Tag Archives: Podcast

Boed Stranded in a ‘terrible’ situation begging for New Zealand’s help | Instant News

Hundreds of boaties who were stranded in the Pacific submitted humanitarian requests to be allowed to take refuge in New Zealand from the dangerous hurricane season.

Ships in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia.
Photo: RNZ / Karoline Tuckey

Usually hundreds of small yachts sail here from the South Pacific every year to wait for the typhoon season, from September to May.

But this year, with the border closed because of a pandemic, they were stranded everywhere.

Guy Chester is moored on the island of Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia, and is increasingly anxious, when windows are closed for cruises to travel here – he says they only have a few more weeks, and still need planning and application time.

He has appealed to the New Zealand government since April to make the process of freeing the border for those who use small cruise ships in the Pacific to come to New Zealand before the cyclone season begins.

There is only room for very few cruise ships to live in protected areas on the Islands, he said, and described it as “the Russian Roulette game”, with each new cyclone risking cruise ships and the lives of people on board.

“The entire fleet is very worried and afraid of being trapped in the South Pacific, a hurricane can have 70, 90, 120, 150 wind knots – that is 200 to 300 kilometers of wind per hour.”

Chester is the Rear Commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club, which has members from many countries, mostly from Australia and Europe.

He said its members did not have rich superyachts – the length of the ship ranged from 7 to 20 meters, and was unable to ride the typhoon at sea.

He listed around 200 crew members who were eager to come to New Zealand – around 1,000 people, but thought there were at least 100 crew members above that.

Gillian Hall is moored at Marquesas in French Polynesia as well, with her husband and 17-year-old son.

California visas expire soon, so they hope to leave soon, but cannot reach most destinations before the typhoon is due – and they are worried.

“There is no very good choice, we can go to Hawaii, but now it is hurricane season there,” he said.

Fiji has a long application process, costs more than $ 1,000 just to implement, and they also risk sailing to the typhoon if they are headed in that direction. And Australia is 4000 kilometers away from New Zealand.

“Or we could just leave our home – that is definitely a possibility, but no one will do it, whether their home is on land or if their ship is their home.

“For us, we feel the situation is terrible.”

Hall said without a cruise they would lose their homes and effectively become refugees.

Chris Galbraith is chairman of the NZ Maritime Operations Association and general manager in the first place 70 percent of small yachts arrive, when they come to New Zealand – Marina Bay Islands. He has supported the application for Ocean Cruising Club.

He said the first arrival sites were well equipped to accept small cruise ships, and he was sure they could be monitored for safe quarantine on their own ships in the marina of New Zealand.

This situation is a humanitarian problem that the New Zealand government should not do – if it does then it will be a party to what happens next, Galbraith said.

“We all sincerely hope that the government will see that this is low risk, that we can manage the border situation well, and then we can bring these people in.”

He also pointed out that cruise ships bring in income for some coastal communities, and the country’s reputation can be seriously damaged if we don’t open borders for those who need “on time”.

“New Zealand has been seen as a safe place for cruise ships for a long time, this is a dream to enter this part of the world, and we are seen as a safe place to enter – it is a very important brand image, our sea trade sector.

A New Zealand spokesman for Maritime said the agency hoped the government would handle the issue ahead of the typhoon season.

“The essence of this work is to reduce the number of small crafts in the South Pacific during the typhoon season, thereby minimizing the need for search and rescue efforts in the region,” he said.

Chester said a clear application process must be made, but cruises will comply with quarantine rules.

“The criteria for ‘humanitarian and coercive needs’ must be set immediately, and there needs to be a policy decision that is a humanitarian need and is urgent for cruise ships to be able to seek protection in New Zealand from the southern Pacific hurricane season.”

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the process, and said they are “developing guidelines for the category of ‘humanitarian and other urgent needs’; this will be published on the website after completion.”

At present every foreign ship must submit an application to the Director General of Health for approval to come to New Zealand.

If that is given, those above must each apply for permission to immigrate New Zealand.


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Covid-19 document disposal: Budget blowout, transit visa, social costs | Instant News

The government massively underestimated the number of people returning to New Zealand – and the costs of keeping them in manageable isolation, according to documents released today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was followed by Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.
Photo: NZME

Hundreds of documents related to the government’s pandemic response were released this morning.

They include the Cabinet paper on April 17, which places estimates cost of hotel insulation being managed $ 195 million for the first six months, based on 190 arrivals a day.

However, in the first two and a half months, the bill has reached around $ 80 million and is now expected to reach half a billion by the end of the year.

Megan Woods, the minister responsible for managed isolation facilities, announced this week plans to charge fees for those who enter temporary New Zealand or leave after new regulations come into force.

It is expected to return less than $ 10 million.

