Eighty-five percent of cooks’ GDP is generated by tourism. Photo / 123RFI doesn’t intend to look like a Grinch, but the weekend Cook Islands travel bubble announcement was a hot wind, an announcement when you don’t. An empty gesture that does not take us further: is the government ready to go? No, do we have a launch date for the Cooks? No, should we already be traveling without quarantine with the Cooks? Absolutely. It’s a shame that friends and family between the Cooks and New Zealand can’t see each other for Christmas, it’s also an affront to the Cook economy, that Wellington is dragging the channel on what should have been be a quick win. Eighty-five percent of cooks’ GDP is generated by tourism. Before Covid in New Zealand, the direct and indirect impact of tourism accounted for 10 percent of our GDP. There is actually little geographic difference between trips to cooks. Whether you’re an Aucklander heading to Stewart Island or traveling from Christchurch to Chathams, what makes Rarotonga so difficult? Is there really a big world of difference? All we know from this joint statement is that we are now aiming to start traveling without quarantine by the end of March next year, and it looks like their next steps will actually be getting started. , non-quarantine trips will only apply to Cook Islanders wishing to travel to New Zealand, and both trips without quarantine will follow at some point. This joint statement is as clear as mud. This is Labor’s preferred approach to bubble updates. Stay opaque, imprecise and ambiguous: the prospect of traveling without quarantine with Australia remains even more hazy. Pea soup, where is the verve? Where’s the resolution? Where is the impetus to move to reconnection with our neighbors without Covid? Where are the specific dates so that people can actually plan their lives and make arrangements? When can we start dreaming again? This joint statement on cooks might sound hopeful to you, but it is of little use. .
Stonehenge Aotearoa is a full-scale adaptation of Stonehenge – and a stargazer’s paradise. Photo / Stonehenge Aotearoa.
While previously redundant tourist destinations are becoming more attractive and accessible to the average Kiwi with international borders closed, that doesn’t mean we won’t be competing for space in the busy summer months. Everyone has the same agenda, which means it’s also time to consider alternatives. Of course, there are some experiences – like traversing the volcanic landscape of Tongariro Crossing, or having a cool drink at Hobbiton’s Green Dragon Inn – that just can’t be duplicated.
But others can. If you do a little research, you’ll find that many of New Zealand’s popular attractions have lesser-known partners and are often cheaper. Here are six close siblings of some must-do activities in the country.
Dig your private spa in the sand
An hour south of Raglan, Kawhia is a quiet seaside village with a harbor full of peas, oysters and mussels. It’s also where you’ll find one of the lesser known hot spring beaches. (Yes, there is more than one.)
The drill is exactly the same as in the Coromandel. At low tide, drive to the end of Ocean Beach Rd, where you’ll find a black, soulless beach above. You have to bring your own shovel. Watch for signs of steam rising from the sand and start digging. Once you reach the hot springs of Te Puia Springs, soak in the knowledge that somewhere across the island, lots of people are screaming for the same thing.
Try one of the world’s best burgers
Oh, Fergburger. Even if you’ve never seen the queues for this Queenstown institution, you’ve probably read blog posts or articles all about the burgers: how juicy the meat is, how tender the bread is and how amazing it is. it’s open for almost 21 hours a day.
What they don’t get romantic about, however, is how long you have to wait in line. If you are too hungry to wait in line, all you need to do is head over to the Devil Burger. Offering a similar product, at the same price, that is what the locals are for.
Find kiwi in the wild
Thanks to its remote location and difficult sea crossings to get there, Rakiura (Stewart Island) remains relatively flawless compared to other popular tourist destinations. However, it is still struggling under the load of attractive visitors; pre-pandemic, about 44,000 people were visited per year. That’s about 111 tourists for each resident.
The island’s main attraction is the rare opportunity to see kiwis in the wild. It’s home to around 13,000 of New Zealand’s 68,000 kiwi, and the subspecies that live here can sometimes even be seen during the day for insects by the beach.
