The Black Caps are staring at defeat in the second test in Mumbai but it hasn't taken any shine off the monumental performance of spinner Ajaz Patel, who took all 10 of India's first innings wickets. Patel is just the third player to achieve the 10 wicket feat in the 144-year history of test cricket. Global adulation included praise from two of our greatest players. Sir Richard Hadlee, who held the previous New Zealand record of nine innings wickets, described Patel's display as "delight to watch" while our most decorated spinner, Daniel Vettori, said the feat surpassed Brendon McCullum's triple-century as our finest individual achievement. Patel's father Yunus told RNZ's First Up the family couldn't believe what they were witnessing on the first day of the test. “I'm very proud… he's got very, very big wish to play against in India. Ajaz was born in Bombay, not far from the stadium,” Yunus Patel said. Patel bagged another four wickets in the second innings resulting in another record, the most wickets in a test match against India. Ajaz Patel's wife, Nilofer, told Morning Report the whole family was glued to the television screen. "Our hearts basically stopped.. when he made that amazing catch, we were all screaming and jumping for joy. "Mum, dad, grandma, were all jumping. We still couldn't believe it".
Gisborne locals say allowing music festival Rhythm and Vines to go ahead would be an open invitation for Covid-19 to arrive in Tairāwhiti. Currently the lowest fully vaccinated region, Gisborne will be placed under red traffic light restrictions from Friday. Unless that setting changes quickly, the country's biggest new years' party will be cancelled. Tairāwhiti reporter Tom Kitchin has more. Rhythm and Vines has declined to be interviewed on Morning Report.
The union for police officers says gun violence is now a daily occurence for officers and the job is becoming increasingly risky. Three officers were shot in West Auckland yesterday and another was struck by a fleeing vehicle on Sunday. All four are in hospital. The Police Association's president Chris Cahill told Morning Report gang members were increasingly armed and ready to shoot at officers. He says at the same time, police are dealing with more mental distress in the community. Mr Cahill says officers on the front line are wearing body armour more commonly to try to protect themselves - and support being armed.
Health Minister Andrew Little says officials will make a 'human judgement' rather than set specific criteria for regions to shift down in the traffic light system. However he says any shifts between green, orange and red will be based on vaccination levels, health system preparedness and case numbers in that region. Little told Morning Report people are going to be moving around the country at a rate they haven't been moving before, and officials want to see how the health system responds.
Australia has confirmed two travellers from southern Africa have tested positive in Sydney for the new Omicron Covid-19 variant. Both people are fully vaccinated and are staying in isolation after arriving on Saturday. Australia is now requiring 14-day quarantine for citizens and their dependents travelling from nine countries in southern Africa. ABC Sydney correspondent Lara Hymas spoke to Morning Report's Corin Dann.
There's lots of uncertainty around today as Cabinet confirms a move to the traffic light system, and a new Covid-19 variant is knocking on our door. We find out on Monday afternoon which regions will go red or orange on Friday. And while New Zealand's Covid-19 outbreak looks to have peaked - there are warnings ahead with the new Omicron variant already in Australia. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to Morning Report's Corin Dann.
Israel is the first country to completely close its borders to foreigners in an effort to keep out the potentially dangerous new Omicron Covid-19 variant. The ban, which goes into effect later tonight Israeli time, will initially last for at least 14 days. The government will use the next fortnight to look at whether what the World Health Organisation has dubbed a "variant of concern" is able to evade vaccines and how dangerous it really is or isn't. Morning Report's Susie Ferguson spoke to CBS correspondent Robert Berger in Jerusalem.
New Zealander Simon O'Neill has snagged two Grammy nominations for Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album in Classical. The tenor opera singer, who hails from Ashburton, was recognised for his solo performance as Doctor Marianus in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with the Los Angles Philharmonic Orchestra. This is O'Neill's third Grammy nomination. He spoke to Morning Report from an MIQ hotel room in Auckland.
The Chief Ombudsman has told MPs that some prisoners have better conditions than some others do in MIQ. Peter Boshier presented a review of MIQ to a parliamentary select committee yesterday, after carrying out six inspections of the facilities last year. He spoke to Guyon Espiner. MIQ declined an invitation to speak on Morning Report on Friday.