Another paper from June 17 about allowing Resumption of transit visa, noting the risk that some people could be stranded in New Zealand because border restrictions change in a short period of time.

“If their country is next after New Zealand refuses to let them board, there may not be another flight to return [the country they just left] so passengers must stay in Auckland in managed isolation. “

Increased social inequality

The government hopes that the already high and increasing level of homelessness will be exacerbated by the social and economic impacts arising from Covid-19.

According to the Cabinet committee report homelessness, more than 1,000 people have been accommodated in motels across the country.

It is said an increase in unemployment and a reduction in income is expected to further increase homelessness in the future and long term.

He noted that in early July, the demand for Emergency Special Needs Grants had risen 42 percent over the 10-week period from the start of the standby level 4.

The report says the impact of Covid-19 is likely to exacerbate inequality for groups that are already experiencing high levels of homelessness, such as Māori, Pacific and rangatahi communities, or young people.

Mandatory display of QR codes is considered

Business owners may face imprisonment or large fines for refusing to display government QR codes for fast contact tracing, under the option considered by the Cabinet.

In a paper from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on June 8, the Cabinet was asked to decide whether to do it requires businesses to display a QR code or just encourage them to do it.

“My recommendation is to take a voluntary approach at this time, but with the knowledge that options to make it a legal requirement are available if needed,” Ardern wrote.

According to the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, non-compliance will be subject to a sentence of up to six months in prison or a $ 4000 fine.

The paper notes there will also be “challenges to law enforcement” from a mandatory approach.

“Officials recommend exceptions for organizations where obtaining a QR code is unnecessary or practical.

“This will make it difficult to know whether an organization is not displaying code that is inappropriate or excluded.

“And the mandatory requirements must include retail outlets. It might seem contradictory that retailers will face requirements that can be imposed to support contact tracing at level 1 alert when they are not at level 2.”

Conversely, a voluntary approach will “produce a more positive tone”.

Public health impact

The Ministry of Health has refused requests from intensive care specialists for high-level masks for health workers handling Covid patients.

A Cabinet paper from June 2 noted a request from the expert advisory group for revise service guidelines on the protective mask in the intensive care unit.

The ministry currently recommends surgical masks for all health workers associated with suspected or confirmed Covid cases, and the use of N95 masks during risky procedures.

The expert advisory group recommends N95 respirator masks be used by all health workers who manage suspected Covid cases, and those who carry out the procedure are at risk of being given a class N100 mask.

However, the Ministry of Health said that there is no clinical evidence that the N100 respirator provides greater protection against Covid-19.

“The ministry recommends that there be no changes to the current guidelines, but the guidelines are reviewed when additional evidence and data are available.”

The Director General of Health wants the country to remain at level 2 limits for a few more days.

In a report to then Health Minister David Clark on June 5, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said New Zealand was “on the right track” to move to level 1 in the week starting June 8 – far earlier than earlier suggestions that loosening of restrictions should not be considered until at least June 26.

“My preference is for level 1 to take effect on Friday 12 June, which is 14 days since level 2 was fully implemented and the time when conservative estimates indicate the likelihood that 95 percent of Covid-19 has been eliminated.”

However, when the Cabinet met on June 8, he decided to move to level 1 starting at midnight.


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Professional Wrestling is enjoying a renaissance in New Zealand | Instant News

Professional Wresting experienced its heyday in New Zealand in the seventies On the mat is a must-see on TV.

Steve Rickard, John da Silva and Robert Bruce became household names along the All Black or New Zealand cricket.

Since then, people like WWF and WWE have shocked the world and pro-New Zealand wrestling fans have known exponents such as Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Bret “Hitman Hart, Jesse” The Body “Ventura, and Rock.

However, there is an increasing number of New Zealanders who are trying to get locals back to the ring.

Several nights a week the locking in Valley Hutt was opened to members of the Valley Professional Wrestling Academy.

Like many gyms throughout the country, 25 club members are interested in fitness, but also a little show.

This is not something you often see in modern gyms and computerized equipment – everything is done “in the ring”

Valiant Pro’s founder and manager, who has organized a competition at Wainuiomata this weekend, Harry MacCormick and Hayden Thiele, are both inspired to enter sports by the athletes they see on tv.

They both competed and admitted that looking back at New Zealand’s history in professional wrestling encouraged them to try and grow the sport.

“As I progressed in my career, I really started to fall in love with the eighties style that runs slower, so my style changed from today’s work back to the past to the slower things that I appreciate. Many children “Old men who come to events like that are old-fashioned things because it reminds them when it will happen as children,” MacCormick said.

Wrestlers practice at Valley Professional Wrestling Academy in Lower Hutt.
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Niwa McIlroy was one of those who did their best to promote it … she was a successful local overseas.