The catch? If seeing kiwi is your only goal, travel long distances without the guarantee you’ll see it.
Alternatively, there are a number of fenced predator-free shelters on the North Island and South Island that offer nighttime kiwi tours, including Wellington’s Zealandia and Waikato’s Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. But the two hour tour presents a very limited window of time for viewing elusive birds, which is why it is so worthwhile to spend a night on Kāpiti Island.
This predator-free island is home to around 1,400 tiny looking kiwis, presenting one of the most reliable opportunities to spot them. Starting at $ 395 per adult ($ 230 per child), Kāpiti Island Nature Tours kiwi-sightseeing packages include transportation, accommodation in a glamping tent or cabin, and guided night tours.
Hike one of New Zealand’s iconic walks
When Lonely Planet released its Ultimate Travel List earlier this month, 13 Kiwi destinations qualified, with Fiordland National Park topping the 29th position.Most visitors opt to take a boat tour through Milford Sound, but that area came first. undeniably the Milford Track. One of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks, dubbed “the world’s best walk,” takes hikers through valleys carved by glaciers, past ancient rainforests and cascading waterfalls.
However, its reputation means it’s expensive (the hut costs $ 70 per person per night alone) and very difficult to book. Earlier this year, spots on track for the 2020-2021 season were almost sold out within 10 minutes of opening the booking system.
However, even though there are only 10 “Great Streets” in New Zealand, there are dozens of “great roads.”
The closest connection to the Milford Track is the Gillespie Pass Circuit, a 58 km loop best suited for experienced hikers with river crossing skills. Located near Mount Aspiring National Park, it also takes four days, reaches an altitude of 1,600 meters, and has serviced lodges along the way. And on publication, reservations are still available for the hut (only $ 20) during the holiday period.
Experience the magic of collecting glowworms
Waitomo is not the only place where large numbers of glowworms gather. For a cheap and fun version of the same, you can head to the DOC-run Waipū Caves in Northland, which are completely free to access.
If you don’t want to stray far from Waitomo and be in it for glowworms (not caves) sign up for the Lake District Adventures night kayaking tour ($ 109). On a four hour sunset excursion, you will paddle along the shores of Lake Karapiro. As dark falls, you’ll drift silently on the Pokaiwhenua Stream, your path only lighted by glow worms. The effect is very subtle, and with fewer people, your oar hitting the water is the only sound you’ll hear.
Stargazing in the Dark Sky Nature Reserve
Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is an area known for its low levels of light pollution and many nights with bright stars. Currently, it may be the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – but it won’t last long. Wairarapa is currently preparing to become the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve, a designation which is expected to come later this year.
This is where you can experience some of the most unique and personalized astronomy tours in the country. For example, Becky Bateman of the local Under the Stars will bring her telescope straight to your accommodation. Then there’s Stonehenge Aotearoa, a full-scale adaptation of Stonehenge. If you show up on Friday or Saturday at 8:30 p.m., you’ll have the opportunity to look through the telescope and learn how the structure works. General admission is $ 15.
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com
Whatever happens between 18 and 19 October at the IGP Sindh House, followed by a revolt within the top Sindh police in solidarity with their commander, IGP Mushtaq Mehar, will have far-reaching political and administrative consequences, despite Prime Minister Imran Khan calling it. ‘comedy’ and non-problems.
Two high-level investigations are underway, one by the army at the direction of Army Commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the other by the Sindh government ministerial committee. The recent developments regarding the loss of 22 hours and the return of Geo News senior reporter Ali Imran also raise a lot of questions and it is great that Prime Minister Imran Khan has set up a joint fact-finding committee, led by the Additional Director of the FIA, to investigate the matter. It is too early to say what the motive behind Ali Imran’s alleged kidnapping is, but if it is related to the ‘latest news’ on CCTV. [closed-circuit television] The recording of the arrest of Capt (ret) PML-N Muhammad Safdar, can provide a new perspective on the events of 18-19 October. It will be interesting to see how far the prime minister’s committee will go.