Pharmacy leaders have praised the policy to roll out Covid-19 rapid antigen tests through the country's pharmacies. From mid-December, New Zealanders will be able to buy rapid antigen tests for between $10 to $15. Under supervision of a pharmacist, they can take the test, get a result, and have their results logged in under a half-hour. Pharmacy Guild chief executive Andrew Gaudin spoke to Morning Report.
The oppposition's top job is vacant again - for the fifth time in four years. National MPs will elect a new leader on Tuesday and until then Dr Shane Reti will fill the role. He says he's a chair warmer - and has not contemplated running for leadership next week. Lawyer Brigitte Morten says it's too soon to rule anyone out, or in for that matter. She spoke to Morning Report.
Former National Party MP David Parker wants to see party president Peter Goodfellow resign from his role after yesterday's leadership debacle. National MPs will elect the party's fifth leader in four years next Tuesday, after a vote of no confidence went against Judith Collins on Thursday. The implosion comes after a late Wednesday night press release from Collins, where she accused MP and former leader Simon Bridges of " serious misconduct" at a party event in Premier House five years ago. Bridges said this was "truly desperate stuff" from Collins who would go to any length to hold on to her leadership. She was forced to step down after her caucus issued a motion of no confidence in her. Parker, who resigned from his role on the board in August after unsuccessfully challenging Goodfellow for the role of president, told Morning Report the board was too involved int eh disaster. Collins said in her press release she had the "unanimous support" from the board for demoting Bridges, later that day the board said in a release it had agreed to look into the matter but had not decided on any other actions to be taken. "He shouldn't have been involved with the board in yesterday's mess, they shouldn't have been speaking with Judith Collins about portfolio lineups and demoting Simon Bridges the night before, the board needs to function on its role and stop playing politics." Parker said Goodfellow's resignation is "long overdue" and blamed him for Nationals poor performance in 2020. "He's an incompetent chairman of the board. I was there on the board for nine months. I couldn't stand it any longer once they reelected him as the president. He's overseen two election failures." As for who should take over from Collins, Parker said it would be a battle between Bridges and first-term MP Christopher Luxon. Mark Mitchell has also suggested a tilt at the leadership, but Parker was not sure he would have the support. Whatever happens he would have preferred the matter sorted out this week rather than next. "Now they've got everybody chattering about it for the next three or four days. Whilst I agree that the retirement or the firing of Judith was sudden, there's been rumors of leadership change going on now for weeks. I would have thought caucus was in the position to have a decent discussion yesterday, unite behind one person and get on with it. "Listen, I'm not part of caucus, they didn't do it that way, so now they're going to hopefully, sort a bit more out over the weekend and announce a leader on Tuesday and get on with the job."
A political commentator says the events in the National Party over the last 12 hours have been "destructive". National's leader Judith Collins has demoted Simon Bridges to the backbenches after alleged inappropriate comments made several years ago to Waitaki MP Jacqui Deans. The shock news came in a media release from Collins on Wednesday night and is after much speculation that Bridges is considering a tilt at the top job. Bridges will hold a full media conference later today but told media as he arrived at Parliament this morning that the move by Collins was "desperate". Political commentator and former senior ministerial advisor for the previous National-led government Brigitte Morten told Morning Report the way events played out was not ideal. "I don't think there could be a more destructive way to turn destroy the party from the inside out, undermining the caucus, undermining the board, 10pm press releases with little detail, I don't think you could really have done this any worse." Morton said the events would be a smear on Bridges' reputation and could make him retaking the leadership difficult. But it could provide room for somebody else in the party to take the role and Bridges to take a spot high on the party list. She said it's not looking good for Collins though. "With the actions of Judith Collins over the last 24 hours, this doesn't look like you know, she's got the support of the caucus, or that she's got the trust of the caucus. That's really important for anyone in a leadership position, whether it is the actual leader or within that sort of top 10. "So, I think for her, she will have to make a serious decision about actually whether or not she can continue in politics, and whether or not that is actually in the best interest of the party. "Everyone who is a National Party supporter or on the centre right, or wanting an opposition, wants to think that the opposition party members are there to do the best for the opposition for the party, not for themselves."