About five years ago he went to Mexico to be part of the Lucha libre, he fought in England before Covid-19 forced him to return and return to the local wrestling arena.

He also caught the insect after watching American stars on TV.

“I went into it and just treated it like a hobby like other people and then after a while I wanted to do more, so I moved from Wellington to Auckland and then abroad to Mexico and then England … just wanted to encourage me more. “

Pro Wrestling has been more or less on hiatus for 20 years in the eighties and nineties, but because of the popularity of TV viewing from the US, local residents are even more interested.

Valley Professional Wrestling Academy has around 25 members, most of whom are adults, but they allow some young people to be involved where they can.

The club encourages parents to take part in showing that safety is a key aspect of training for younger people.

Thiele said that sport attracts all kinds.

“You have people who like wrestling because of the athletic side, you have people who enjoy it because of drama, some people come from other sports, while some come from nothing and they just want to improve themselves by learning the craft and our doors open for everyone. “

Now there are eight companies across the country that train and promote pro wrestlers.

New Zealand pro wrestler Niwa McIlroy

Niwa McIlroy

At the end of the locking, it didn’t take long for the wrestling card to be organized and Niwa McIlroy was part of this weekend’s canopy fight in Wellington, where she would face her mentor – ‘Rufguts’ Roddy Gunn.

It was held at Wainuiomata Intermediate, not enough the arena arena McIlroy had previously fought for.

“I’m not going to compare it with that, I’m still excited like when I wrestled in front of 16 thousand people or 2,000 people out of 20 people … exactly the same, I still give it one hundred percent,” McIlroy said.

There are many people who mock pro wrestling for what is considered a fake fight, but promoter Hayden Thiele says you cannot deny gravity and challenge anyone to join them, saying their sport is what you want to be.

“It’s just a different kind of entertainment, you have a little bit of everything there, you have everything from action to drama, anything you can expect in drama or theater or blockbuster and it’s shown right in front of you.”

MacCormick says this is very interactive.

“I myself rather like being involved with the audience, they get more money, you can’t play and play with actors or you can’t go to musicals and try to talk to musicians, but you see a wrestler and everyone blends and is involved and they feel more a part of it. “

All those involved in Level Up Stage One on Saturday night hope this will help grow their sport.

For Harry MacCormick and Hayden Thiele, who like others who work full time, they will return ticket sales to the gym.

“We are non-profit so that whatever comes through the doors will go straight back to the club, to repair our rings or gym facilities, there is no personal benefit that we want to entertain and have more people interested in the wrestling community across the country, that’s “Our goal and I think so far we are quite good,” said Thiele.

Level Up Stage One is held at Wainuiomata Intermediate on Saturday 1 August.


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The largest wind turbine in New Zealand appeared in Taranaki | Instant News

The largest wind turbine ever established in New Zealand began to appear in the South Taranaki landscape between Waverley and Patea.

Waipipi Windfarm.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The Waipipi Wind Farm covers 700 hectares of coastal agricultural land and while welcomed by several people, others must reluctantly accept its existence.

Approaching from the north, the towering wind turbine from the Waipipi Tilt Renewables development, was first seen before you hit Patea and clearly visible from State Highway 3.

This project is unusual for the New Zealand wind farm because it is being built on flat coastal land.

The site of the former mine irons, project manager Stewart Reid, explained that it meant paying extra attention to the tower foundation.

“We installed aggregate piles crashing … basically the aggregate piles crashed into the area under the foundation to ensure there was no liquefaction in the event of an earthquake.

“So they bring aggregates to the ground and there are about 600 to 700 stacks per turbine.”

And, yes, in the language of wind turbines, size matters.

“We installed 31 Siemens Gamesa engines. The height is 160m with a 130m diameter rotor. These are 4.3 megawatt engines and they are the largest engines that have been installed in New Zealand.

“The advantage of a larger machine is that you need less, so we agree to 48 machines here, but we only need to install 31 for the same sized plant.”

After the foundation is complete, it still takes a few days to install the turbine – which, ironically, requires perfect stationary conditions.

“We are carrying a crane from Australia which has a boom at a height of more than 115m. The tower rises in six or seven lifts. You have three parts of the tower to be lifted and cells, generators and then rotors. The three blades gather on the ground and are lifted intact, and mounted on the front of the generator. “

Stewart said Waipipi’s constant 8 meters per second, access to the national grid, the North Island electricity market, and its relative isolation made it ideal for wind farms.

But not everyone is excited about it.

Waverley’s release worker, Fraiser Fields, will build a bach on the part he has on Waipipi Beach – but not anymore.

“This is happening so you can’t do much about it. That here, will appear immediately.

“You can’t do much about these things in this country. They seem to ultimately make you fall in love, right. So, I’ll sell this if I can.”

