Barrister of Tongan descent appointed District Court Judge in NZ

Sharkey is a barrister of Tongan-Irish descent.

She established herself as a barrister at Friendship Chambers in Manukau practicing mainly in the family law area. 

Sharkey was appointed Lead Counsel Assisting of the Pacific Peoples’ investigation in the Royal Commission of Inquiry intro Historical Abuse in Care, in early 2020.

She has been a Parole Board member since 2020, and has held various legal positions, including President of the Pacific Lawyers Association (2018-2021) and several years as Family Law Section Regional Representative (South Auckland).

All Blacks back David Havili staying in NZ after World Cup

The Nelson-born utility wants to build on the success he has had in the international arena, Super Rugby Pacific and NPC.

Havili has played 25 tests for the All Blacks, won six consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and claimed a pair of NPC titles as captain of the Tasman Makos.

"I'm very happy and grateful to be re-signing with New Zealand Rugby and I'm looking forward to the future," Havili said.

New Zealand to fund $4.8m health partnership programme for Tonga

The New Zealand government is funding a NZ$4.8 million dollar partnership programme over the next four years.

Mahuta said under the partnership, Massey University would help Tonga plan for service needs, train staff, and allocate healthcare workers to where they were most-needed.

She said New Zealand was proud to be a key partner in Tonga's health sector.

Tongan seasonal worker died defending wounded friend from gang member

Hiko Lynch, 23, was stabbed with a 24-centimetre knife, thrust upwards into his abdomen, which pierced his heart. He collapsed onto the ground where he died, in the early hours of June 20 last year.

The details of that night recorded by police have been released publicly for the first time as the gang member, Auckland man George Junior Pikaahu, 34, originally charged with murder, admitted a charge of manslaughter for his part in Lynch’s death.

Tongan body in New Zealand worried about pork law

Chairman Melino Maka said the law, if passed, would inevitably make pork products more expensive impacting Tongans as pork carcasses are commonly offered as tributes in traditional ceremonies.

Advocates said farrowing crates don't offer adequate room and it prevents mother pigs from bonding with piglets.

Maka said Pasifika community groups have not been included in public consultations.

9047 new community cases and a further 13 deaths reported in NZ

Thursday's seven-day rolling average of case numbers is 7705, down from 7935 last week.

There are 484 people in hospital with the virus - with 15 in ICU.

The 13 deaths reported yesterday included people who had died over the previous nine days, apart from two deaths on 4 April. The Ministry of Health said 723 people with Covid-19 had now died in New Zealand.

Overstayers affected by Tonga volcano eruption seeking work visas

Some parts of the island nation were completely wiped out or left largely uninhabitable when the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted, triggering a tsunami.

It’s estimated the disaster has cost Tonga $175 million or almost a quarter of its GDP.

It means that many of the roughly 2500 Tongan overstayers living in New Zealand have been left stranded and are also supporting family back home who’ve also been caught up in the Omicron outbreak.

Dan Carter takes on 24-hour kickathon for charity

Returning to Eden Park to launch his dedicated fundraising platform in association with UNICEF, the DC10 fund, Carter is taking on a 24-hour kickathon.

He is aiming to knock 1598 kicks between the posts in a period of 24 hours - matching the total number of points the first-five notched in his All Black career.

Funds raised from the event will be put toward UNICEF's water sanitation and hygiene programme for children in the Pacific.


Tonga eruption: RSE workers arrive in NZ

An Air New Zealand flight left the Tongan capital Nukua'lofa on Tuesday and arrived in Auckland with passengers and cargo from the island.

RSE official Emma Sherwood said this was the first contingent of workers - 32 of them - from the Kingdom since the volcanic eruption and tsunami more than two weeks ago.

"They are going to a number of employers in Hawke's Bay and Nelson as we come into the pip fruit harvest," Sherwood said.

"But they will likely be given the opportunity to work in other sectors and different crops that come to harvest as well."

Christchurch International Airport considering bond offer

The airport's bottom line was affected by the pandemic, as international traveller numbers fell by 95 percent.

This contributed to about $21 million in lost earnings.

Despite the various lockdowns in the past 12 months, domestic tourism fell just 6 percent to 3.6m.

Total traveller numbers through the airport fell from 5.2m in the past financial year to 3.7m.

"We spent seven years building the business back better after the earthquakes," CIAL chief executive Malcolm Johns said.