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period for all people arriving in New Zealand from 17 January will be monitored with a 'light touch.' Hipkins told Morning Report the Government will be relying on the good will of travellers to follow the self-isolation rules, though there will also be some form of monitoring. He said the staggered reopening of the border is to ensure the country doesn't have to flip flop around the different coloured traffic lights.
National Party leader Judith Collins doesn't support the traffic light system. The alert level system will be replaced on December the 3rd, when the country moves to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework of red, orange and green settings. Collins says it will cause confusion, but she told Morning Report she does support businesses requiring people to be vaccinated. "It is simply going to add further confusion to people, and it is something that is not needed if we get 90 percent of people vaccinated." Collins said there are issues in the traffic light system's legal framework, and she thinks Parliament will wind up having to fix the holes after it has been enacted. "I'm very certain we'll be back in a very short period of time having to fix the errors, and that's why you don't shouldn't be doing this."
South Auckland's vaccination drive is now to get people to go back for their second vaccination, as the country prepares to enter the traffic light protection framework. There are still thousands of Aucklanders in the city's south who are lagging behind the recommended three-week spacing between Covid-19 doses. Manukau Ward Councillor Efeso Collins told Morning Report he's still proud of the vaccination efforts on the ground so far. [audio_play] "That's the only defence we have available to us the minute we start to open up, so I'm really proud of the efforts on the ground." Pasifika GP Network chair Api Talemaitoga said they are now at the hard end of the campaign and now they're looking at people who can't easily access vaccination. "It's easy to talk about getting vaccinations with people like us who might have a car or could take an hour out to go and get vaccinated. But what if you're a 24/7 carer looking after someone with inability to just get out and access one of those vaccinations? "We're asking people to really reach out and support each other and get that first and or second jab into people's arms."
Helen Clark is urging countries not to give up on pandemic management once they reach vaccination targets. Clark told Morning Report even if a country reaches 90 percent vaccinated that doesn't mean the pandemic has gone away. "Don't throw away the rest of the toolkit because you need it to control transmission among those who aren't vaccinated, which may be the 8 to 10 percent here, but it's also, at the moment anyone under 12 years of age." Clark also pointed out there are some countries where vaccination coverage was nowhere near New Zealand's. "The rollout of vaccinations in Sub Saharan Africa would still scarcely exceed 6 percent of total population, which is, of course, really almost no coverage at all." Clark was speaking about a new report commissioned by the World Health Organisation, which warned the world is moving too slowly in ending the coronavirus pandemic. It says resources have been concentrated towards the developed world while people are continuing to die in poorer countries where there is little or no access to vaccines. The report says the failure to work together is also leaving the world unprepared for the next pandemic.
This year's International Film Festival seems to have had more twists and turns than a French film-maker's plot. Even without the surprise resignation of festival director, Marten Rabarts, announced while the event was in full swing, it had more than its share of challenges. Insurance costs, the inability of festival people to travel and do one-on-one deals abroad, the competition from streaming, and of course the pandemic were all characters in the 2021 script. Sarah McMullan, a film reviewer and a keen international festival watcher spoke to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson.
The All Blacks 2021 season has come to end with with a heavy loss to France. The 40-25 score ends France's 14-match losing streak against New Zealand. The defeat also means the All Blacks have ended their season with two back-to-back defeats. Former All Black captain Wayne 'Buck' Shelford spoke to Morning Report's Corin Dann.
Surf lifesavers have clocked their busiest weekend since the the peak of last summer in Auckland, Northland and Raglan. Lifeguards were forced to break social distancing to rescue swimmers thanks to 52 rescues. This included two mass rescues - one at Muriwai bringing 13 people to shore - and another at Raglan saving 14 people. Surf lifesavers are expected to wear masks where practical while on duty. Northern operations manager James Lea joins spoke to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson.
NCEA exams begin today and go through until December 14 . They are beginning two weeks later than originally planned to take account of the disruption the pandemic has caused in many schools this year. And students in Auckland, Northland and parts of Waikato will be able to replace their exam results with derived grades based on their work through out the year because they have been in a level three lockdown and have spent the better part of two school terms out of the physical classroom. Some students are skipping their exams altogether. This morning's exams include level one Te Reo Rangatira and level two physics. Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished the students well. Students Josiah Aliimalemanu from Onehunga High and Lyric Te Ao from Papatoetoe High spoke to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson.
