Auckland

Calls grow for Polyfest to be canned amid coronavirus fears

Last weekend's Pasifika festival was cancelled amid fears that coronavirus could be spread.

So far, Polyfest's organisers are pushing ahead with the event in Manukau, saying extra precautions were being taken.

But Auckland councillor for Manukau, Efeso Collins, said people in the community were increasingly worried.

"Yeah, it's an absolute nightmare when you organise stages to go up but I think that nightmare is liveable if you know that you are not going to have serious health effects come out of holding the Polyfest.

Auckland's Pasifika festival cancelled amid coronavirus fears

All five cases of the virus in New Zealand have been in the Auckland region.

More than 400 local and international artists were on the cards to perform at the festival, which was due to start tomorrow.

It is the second year in a row the festival has been cancelled, after last year's event was called off in the aftermath of the 15 March terrorist attack in Christchurch.

There were concerns earlier this week that it would be called off again, but it was given the all clear to go ahead on Tuesday, with authorities instead warning anyone who felt sick to stay home.

NZ Minister of Health says 'perfectly safe' to attend Pasifika,Polyfest despite coronavirus case

This is the confident response from Minister of Health David Clark after being asked if events like Pasifika and Polyfest should still go ahead, despite the announcement of New Zealand's first COVID-19 coronavirus case.

He says, "we're confident at this stage the chance of any spread into the community is very low, as long as people take the sensible precautions".

Clark says "if anyone is feeling unwell they shouldn't go to a big public event" and they should self-isolate. 

Coronavirus: First case of virus in New Zealand

The person - who is in their 60s - is in a stable and improving condition in Auckland City Hospital, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

They are a citizen of New Zealand who had been to Iran and flown back to New Zealand via Bali. 

Ardern said New Zealand's pandemic plan was now being fully put into place.

"It has been through good care and good management that New Zealand has gone through such a long period of time without having a case arriving on our shores," Ardern added.

Auckland teenager reunites with heroes who saved her

Crystal Tupou was left fighting for her life after her ex-partner stabbed her multiple times in broad daylight on Anzac Ave, in central Auckland on November 22, 2018.

Three strangers - Steve Smith, Daniel Coombe and Walker Hunt - saw the attack unfold and didn’t hesitate to run to help Crystal, undoubtedly saving her life by stopping her attacker from inflicting any more wounds and causing him to drop his weapon and flee.

One of them also administered immediate first aid.

Auckland's dry spell ends with major downpour

Rain started falling in Auckland this morning, the first time there's been more than 1mm of rain in 47 days.

Metservice meteorologist Andy Best said there was 7mm in Lincoln Park in Massey, 8.8mm in the Waitakere Ranges and 12mm at Piha this morning.

"The front is expected to move just to the east of Auckland this afternoon and then away this evening," he said.

"Just the fact that rain has fallen in excess of 1mm, making it a 'rain day' officially, doesn't mean we've had enough, by any means."

Pasifika Festival to showcase Pacific entertainment

Festival director Torise Flay says the festival stage will complement the programmes that the 11 Pasifika Villages are providing.

She said, there will be a new feature, the Festival stage, that will feature headline acts performing on Saturday and Sunday.

"Also new to the programme is Pasifika Strong that will include Pasifika Strong, Pasifika strength athletes that'll be represented in five different Pacific islands."

Pasifika Festival at Western Springs in Auckland takes place March 14 and 15.

 

     

Old fridges turned into little libraries in Auckland

Samoan architectural designer, Lei Toetu, started the not-for-profit project 'The Book Stop', so people can share and swap books.

Since launching in the suburb of Mt Roskill, there's been demand for more fridge libraries in disadvantaged parts of South Auckland, Mr Toetu said.

"There are a lot of things you can do with these types of fridges, but this is something that will benefit the whole community. It's not going to landfill and it's still being used.

"It's actually being used longer than what it was designed for."

Auckland's Pacific community celebrates new drivers

Their success came through a new programme supported by government agencies and business leaders in the city.

Pacific community churches helped to identify people who needed to learn how to drive, and those who were driving without a licence.

A ceremony marking the group's graduation was held in Mangere last week.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson said the aim of the 'Licensed for Success' programme was to help Māori and Pasifika gain employment and to reduce driving infractions.

Patient at Auckland Hospital with symptoms that fit coronavirus

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the person showing the symptoms was in Auckland Hospital and "being managed appropriately".

"The normal management of someone who is a suspected case of an infectious disease like this is that they have a special isolation room in the hospital and it has what's called negative pressure ventilation and that basically stops the possibility of the virus being carried out in the air, and the staff looking after that person follow very strict requirements around personal protection."