New Zealand

Microsoft to explore buying TikTok's New Zealand operations

US President Donald Trump says the US government should get a "substantial portion" of the sales price of the US operations of TikTok and warned he will ban the service in the United States on September 15 without a sale.

The turnaround came after Trump said he was planning to ban the Chinese-owned video app's US operations as soon as Saturday after dismissing a possible sale to Microsoft.

Reuters reported last week that some investors are valuing TikTok at about $US50 billion, citing people familiar with the matter.

Former All Blacks star Julian Savea reveals plans for future in New Zealand rugby

Savea has joined his Hurricanes teammates in camp, following his return to the franchise. The last time the man nicknamed ‘The Bus’ played for them was in the 2018 semi-final against the Crusaders.

He spent the last two European rugby seasons with Toulon in the French Top 14, before departing in March.

Savea says he initially reached out to the Canes when returning to New Zealand, who hold a special place in his heart having spent his entire provincial career in Wellington.

“I would love to [stay], but it’s out of my hands at the moment,” he said.

Gymnasts laid complaints about alleged abuse

Multiple gymnasts and coaches individually laid complaints with Gymnastics New Zealand (GNZ) about the actions of a coach brought in from the USA for an international training camp, RNZ understands.

Complaints ranged from verbal abuse - which resulted in the elite athletes hiding from the coach to avoid continuing training - through to dangerous training methods in which one gymnast fell on her head and gymnasts being told to train against medical advice.

Body of deceased Tongan nurse to return home on repatriation flight from New Zealand

Pafilio ‘Amato was in Auckland for treatment while battling cancer but he died on Wednesday, 29 August.

His family announced the news in a Facebook post.

“Pafilio was tormented by cancer illness for few months and today He is desire to depart and be with the Lord, which is better by far. Hundreds of families and friends are heartbreaking by your gone but we do sure you are in a better place of no more pain!” the post read.

Amato who worked at Vaiola Hospital was 30 years old.

Doctors, civil servants, RSE workers and patients priority on first flight from Auckland to Tonga

Health CEO Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said passengers would include doctors, nurses, police, soldiers, public servants including one Government CEO, who all remain on the government pay roll.

They were  being given priority because they were  needed in Tonga to support the repatriation work.

Kaniva News reports seasonal workers who are experiencing social issues and stranded travelers would also be included.

Tongans with health problems who had been treated in New Zealand were also considered.

Tongan RSE workers to finally get flight home

The first plane load of Tongan seasonal workers being repatriated from New Zealand is due to leave on Tuesday and those travelling needed to show at departure they were free of the coronavirus.

The liaison for the Tongan RSE workers, Sefita Hao'uli, said there would be up to 70 workers, among a total of 140 going home.

He said there were about 1700 other Tongan RSE workers remaining, but the people chosen for this flight had the most pressing cases.

Second repatriation flight from New Zealand scheduled for 4 August

The flight is expected to bring about 150 nationals.

The list of confirmed passengers includes medical staff, diplomats, members of the armed forces, police officers, civil servants, students, seasonal workers and others.

CEO for Health Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said that passengers are required to be tested for COVID-19 three days prior to departure.

“The COVID-19 test must be negative and all passengers are also required to wear masks and gloves on board.”

New Zealand increasing Defence diplomatic presence in the Pacific

“New Zealand has a longstanding defence relationship with Tonga, dating back to World War I, when Tongan citizens served in the Māori and Regular Battalions in the New Zealand Army,” said Ron Mark.  

“Our close and multi-faceted defence partnership, which was recognised in the Statement of Partnership that we signed with Tonga last year, is underpinned by these historical ties and strong people-to-people links. 

Three new cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today

There are now 25 active cases in New Zealand, all in quarantine.

Two of today's new cases were in managed isolation in Waikato and the third in Canterbury.

The first case is a man in his 30s who arrived in New Zealand on 14 July from Afghanistan flying via Doha, while the other Waikato case is another man in his 30s who arrived on the same day on a fight from Pakistan via Dubai.

Both positive results were from day three tests. The two men - and the family of one of them - have been transferred from Waikato to the Auckland quarantine facility.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern outlines what's next in COVID-19 response

Jacinda Ardern has laid out Cabinet's plan this morning for if Covid-19 manages to slip through the border and break out in the community.

Speaking at Parliament, she said if community cases emerged, the government would impose restrictions locally or regionally in the first instance, rather than nationwide.

"Our priority will be to control any cases with the least intrusive measures, and over the smallest area we can," she said.