We are a month out from Christmas, which for many of us means camping, gathering the extended family at a bach or hitting a holiday park. But with Delta's spread across the nation, should we keep up with holiday traditions? Especially when vulnerable areas of New Zealand want holidaymakers to stay away. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson.
Secondary schools' NCEA and Scholarship exams start today and go through until December 14. They are beginning two weeks later than originally planned to take account of the disruption the pandemic has caused in many schools this year. And students in Auckland, Waikato and Northland are eligible for an unexpected event grade, a derived grade based on their year's work, if they miss their exams for Covid-19-related reasons. Auckland Principals Chris Allen, from Carmel College, and Steven Hargreaves, from Macleans College, spoke to Morning Report's Corin Dann.
Barcelona has been besieged by packs of wild boars, and now local authorities are trying to curb the problem by going on a culling spree. The wild hogs have become increasingly aggressive in recent months, as they roam the streets of the Catalan capital looking for food. In September, pop star Shakira became a victim of a pair of purse-snatching boars, while she was out for a leisurely stroll with her eight-year-old son. Carles Conejero is a wild boar expert with the Wildlife Ecology and Health Group and spoke to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson.
The government is reviewing the high cost of residential building supplies. A year-long study by the commerce commission will look at long-standing concerns about a lack of competition in the sector. Mike Blackburn, co-founder of Combined Building Supplies, doubted the study would bring about useful change. He spoke with Morning Report's Corin Dann.
A woman whose husband was killed in the Pike River mine explosion hopes footage showing the remains of up to three men will bring them another step closer to justice. Anna Osborne was among the family members who met with the police last night, something that had been arranged before yesterday's announcement. She says the families weren't shown the images, but they have been assured they are of extremely high quality. Osborne told Morning Report the boreholes being drilled into the mine are a crucial part of the police investigation. "Hopefully, it's going to put together the pieces that are missing so that we could hopefully, in the future, have a prosecution." Friday is the 11th anniversary of the disaster.
The Police Commissioner is warning Aucklanders leaving the city when the border opens they could be stopped anywhere, anytime, to check they're complying with the rules. Only those who are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for Covid-19 will be allowed out of the city from mid-December. Andrew Coster told Morning Report there will be checkpoints, as well as random spot checks, and anyone not following the rules will face the consequences. "We all know what the expectation is, we certainly will do by the time the date rolls around, people should expect that if they're not compliant, they're very likely to get fined." Police won't be checking every single vehicle to avoid creating too much congestion. "We'll be looking to do it in a way where we're not slowing down flow of holiday traffic in any significant way. "Obviously, the reason there's not a hard border around Auckland is in large part because of the logistics of achieving that. "So, we'll be keeping the traffic flowing as best we can. You know, there are lots of different places that we can choose to do this that will keep the flow going." Coster said police will also combine checks with other road policing duties like breath checking to maximise their benefit.
MPs can now request a security upgrade of their Wellington homes following growing threats from anti-vax protestors. The step-up from Parliamentary Security comes after Labour's chief whip Kieran McAnulty was the target of death threats. A protester, former ad-man turned conspiracy theorist went live on Facebook during a confrontation with McAnulty, who later met with parliamentary security about safety. He told Morning Report it wasn't the confrontation itself that concerned him. "It's those that appeared to watch it, and then get emboldened and then get in touch and they go one step further. That was the concern. “Death threats towards the MPs is nothing new, but we should never become immune to this, and we should always take it seriously." McAnulty said he wanted to get advice from parliamentary security about how credible the threats are. "Whether they were just some keyboard warriors getting wound up or whether they were credible. “When I met with parliamentary security yesterday, they were taking it seriously and so therefore, so should I." He said it wasn't just MPs that were copping it in the ear too. “We've seen this toward journalists as well, and just members of the public that might be coming out in defense of this approach to keep people safe from Covid. I've seen various online discussions that have turned pretty threatening pretty quickly. “We know that people say things online that they wouldn't dare say, face to face, but we can't sit back and be complacent and just put it back to someone that's just getting wound up online."
