Stranded Passengers from Tonga Spend Two Nights at Church in Christchurch

NZ971 was operating from Tonga's Fuaʻamotu International Airport (TBU) on January 27, headed for Auckland International Airport (AKL). As extensive flooding and damage paused operations at New Zealand's largest airport, the aircraft made an unexpected detour to Christchurch International Airport (CHC).

Crusaders move pre-season game from Blenheim to Christchurch in red setting

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge confirmed on Monday morning that the match, originally scheduled for Blenheim’s Lansdowne Park on February 11, will be played “behind closed doors’’ in Christchurch.

Mansbridge said the “substantial cost of delivering this fixture at a regional venue, paired with the current Omicron situation in New Zealand and the country’s move overnight to the red traffic light setting, means hosting the fixture at its current venue is now untenable”.

Tonga repatriates from Christchurch cleared to go home

The travelers were released this week after spending 21 days in quarantine.

Sixty-seven passengers were at Makeke Quarantine Facility and 147 were at Tanoa Quarantine Facility.

According to the Chief Medical Officer, Public Health, Dr Reynold ‘Ofanoa, they followed the testing protocol.

He thanked the frontliners and the passengers for their compliance to help keep Tonga safe.  

 There have been 32 flights since Tonga began repatriation on 13 July 2020.


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Tonga toughens coronavirus ‘measures’ for repatriates after Christchurch reports cases

One of the cases had permission to go to Auckland to provide childcare and tested negative before returning to Christchurch.

The second case is a truck driver who completed deliveries around the Christchurch area and some trips to North Canterbury.

Both became unwell last week and were tested two days ago.

They returned positive Covid tests on Wednesday night.

Three households with nine close contacts have been identified.

Tonga repatriation from Christchurch planned for 27 October

CEO for MEIDECC, Paula Ma’u said that this will be a direct flight to Tonga with about 300 passengers.

The majority of the passengers are seasonal workers (RSE) from the South Island. Some are Tonga's Olympians and officials and others, he said.

Meanwhile, repatriation flights from Auckland have been deferred until further notice, due to the COVID-19 community transmission in the region.

The last repatriation flight from New Zealand to Tonga was in July


Photo file  Caption: Fua'amotu International Airport      

Christchurch Rotarians help stranded Tonga Olympics team

This has been a great success, with people from many Rotary clubs throughout Christchurch donating.

While some of the team managed to clear Auckland and return to Tonga before the lockdown four of the team were unable to leave because of the lockdown.

They must now wait to return home until flights resume, hopefully on the next repatriation flight on 20 October.

This has left them in a very difficult situation with them totally dependent on the generosity of their friends to help provide their accommodation and living costs.

Christchurch won't host any 2023 football World Cup games

FIFA has cofirmed New Zealand's host cities are: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.

Australia and New Zealand will jointly host the 32-team tournament with 12 cities from both countries having bid to host games.

The 64 games will be split between the two countries with the tournament opener at Auckland's Eden Park while Sydney will host the final.

Nine cities will host games, Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Dunedin, Hamilton, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington.

New Zealand assault victim's family unable to visit from Tonga

Nineteen-year-old Leni Taufateau suffered a fractured skull after he was punched in an unprovoked attack by another male causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the pavement.

The attack took place in the early hours of Sunday morning and Taufateau remains in hospital.

His friend, Eddy Sunia, told the New Zealand Herald there have been lots of prayers coming from Tonga and it hasn't been easy for his parents.

He said it's been hard with the Covid-19 situation, but everyone is sending messages of support with his recovery.

Seasonal workers to return on Tonga repatriation flight from Christchurch

The passengers will be made up of 25 females and 116 males.

The National Emergency Management Committee (NEMC) met Monday afternoon at Makeke Camp and confirmed the number of the passengers.

All returning passengers will be escorted to Makeke Camp at Vaini, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

In the meantime, NEMC is planning to bring the next repatriation flight from Auckland, New Zealand as well as the first repatriation flight from Brisbane, Australia by the end of next month.


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Wallabies using secret wall-knocks to communicate in Christchurch hotel

The Wallabies are bedded down in quarantine in a Christchurch hotel although it’s not as restrictive as in Australia, with the players allowed out at times through the day into a garden area as long as they are masked and practice social distancing.

They eat all their meals in their rooms and apart from their laptops and phones for entertainment, some unlucky players have been given watt bikes while others are making do with exercise bands and pull-up bars.