New Zealand

Wallabies confirmed to be based in Christchurch ahead of Bledisloe I

The Chateau on the Park, which overlooks Hagley Park near the central city, will be used as the Wallabies’ base as they prepare for the test against the All Blacks at Sky Stadium on October 11.

A spokesperson for Chateau on the Park confirmed the Wallabies would stay at the picturesque venue. The squad is expected to arrive this week, possibly Friday.

It’s also understood the squad will train at the Linwood club, of which All Blacks first five-eighth Richie Mo’unga is a member, about 8km away from the Chateau on the Park.

Call for NZ to turn to Pacific for more seasonal workers

The chair of the PCF, John Fiso, said New Zealand could provide financial support for Pacific people who were suffering because their economies were tanking, while also ensuring the valuable fruit crop was harvested.

One estimate is that New Zealand is 60,000 workers short this season.

Fiso said he could understand the government's wish that unemployed New Zealanders step in, but he said there were also other issues to consider.

Covid-19 alert level restrictions extended across New Zealand

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland will remain at level 2.5 and the rest of the country at level 2.

Cabinet will review Auckland's alert level settings on Monday 21st September.

"With a view to increase gathering limits for Auckland if we are in a similar position of containing the cluster, if the change is agreed on, it will come into effect on the 23rd of September," says Ardern.

Tonga receives humanitarian supplies from New Zealand

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Tonga, Tiffany Babington handed over supplies worth NZD$170,000 to the Minister for MEIDECC, Poasi Tei last week.

The supplies include 100 family tents and 500 hygiene kits.

They were donated under the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

In April this year, Tropical Cyclone Harold damaged 896 houses. 42 of those houses were completely destroyed in Tongatapu and ‘Eua and part of the supplies will be distributed to these families

Tongan communities in NZ acknowledge theme during Covid-19

Fakakoloa 'o Aotearoa 'aki 'a e Lotu Mo'oni, which translates to enriching Aotearoa New Zealand through prayer and faith, was a theme decided upon by the Tongan language week committee in September 2019.

For Dr. Linita Manu'atu, chairperson of the committee, said the term Lotu Mo'oni is more about God's spirit in us.

"With that spirit, people worship God in spirit and in truth and practice God's commandment, that is, love God with all your heart and love your neighbours as you love yourself," she explained.

Giant wasp nest in NZ took two years to reach final size

The nest, originally the size of a two-person tent, was discovered in the Karekare beach area of the regional park.

Hanging high in a tree, the nest is built from a collection of sticks, bark and leaves.

Auckland Council said it would have been home to tens of thousands of wasps.

The nest is believed to have been expanding for up to two years to its final size of about 1m x 2m x 2.5m.

Two new Covid-19 cases reported in New Zealand today

There was no media conference today.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said both of today's new cases had an epidemiological link to an existing case and they were both associated with the bereavement events sub-cluster that was linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group.

The ministry said one of the new cases is a student at Sunnyvale School in Henderson.

Pacific church leader calls for balance after Mt Roskill breach revelations

The church is in the spotlight after it emerged prayer meetings were held during Auckland's alert level three.

Secretary of the Tongan Interfaith Leadership Network, Sione Tu'itahi, says the health of Pacific communities is important.

“I understand how important it is for the Pacific community and their spiritual well being. I think it’s about striking the balance of sustaining our wellbeing, whether it’s physical or spiritual, as well as obedience to the rules and regulations, which is about the safety and wellbeing of everyone.”

Six new cases in NZ today, four in community

In a statement, the Ministry of Health says one of the imported cases was a man in his 20s who arrived from the Philippines on 3 September and was at a managed isolation facility when he tested positive on day 3 of his stay.

The other is a female in her late teens who arrived on the same flight from the Philippines and also tested positive on day three, it says.

Enriching Aoteara with the ‘Lotu Mo’oni’ highlights unification of Tonga

Tongan academic and former MP, Dr Sitiveni Halapua, says it was the missionaries' support and advice that made a huge impact on shaping Tonga’s political formation and system.

“Tonga moved very fast. Their constitution was written by the Prime Minister Shirley Baker and other missionaries in 1875 after being declared a Christian nation by Taufa’ahau, who was later crowned as King George Tupou," says Halapua.     

“It made bigger nations like German and the British recognise Tonga as a civilized country and a sovereign nation.