The government has given details on the vaccine pass set to be rolled out on Wednesday. Covid-19 vaccine certificates, dubbed 'My Vaccine Pass' will sit inside people's digital wallet on their smart phones. The certificates will be available to download later today for anyone who is double vaccinated. The Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Morning Report he is confident the system will stand up to demand, but is urging people to wait a few days before downloading them. He says each pass will have a QR code, although photo ID may be required for some places. The government will also provide a phone number and drop in centres to help people who have trouble downloading the certificates.
Otago University epidemiologist Michael Baker is sounding a warning around Auckland's border, citing concerns vaccination rates are not uniformly high. Christmas and summer holiday plans for Aucklanders should firm up later today with the government due to announce plans on the hard border around the region. It is expected to be lifted by the middle of December. Baker told Morning Report as the government looks to move to the traffic light system the border is the big issue. "I think many of us are concerned about the border around Auckland, the need for that to still be managed very tightly, probably into the new year, because we still got some other really critical things that we haven't done in New Zealand. I think the biggest issue at the moment, is still the low vaccine coverage for Māori. I mean, 20 percent less than the majority in New Zealand. That means, as we know, this virus will always find the most unvaccinated populations. So, we really need time. I know investment is going into supporting raising coverage for Māori, but that will take time. I don't think we're going to be there by Christmas." Baker was excited by news the government's vaccine passport would roll out on Wednesday. "This is a great advance, the fact that people can obviously show their vaccinated, and that's going to affect access to a whole lot of high-risk indoor environments. "So, I think that's very useful, and it's just another reminder to people that vaccination is really critical for protecting yourself and the people around you."
Schools across the country have jumped several hurdles to keep staff on-board, as the mandate for workers to get their first Covid-19 vaccine comes into effect. The principal of a school where all teachers have had the vaccine is urging other education leaders to be patient with staff who are refusing it. Ash Maindonald of Western Heights School in Auckland urges others to get alongside staff who aren't on board. He told Morning Report the the school has a culture predicated on staff treating every student like they were their child. "On that basis staff based a good portion of their decision on what is best for our tamariki and our staff whānau."
The Prime Minister says it's not unexpected that cases of Covid-19 are surfacing in several new parts of the country. The virus emerged in Rotorua, Taupō and the Tararua district over the weekend, and was confirmed in Taranaki late last week. Jacinda Ardern told Morning Report for the most part, there is either a link back to Auckland or a strong theory about where the cases came from. She said it's not the case that things have been bubbling in a community for a long period of time.
A Northland education leader says it's unclear how many teachers remain unvaccinated against Covid-19 as a government mandate looms. Monday is the last day for teachers and other school workers to get at least their first dose, to be allowed on school sites on Tuesday. Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association president Pat Newman told Morning Report he hopes more teachers and support staff have got vaccinated over the weekend. He says exact numbers won't be clear until Tuesday. His focus at the moment is on making sure pupils and other teachers are supported, and filling any gaps that pop up. "We're urging people to get hold of the universities and the other training establishments, the wananga's and look at picking up the year three students who are finishing their training now or have finished the training now but are waiting to get registered and all that sort of carry on. We've talked to the teachers council about fast tracking those people through so that they can be teaching. "We've talked about identifying people in the communities that may not have specific teaching qualifications, but in the meantime, have other skills. There's heaps of those out there, and they can go for what they call lax status. Again, the teacher's council is aware they're going to get inundated with calls about it."
