Auckland boundary is "certainly an issue that's under discussion." It cannot be done immediately, he said, as there are goods that need to be moved in and out of the region. Hipkins said he thinks there would be people in the trucking industry who aren't keen on mandatory vaccination to cross the boundary, but he has no knowledge of any representations from the trucking industry expressing that.
There is still no set timeframe for when all students in level 3 will return to the classroom. Education Minister Chris Hipkins has indicated that primary school students could be back from November 15, but they're still working out the details. It is likely different year groups will attend on different days. So what effect does all this uncertainty have on children, and how do you keep them motivated? Parenting expert Nathan Wallis talks to Lisa Owen.
Covid-19 Response and Education Minister Chris Hipkins has asked the Ministry of Education to work with primary schools and kura on advice for a staged return to learning. Years 9 and 10 at Auckland high schools could be resuming classes as soon as mid-November, under a staggered system that would see them joining senior pupils, who have largely returned. Hipkins says he's requested primary schools and kura work on the basis of an indicative start date of November 15. He talks through the details with Lisa Owen.
A growing number of workplaces are considering bringing in covid vaccine mandates. The Warehouse Group has begun consulting with staff about a directive for staff to be vaccinated. Victoria University in Wellington has already mandated vaccines for students and staff working in residential halls, and is now looking at going further than that. Vice Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford tells Lisa Owen it would have to be a "high trust" model.
A group of lucky businesses have been chosen for a govenrment trial that will see them by pass MIQ and isolate at home when returning from overseas travel. 605 businesses applied for just 150 places. They had to meet strict criteria including having somewhere to stay alone. No shared ventilations systems, so no apartments. The property has to be within a 50km radius of Christchurch or Auckand international Airport. And travellers need to return to those cities on a direct international flight by December 8. Sucessful applicants were told last Friday. One of them is Mark Ulrich, director of UMC - an engineering company that sells wire fabrication machinery to the fencing industry, around the world. He talks to Lisa Owen. [embed] https://players.brightcove.net/6093072280001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6278102628001
Ngāti Whātua is defending the management of the border between Te Tai Tokerau and Tāmaki Makaurau. Northland will drop down to alert level 2 at midnight, following a Covid scare in which a woman who later tested positive crossed the border using fake documents. That's raised concerns that poor controls could see more cases sneak through. But those on the frontlines say the strict set up is running as it should. Sam Olley was there today.
Life in Australia is slowly getting back to normal, with more states releasing plans to open up and let people back in. With high vaccination rates, a national plan and clear targets, states are beginning to lift more restrictions and have announced plans to let vaccinated expats and visitors back in. Worldwatch's Perlina Lau reports.
Christmas is just around the corner, but with Tāmaki Makaurau still in level 3, many are wondering if they should be making any plans at all. The Prime Minister says Aucklanders should not be cancelling plans to leave town for the festive season and told media this morning she believes the city will be out of level 3 by Christmas. Despite that, some Aucklanders are preparing for a summer spent in their backyard. Anei te kai ripoata a Katie Doyle.
Health officials are thinking smaller and more nimble as they try to reach the half million people who have not had a first dose of the vaccine. First were the 'Shot Bro' buses, now vaccine campers are on the road. More than 40 'vaxi vans' will be travelling over the motu in the next few weeks, aiming to reach isolated. rural areas. One of the first stops was Onewhero in Waikato. Checkpoint reporter Louise Ternouth and camera operator Marika Khabazi went to check it out.
To Australia, where an urgent search for a missing four-year-old girl feared abducted is being hampered by extreme weather. Cleo Smith went missing from a campsite in a rural area on the coast of Western Australia four days ago. She was with her family in a tent in her sleeping bag and was last seen by them at about 1:30am. It has sparked memories of the Azaria Chamberlain case - the nine-week-old baby who disappeared near Uluru more than 40 years ago on a family camping trip - taken by a dingo. There's been a massive search - but that was temporarily called off today as heavy rains and winds battered the coast. ABC reporter James Carmody is near Blowholes Campsite in Macleod. He talks to Lisa Owen.
All Black hooker Codie Taylor choked back tears at an emotional All Blacks press conference today as he paid tribute to his teammate Sean Wainui. 25-year-old Wainui, who played for the Māori All Blacks, the Crusaders and more recently the Chiefs, was killed when the car he was driving hit a tree yesterday morning. The All Blacks, many of whom played alongside him, were shocked to learn of his death following their arrival in Washington after a 30-hour journey from the Gold Coast. Felicity Reid was on the emotional zoom conference call.
As Te Tai Tokerau prepares to move down alert levels, a Whangārei doctor is pleading with people to get vaccinated - saying the effects of not doing so, will be absolutely devastating. There are still around 45,000 people in Northland who have yet to have a single vaccine. Nationwide that figure is around 600,000. And with doctors already worried about the pressures they face, many are bracing for the devastation delta will cause our health systems if those vaccination rates don't rise. Anei te kai ripoata a Nita Blake-Persen.
An Auckland theatre has drawn the curtains on the 2021 season - saying even level two would be too hard to operate in. The Basement Theatre in the central city hosts performances from theatre makers, dancers, visual artists, musicians and comedians - but a lack of certainty around Delta alert levels has led to the constant re-scheduling of performances. Executive Director Cat Ruka says the decision to go dark for the rest of the year wasn't easy.
Labour and National have put their differences aside to slash red tape around housing density, with the aim of making it easier and cheaper to build new homes. New rules will allow up to three, three-storey buildings on sites in the country's biggest cities, without a resource consent. National's leader Judith Collins first reached out to the Labour Government in January, proposing they work together to mitigate the housing crisis. Our political reporter Anneke Smith has more.
The peak of Canterbury's social calendar has been scrapped this year - with the Addington Cup Week closed to the public for the first time in more than a century. It's the latest in a slew of cancellations in the region, as the threat of Delta creeps closer to the Covid-free south. Our Ōtautahi cameraman Nate McKinnon and reporter Kim Moodie filed this report.