Home Minister Brig (ret.) Ejaz Shah’s statement that IGP Sindh was not kidnapped, but that she got out in her own car also seems quite intriguing, as the issue is not how she got out but whether she left of her own accord or was asked by someone or called.
There are two or three main problems involved. (1) Intra-institutional conflict. (2) Unprecedented police rebellion and (3) Political consequences. One thing is certain that this problem will not just subside. Several hotel employees as well as those present at the IGP Building were also questioned by other committees.
Sources said a top-level investigation would look into these three aspects while a ministerial committee would also go into detail about the local leadership role of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and whether the federal government was right behind the whole episode. or not.
But Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday, in an interview with a local TV channel, tried to downplay the Sindh IGP incident and did not appear to be taking it seriously.
“I’m sure it’s a comedy. Come to think of it, I’m laughing,” he said when asked about his reaction to the alleged abduction of IGP Sindh.
IGP Sindh Mushtaq Mehar, a 22-class officer, generally enjoyed a good reputation even among those who were important, but he also had a reputation as a weak administrator. So, it is important to know what really went wrong in the early hours of 19 October that he decided to take a leave of absence in protest against humiliation, and who exactly forced him to arrest Capt Safdar and register the FIR. Who is in a hurry and why, knows very well that it is a matter of routine.
Sources said reports indicated that when the IGP did not respond to all the important phone calls in the early hours of 19 October, several officials were sent to the IGP Building to confirm the ‘action’.
It is not yet certain whether IGP recorded his statement or not about the incident and about the telephone call, followed by an action at his official residence. This in itself determines who is suspected of suppressing it and why.
Another aspect of the investigation will become more important and it will be the collective reaction of top Sindh police as more than 60 police officers including IGP additions decided to go on leave.
Meanwhile the military investigation will look into the circumstances that lead to a situation where IGP Sindh Mushtaq Mehar and other senior police officers went on a silent strike and IGP refused to go to his office.
The probe will also investigate the uprising and whether it was a natural reaction from top police officials or politically motivated, as several federal ministers and government spokesmen have alleged.
All of this makes the final outcome of the investigation even more significant. The reaction from the Sindh police is said to be unprecedented in the province’s history, but several federal ministers including Information Minister Shibli Faraz suspect alleged fraud from Bilawal House and the Sindh government.
Surprisingly, the Sindh government is not dealing with the matter with the Sindh Public Security Commission itself, which is supposed to investigate the matter under the Police Order Amendment, 2017. Instead, it has set up a ministerial committee, consisting of four ministers and an advisor. .
The third is the political aspect of the whole event. First of all, there is no denying the fact that there is a law on the sanctity of Mazar-e-Quaid, which includes a clause where political slogans in place fall under the law. Thus, it is the best way for Capt (retired) Safdar and Maryam Nawaz to apologize once they find out about the law.
Second, the police station concerned should have registered the FIR without much hesitation under the Mazar Sanctity Act. Everyone ordered under the relevant law can get a guarantee within a few hours.
The local PTI leadership overreacted and tried to take political distance out of the situation and ultimately succeeded in a way that since then the whole debate has revolved around Mazhar-e-Quaid and Captain Safdar rather than a public meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). So, attention was completely diverted.
Despite the fact that the complaint itself was a declared offender, he was not even present at Mazar at the time of the incident. Thus, it would be better if the police register the case on the application filed by the Mazar-e-Quaid Committee.
What happened next made bad things even worse. The PTI regional leadership wanted to use the event as a counter attack against the PDM, especially against Maryam Nawaz and to politicize all issues, and succeeded in turning all cases into debates, not jalsah and PDM speeches.