Taranaki DHB says the six people in Stratford who tested positive for Covid-19 were reluctant to get tested and have not been using the contact tracing app. The group got swabbed yesterday, more than a week after the virus started showing up in the town's wastewater. Taranaki DHB medical officer of health Dr Jonathan Jarman told Morning Report it had taken "disease detective work" to find them, and the severity of their illness was behind the decision to get tested. "I think in the end, they realised that this was potentially a serious illness. Certainly, one of the family members, one of the people involved with this cluster said that it was the sickest they had ever been, and I think then the penny dropped, and they agreed to testing." One member of the group is now in hospital. Dr Jarman said the three adults and three children have kept to themselves in Stratford, but there may be one or two locations of interest. He said the fact the group did not use the Covid Tracer app means authorities are having to use "old fashioned" contact tracing. Despite all of that he's feeling relieved. "My main feeling actually is relief. We've finally managed to track them down and now we know what we're dealing with. I think the other thing is that Covid is coming to Taranaki. It's here now in Stratford, there are likely to be more cases. So really, it's a really strong message that if people are not already vaccinated, they should be seriously thinking about it now." Dr Jarman said the three children have not been to school or pre-school during their infectious period.
Rural hospital doctors have detailed the lack of support they received from DHBs during the first Covid-19 outbreak, in new research by the University of Otago. The study lays bare issues of equity, and the tug-of-war between rural and larger hospitals, when deciding how to transfer infected patients. University of Otago senior lecturer and rural doctor Dr Kati Blattner spoke to Guyon Espiner. St John Ambulance contacted Morning Report with a statement after this interview aired. It said the Otago University report states St John Ambulance had stopped transporting patients with respiratory conditions - this is incorrect and has never been the case. St John Ambulance said it has continued to transport all patients, including those with respiratory conditions, throughout all Covid-19 outbreaks in Aotearoa.
National Party Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop wants travellers coming into New Zealand to be able to skip MIQ, freeing up the spaces for people in the community with Covid-19 to isolate. It comes as the length of stay for returnees arriving in New Zealand is shortened to seven days, down from 14. Epidemiologist Michael Baker welcomed the changes but said any length of stay is now redundant for people planning on heading into Auckland. Bishop agreed and said the current way the system is running is insufficient. "We should be using those in MIQ spots, not for fully vaccinated travellers with no Covid, but for people with Covid. "Not everyone who's got COVID needs to go into an MIQ, but the system is completely deranged at the moment. It's a complete perversion of priorities, and we need to change it." Bishop said the National Party's policy was to let fully vaccinated travellers skip the MIQ queue. "If you're fully vaccinated without a without Covid, so you've passed a negative pre-departure test, and you come from a low risk jurisdiction like Queensland, for example, which has minimal amounts of Covid, in fact none probably, then you would just go straight into the community if you take a test on arrival as well. "For people who come from jurisdictions with Covid, say South Wales and the UK, you would do a week's home self-isolation when you enter New Zealand but key point is to skip the MIQ, free up those spaces for people who actually have Covid, still do a week's self-isolation for people who may potentially carry the virus even despite those checks. He said the chance of people passing testing positive for Covid-19 after seven days isolation is not zero, but it is low. Morning Report invited Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield onto the programme on Friday, but he has declined all of our interview requests this week. Joint Head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King also declined to come onto the programme. Morning Report's calls this morning to the Minister for Covid-19 Response, Chris Hipkins, have gone unanswered.
The Climate Change Minister doesn't expect world leaders to be happy about the draft agreement at the UN climate summit, but he's optimistic they will rise to meet it. The seven page document urges nations to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emission targets, and also a total phase-out of coal. Analysts are reporting Earth remains on track to reach for 2.4 degrees warming above pre-industrial levels, despite leaders' multiple pledges made at Glasgow this year. James Shaw told Morning Report the draft agreement is a big ask and there may be pushback from some world leaders. "I suspect that no one's going to be wildly happy about it, just because of the nature of the tensions here." He said momentum is growing and he's optimistic the goals can be met.
A pair of tītitipounamu gave conservationists in the Otago Peninsula a shock this week when they found a nest with four very small eggs inside of a possum trap. Riflemen, the smallest species of New Zealand native bird population, are cavity nesters whose nests are often found in unlikely places - like under rooves or tractors, or even in your gumboots. This one was a first for the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group though, and community engagement team lead Marica Dale told Morning Report there were plenty of other options. "These guys, they're just so fussy. We've got a perfectly fine, empty rifleman nest that's rodent proof, it's just the right size, and it's about 50 meters away and they've gone 'nah, nah we'll just use this instead we'll go in a trap.'" Aside from being not where it was supposed to be, the nest's placement inside the trap made unsetting it difficult. "Honestly, it was like it was like having an insight to a heart surgery, it just was so traumatic trying to unset this trap while there was a tiny little nest inside of it. It was quite frightening trying to make it safe for them. "Got there in the end, had an adult bird standing by... Dad there and dad was very angry at me for interfering, but I think he's forgiven me now." The nest is now mostly taped shut and monitored via a trail camera, Dale said there had already been some unwelcome visitors, which were quickly taken care of. "The trail camera actually picked up a couple of possums and they were they were having a real interest in the nest… "We've got a couple of functional traps that weren't unset with a nest in it, and we actually caught those two possums a few days later. So yeah, we're working extra hard to keep these guys safe."
