New Zealand

Tonga and NZ sign agreement on quarantine certification of foods

Tonga Ministry of Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding that covers the quarantine certification of food taken into New Zealand.

Head of Biosecurity New Zealand Roger Smith said the agreement meant Tongan passengers would bypass long queues in quarantine when they landed in New Zealand.

He said Tonga posed a low biosecurity risk to New Zealand.

The Ministry’s CEO, Dr. Viliami Manu, said the MOU showed Biosecurity New Zealand trusted Tongan quarantine officers to carry out the certification process.

Heavy snowfall blankets New Zealand's South Island

MetService warned heavy snow from overnight and carrying into this morning, at Central Otago, Southland and Fiordland, may disrupt travel and could damage trees and powerlines.

The cold conditions may also cause stress for livestock, MetService said on its website.

The weather agency stated snowfall may hit warning amounts above 500m in inland Dunedin and North Otago.

Fiordland, Westland south of Otira and Otago Headwaters and Canterbury Lakes and rivers are also expecting heavy rain today.

PNG fall to NZ on Day 5

However, they still went on to top off Group A with a 4-0 win over Papua New Guinea yesterday afternoon.

New Zealand managed the change in conditions and stadium well – all things – considered although their opponents were much more at home climate-wise.

After having their bench completely obliterated by suspensions following the match against Tahiti, Papua New Guinea were left with just two substitutes, including reserve keeper Baxter Morris, for their game against the defending champions.

New Zealand thump Tonga 14-0

Hoping to deliver another solid performance like their opening 45 against Papua New Guinea, Tonga came out buoyant and ready to deliver.

However the mood quickly turned when keeper Sionela Lui slipped, allowing Robert Tipelu to finish into an empty net in the 15th minute.

Conceding such an unfortunate early goal seemed to dampen Tongan spirits and it was all downhill from there for the Polynesian side as they struggled to hold up to the onslaught from their more experienced opponents.

Push to unite Pacific businesses in New Zealand

In September they will launch the Tonga Business Network with a goal to establish other Pacific business networks as well.

Their work follows an economic strategy put in place by the New Zealand government to grow Pacific businesses.

The Pacific economic strategy 6 year plan launched in 2015 aims to see more sustainable Pacific-owned businesses in the country and increase their access to mentors and business networks.

SBN's Co-founder Laura Keil-Hall said the goal is to create a wider Pacific Business Network within New Zealand.

Alo Ngata’s friends speak highly of him

Alo Ngata, 29, died in Auckland Hospital three days after a fracas with police as they tried to arrest him following an incident on Sunday afternoon in Freemans Bay.

Police allege Ngata violently attacked a 76-year-old, kicking him five or six times in the head and rendering him unconscious.

He then blocked police from getting to the injured pensioner and advanced on officers in a threatening manner.

Police Tasered Ngata several times but he continued to resist them.

It took four officers to restrain him.

NZ giving FFA major grant to help stop illegal fishing

This funding, signed over last Thursday, will be used by the FFA to improve catch documentation schemes for the agency's members over the next five years.

The FFA deputy director general, Matthew Hooper, said this project would help members to access high value export markets while tackling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

Mr Hooper said it aimed to ensure the member countries could maintain market access, by improving traceability along supply chains through the integration of fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance systems.

NZ's foreign minister announces next steps in 'Pacific reset' aid strategy

When the coalition government came to power last year, it announced a so-called Pacific reset to New Zealand's foreign policy, and this year's budget saw a surge in funds for the foreign ministry.

In a speech on Friday, Winston Peters announced what he called the next steps in that reset, saying his eyes were wide open to "New Zealand's decreasing influence" in the Pacific.

Mr Peters said New Zealand is looking to redefine its spending by partnering with others in projects which last for 50 years or longer, pointing to support for a Kiribati land reclamation project.

New Zealand and Tonga agree NZ$8m support to education, justice and policy reform in Tonga

The New Zealand High Commissioner, Tiffany Babington and the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa signed three agreements for NZ$8 million to support these priorities Tuesday.

Under the NZ$3 million 2-year Tonga Education Support activity, New Zealand will partner with the Tonga Ministry of Education and Training to raise the professional capability of teachers and principals.

Tonga wants 'grudge match' with Kiwis

After Tonga's 38-22 victory over Toa Samoa in Saturday's Pacific Test in Sydney, Woolf also reiterated his call for a Test this year against Australia.

"The game that we really need to have on a regular basis is us versus New Zealand. It's a grudge match. We've obviously got plenty of blokes who played for New Zealand and play for us now and that adds to the grudge match," Woolf said.