Ideally, had the original 2002 Police Warrant been enacted, we would not have faced the police problems as witnessed recently, both in Punjab and Sindh. There are so many checks and balances in the statute that it won’t allow for the kind of disruption that recently happened. In Punjab, five IGPs have been modified and have sometimes caused tensions among police officers.
Finally, the Supreme Court has stipulated rules regarding policing in general and the placement and transfer of IGPs, and the placement of terms of office especially in the case of the Khowaja Army.
Anything that is supposed to happen with one IGP today can happen to another IGP tomorrow. Intra-institutional conflict or interference in each other’s domains will only bring bad name and impact especially in a province, where law and order are guarded not only by the police, but also by paramilitary police and other security services.
The authors are senior columnists and analysts at Geo, The News and Jang.
The government today announced its first Covid-19 vaccine purchase agreement. What does it mean? Science reporter Jamie Morton explain.
What has been announced?
A deal that will provide New Zealand with about 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccines – or enough for 750,000 people.
But it is up to the vaccine makers – Pfizer and BioNTech – to successfully complete Phase III clinical trials, and pass regulatory approval here.
All is well, the vaccine could be shipped to New Zealand in the first quarter of next year, said Minister for Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods.
“Pfizer says they are making good progress with the development of the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.
“Depending on clinical and regulatory success, and provided the vaccine is approved for use here in New Zealand by Medsafe, it is likely that multiple doses will be available to us in the first part of 2021.”
What is the vaccine?
Global drug giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech are behind a group of candidates – BNT162b2 – who are among the pioneers in the worldwide vaccine race.
Research so far has shown that this virus boosts antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
T-cells are white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while antibodies are able to neutralize the virus so that they cannot infect cells when they are first infected.
Overall, you have a strong shield against the coronavirus.
As an RNA vaccine, this vaccine works by bringing genetic material into cells, before being encoded for specific proteins from the virus.
As of this week, the vaccine is in its third and final Phase III trial at more than 120 locations around the world, with 28,000 people having been given a second dose.
This month, the two companies launched rolling submissions to the European Medicines Agency, while Health Canada has begun a real-time review of its candidates.
Is this the only vaccine we can use?
Professor Helen Petousis-Harris, University of Auckland vaccination specialist, said today’s announcement marks the first – and not the last, purchase agreement.
“There are still others on the table too,” he said.
Australia, for example, has signed an agreement to mass-produce the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca virus vector vaccine, ChAdOx1-S, also in Phase III trials.
It was shown to trigger a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination – and an antibody response within 28 days.
Like the influenza injections we are more used to, this is a viral vector vaccine, and uses a chunk of the pathogen to effectively stimulate an immune response against it.
Petousis-Harris said another pioneer was the LNP-encapsulated mRNA vaccine developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Massachusetts-based Moderna.
This month, eight groups received 17 vaccines in Phase III.
It is widely expected that the first vaccine will start rolling out at the end of the second quarter, or early third quarter, of 2021.
“So we hope it will be the middle of next year where we really start to see a vaccine available,” he said.
“But [the Pfizer-BioNTech candidate] potentially arriving a little earlier than that. “
How does this fit into New Zealand’s strategy?
The government says this complements other parts of our broader and recently launched vaccine strategy, such as the global Covax Facility which can provide for up to 50 percent of our population’s needs.
It’s allocating hundreds of millions of dollars – won’t reveal exactly how much, for commercial reasons – to take the Kiwis and our Pacific neighbors as far as possible.
“The primary objective of our portfolio approach is to ensure we have flexibility and choice when it comes to securing the right vaccine for New Zealand and our Pacific neighbors,” said Woods.
The task force executing the strategy is now negotiating with other pharmaceutical companies, with further announcements expected next month.
Woods said “good progress” was being made on the deal, and having additional deals would ensure enough vaccines were available for the entire country.
There are concerns at a high level over New Zealand’s gaining early access.
One recently released Cabinet paper since August indicated that the Government is concerned that New Zealand’s COVID-19-free status and good health could mean it would not be prioritized if global priorities and allocations were simply left to needs assessments.