A police spokesperson says officers have been asking people to sign away their social media and email passwords for police use for almost 10 years. RNZ has revealed police are trying to take over the online identities of suspects and defendants to gather intel by asking people sign a consent. Detective Inspector Stuart Mills, from police's Intercept and Technology Operations, told Morning Report police have been using the form since 2012. He said it's standard police practice worldwide to use this in child trafficking cases, but admits it is used in other cases too. Lawyers have written to the police commissioner to protest at the practice.
National Party leader Judith Collins supports mandating the Covid-19 vaccine, but only to a point. A large protest was staged at Parliament yesterday where, among a range of frustrations being shared, some were railing at the prospect of being forced to get vaccinated or face losing their job. Collins told Morning Report her party supports compulsory vaccinations, including for health, education and border workers, but she doesn't want to see them forever. "We cannot go down this path of simply having a mandate that lasts forever. It's really important that where there are mandates that there is a sunset clause that people know when that finishes." She said that doesn't necessarily mean a timeframe for ending, but could be around what is currently happening with the pandemic. Collins was at Parliament for the protest yesterday and said she did not want any of her MPs to see the protestors. "I made it very clear that I didn't expect any of our MPs to be able to be there. Number one, we had a caucus that went to about to 1230, which is pretty normal. But secondly, it was clear from parliamentary service that MPs were not being encouraged to go out of the building. We had doors locked." MP Harete Hipango had told media she was considering attending, but Collins said she did not ask. She added if anyone should have attended the protest it would have been from the government, but the decision was made to keep MPs inside and she supported it. "I think that the move was made, the decision was made, that MPs stayed inside, as did our staff, and I think that was obviously ultimately the right decision because we had no instances of real concern."
Health Minister Andrew Little admits some people are slipping through the cracks, but says he hasn't had any indication public health officials are falling behind with cases isolating at home with Covid-19. RNZ has spoken to health leaders who said in one case, a man with the virus slept in a car for six days, because he couldn't safely isolate at home. Little told Morning Report health officials have told him they're up to the task. "They certainly are under pressure because the number of people they're dealing with but, I attend the daily briefings that we get about how they're managing the volume that they've got, and they reassure us that they are coping adequately with the volume of work that they've got." He said the public health team response should be swift after positive test was recorded. "Once a positive test is returned, the public health is meant to be in contact with the person pretty much straightaway, certainly within hours, so that they can then do the triage, work out where the best place is for that person to be, can they isolate safely at home, do they need to go to an MIQ?" But he said he had not heard about the man isolating in his car and would have to get more information about the case. "There are clearly people falling through the cracks. That is unacceptable, but let's gauge the size of the problem before we ascertain what the appropriate response is to it."
The Prime Minister says she is not waiting for Covid-19 case numbers to start dropping before easing restrictions for Auckland. The government is being urged to hold off on its planned easing of the city's level three rules after daily case numbers hit a record 200 on Saturday. Cabinet has agreed in principle to move Auckland to alert level 3, step 2, at 11.59pm on Tuesday, which would see retail reopen and larger groups allowed to meet outside. Whether this will go ahead is set to be confirmed on Monday. Jacinda Ardern told Morning Report case numbers will continue to grow, but that's not the only thing government will be looking at when making decisions about restrictions. "It is not the case that we are waiting for a decline in cases in order to make step down decisions at this point. "As I've said, our goals that we've set have been around reaching 90 percent fully vaccinated before we move into our new framework, and we see an easing of restrictions. So, vaccines do play a heavy role now, and we're moving into the phase where they're starting to play a role in our decision making. "The alternative is that we reach those very high rates, but because of base numbers, we see no movement at all in restrictions. We don't see that as tenable, however, we do want to make sure we step down carefully as we go." Ardern says another factor will be Aucklanders' ability to keep following stricter rules in an extended lockdown.
Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz is asking residents to let the council know if anything has been damaged overnight after heavy rain hit the district. Three months of rain fell in 36 hours. Roads turned into lakes and there were widespread power outages as well as a number of slips. Some residents of Sponge Bay, Pouawa and Loisels in Gisborne were forced to leave their homes with emergency services having to use inflatable rescue boats for some evacuations. Stoltz told Morning Report the rain had eased but not stopped, and she wanted to hear from anyone who sees new damage after sunrise. "As you wake up this morning, reach out to the council let, us know if stuff changed overnight. We are checking but we also need your ears and eyes to let us know." She said the council was concerned about the regions basic infrastructure. "Stormwater pipes, wastewater pipes and our roads. "We are a spread out region with lots of roads, if you know State Highway 35, it is sometimes a little bit not as stable as you would like it to be and rain like this doesn't help." She said people should avoid travelling on the roads on Friday if possible.
Gisborne's rain has faded but not stopped, and it's leaving Civil Defence and Emergency Management in the area concerned about what will happen over the weekend. On Thursday residents of Sponge Bay, Pouawa and Loisels were forced to leave their homes yesterday when a month's worth of rain fell in the city in less than a day. Emergency services had to use inflatable rescue boats for some evacuations as river levels rose and there were widespread power outages. A state of emergency is still in place but a heavy rain warning has been lifted, even though the rain isn't expected to stop any time soon. Gisborne Civil Defence controller Dave Wilson told Morning Report the forecast rain over the weekend is cause for concern. "We're concerned with the ground as saturated is it as across the whole of the region that we're going to see more slips and landslides occur, and we're worried about damage to a roading network in people's homes." He said the city of Gisborne was the main area of concern. "There are a number of properties on the hillsides around Gisborne where we know that there's been significant rainfall, and some of those have had some quite decent sized slips move yesterday. "One of the things we concerned about is with this consistent rain, particularly further up the coast, what impacts that's going to have up there given they've also had significant volumes of rain up there as well." Wilson said it was too early to tell if some homes already damaged after Thursday's rain are unsalvageable, and it will depend what insurance and inspectors say.
Director-General of Health says there was no indication a person who has died while isolating at home with Covid-19 was high risk. It remains unclear whether the person died from Covid-19 or another cause. They were found dead by a family member on Wednesday. Ashley Bloomfield told Morning Report the case is being investigated, but he thinks those isolating at home are given enough support. He said a daily check-in on those people is a standard procedure. That check in is via email, but if an email from the isolating person is not received they are given a phone call.
An Auckland councillor says the passing of a person isolating at home is tragic, and as much support as possible needs to be given to those in isolation. The person was found deceased by a family member visiting on Wednesday. They had tested positive for Covid-19 on 24 October and had been isolating at home with public health oversight. Manurewa/Papakura ward councillor Daniel Newman has described it as a tragic. He told Morning Report it's an incredibly distressing time for the family. "I don't want to speculate on the circumstances of that person's passing, but I do want to pass my sympathy to that person's family." Newman said the number of people with Covid-19 isolating at home puts pressure on services in the community as it increases. "This is a very challenging time for our community. We've been grappling with increasing case numbers and the urgent need to get everyone vaccinated, but obviously, we're wanting to ensure that those people who are Covid-positive, and whānau who are affected by that diagnosis are receiving all the support they need in a community, obviously, which is complex in terms of the wider economic and social challenges that we face." He said it can't imagine how challenging it would be to be self-isolating after a Covid-19 diagnosis. "We need to ensure that people who are self-isolating can do so safely, that they have all of the support that they need." Newman said those working at the frontline are stretched handling positive cases and vaccination. "Most people in New Zealand are going to face an outbreak of Covid in their community with about 80 or 90 percent full vaccination coverage. My community in Auckland faced it with about 20 percent vaccination coverage."