It recommends that New Zealand needs to provide “significant resources early on to help secure access to vaccines”.
Having a series of advance purchase agreements means potential access to a number of vaccine candidates, but it does not guarantee access to vaccines, as “it is likely that the majority of candidates considered will not be viable”.
Such prepayments cannot be recovered once they have been paid.
Determining the cost of the upfront agreement would be difficult, money had to be allocated to get started, the document said.
It is expected that early delivery of the vaccine costs between $ 75 and $ 150 per dose when slower delivery can cost less than $ 15.
So, who might get the vaccine first?
The call has yet to be made, but the Ministry of Health is working on what the immunization program should look like.
“A number of factors will influence who will receive what vaccine and when, such as data on trials of the suitability of each vaccine for a particular age group,” said Health Minister Chris Hipkins.
“We have set aside $ 66.3 million for medical supplies and infrastructure to ensure New Zealand is ready to launch the Covid-19 Immunization Program as soon as we have a safe and effective vaccine.
“Most of this investment will finance supplies sufficient to support the countries of New Zealand and the Pacific; supplies such as PPE, syringes, syringes and swabs, and refrigerators to store vaccines.”
What about local vaccine production?
It happened too.
About $ 3 million in Government funding will go to Kiwi biotech company Biocell to upgrade its facilities so that it can launch 100 million doses.
Other Kiwi consortiums have been exploring potential candidates of their own – such as the inactivated vaccine approach led by Professor Miguel Quiñones-Mateu of the University of Otago, and a recombinant spike protein vaccine under development at the University of Victoria’s Dr Davide Comoletti laboratory – over the past few years. month.
And a local company has secured $ 3.3 million in private funding to go ahead with a Covid-19 vaccine made with Kiwi technology.
The Covid-19 Vaccine Corporation (CVC), which was founded in May, has collaborated with the University of Auckland, Callaghan Innovation, and the research institute Scion, in an effort to independently develop a local coronavirus agent.
The company aims to complete its first human trials of the new vaccine by the end of next year, at a cost of about $ 8 million.
– Additional reporting – RNZ
A star who was fired from the showtime hit series “The Chi” which was also featured in the Academy Award nominated film “Straight Outta Compton” has been arrested on drug and weapons charges on the Mississippi coast.
Jason Mitchell, who played Brandon Johnson in the first two seasons of the cable series, was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop in Gulfport, County Sheriff Troy Troy Peterson said in a news release. Mitchell was released Wednesday night after posting a $ 150,000 bail guarantee.
The deputy searched the Mitchell SUV and found about 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms) of cannabis wrapped in a separate package along with a bag of 1,300 units of Ecstasy dosage, Peterson said. The deputy also found an AK-47 firearm and a 9mm Glock pistol with a long magazine, he said.
The prison record does not indicate whether he has a lawyer who can comment.
A representative for the actor told TMZ, “News stories move quickly and often without all the facts. This misunderstanding will be resolved soon. We believe that the blind justice system will protect Jason’s rights and allow him to tell his story. “
Mitchell, 33, from New Orleans, faces many allegations, including possession of substances controlled with the intent to distribute and possess firearms by criminals.
Mitchell won critical acclaim for his role as rapper Eazy-E in “Straight Outta Compton,” the story of the rise of rap group N.W.A., as well as for his work in “Mudbound” in 2017.
The third season of “The Chi,” a drama about life in the neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, was planned without Mitchell, who was fired amid accusations of violation. Details have not yet been revealed about what he allegedly did, although the show’s creator, Lena Waithe, made some mention of sexual harassment in an 2019 interview on the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club.”
He was also expelled from several other projects including the upcoming Netflix film “Desperado,” amid allegations of violations.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mitchell had previously denied unspecified accusations and said the #MeToo movement had been used as a “really ugly weapon” against him.