About 10 kilometers of underground cable have been laid at Waipipi to take power from wind turbines to substations on site before being transferred to the Waverley substation – and the national network – through a series of single mast poles.

Waverley's freezer worker, Fraiser Fields, will build a bach on Waipipi Beach.

Waverley’s freezer worker, Fraiser Fields, will build a bach on Waipipi Beach.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Former Waverley resident Mike Connell challenged approval for the poles, which crossed in front of his old house, but he finally gave up when the price was too expensive.

“So, we step back and walk away from Waverley and now we are really in Patea. I will not sit there and look at the power lines through the front hall window.”

One person who did not complain about the development was South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon.

“We are all about renewable energy and 31 windmills will be very good for renewable energy and the expenditure of $ 277 million I mean is very big in our district and there is a lot of work with it. So yes, that is a very positive thing for us. “

Nixon accepted the development of polarized wind fields and while some people liked their appearance, others would not approach them.

The Mayor of South Taranaki, Phil Nixon, said the economic activity generated by wind power was big news for the district.

The Mayor of South Taranaki, Phil Nixon, said the economic activity generated by wind power was big news for the district.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The 133 megawatt wind farm – enough to power around 65,000 homes – employs around 100 people during its construction and will have around six permanent staff.

It will start generating electricity later this year and will enter the national grid as early as 2021.


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Nuclear-affected atolls in Marshalls see promise in US talks | Instant News

Momentum is growing behind efforts to renewed attention to the problems that still exist related to the US nuclear weapons testing program on the Marshall Islands.

The “Baker” underwater nuclear weapons test at the Bikini Atoll in 1946. Dozens of World War II ships were used as targets for testing these weapons, and are now located on the floor of the atoll lagoon. Photo: US Navy.
Photo: Provided / Giff Johnson

This week the leaders of the four atolls hit by a nuclear test talked about building movements for issues surrounding US action from 1946 to 1958.

Elected leaders from Bikini and Enewetak, ground zero for 67 nuclear weapons tests, and Rongelap and Utrok, two atolls that were heavily contaminated by radioactive fallout from the 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test, described separate meetings in recent days with the US Ambassador to Marshall Islands , Roxanne Cabral, and President of the Marshall Islands, David Kabua, as “productive and positive.”

The call for compensation, health care and cleaning up radioactive islands is against the background of negotiations between the Marshall Islands and the US government to expand grant funding that has expired in the Compact of Free Association.

The island leaders say the issue of the legacy of nuclear testing has languished for years and they want the Marshall Islands to pursue them during the upcoming talks.

It is preferred that a solution be found that benefits the Marshall Islands and the United States.

MPs and mayors of the four atolls said Wednesday they saw a dialogue of friendship with Cabral and President Kabua’s commitment to pursue nuclear heritage in the upcoming Compact talks as important signs of progress.

Ambassador Cabral said he also appreciated discussions with four atoll leaders last week, the first time for him to meet with the group.

Nitrokela Utrok member Hiroshi Yamamura led the search for four atolls for nuclear legacy.

He said the islands wanted the chance to seek a settlement of nuclear heritage through Compact talks with the US government and through the US Congress.

Yamamura said each of the four local government councils over the past two weeks had adopted a resolution calling for extraordinary aspects of the legacy of nuclear testing to be part of the upcoming negotiations with the United States.

“We stand firm,” he said.

“We are solid on one goal: Justice,” said Deputy Chairman Peterson Jibas, who represented Bikini.

He said he was encouraged by the involvement of the US Ambassador with the group and saw this as an important step in the process of obtaining a resolution of the legacy of nuclear testing.

MPs and mayors expressed their appreciation to the US government for its many contributions related to nuclear inheritance, while emphasizing that there are still issues still in circulation.

They also say the Marshall Islands are an unwavering American ally.

“We are here for US interests,” Rongelap Mayor James Matayoshi said.

“We hope they see us in the same light.”

He urged discussion of the Nuclear Claims Tribunal award for four atolls and other inheritance issues, observing this could lead to “benefits for both countries.”

The compensation provided by the US is far from the funds needed to fulfill the compensation awards for the country affected by this nuclear test.

Bikinians on the Marshall Islands were evacuated from their home island after a nuclear test in the region by the US.

Bikinians on the Marshall Islands were evacuated from their home island after a nuclear test in the region by the US.
Photo: The US Navy

Before running out of funds to pay the nuclear test compensation award in the mid-2000s, the Nuclear Claim Court in Majuro gave US $ 96.6 million to more than 2,000 people for personal injury claims from weapons tests but had compensation funds to pay only US $ 73, 5 million.

In addition, the Court gave these four atolls $ US2.2 billion in compensation for lost use in the past, difficulties in living in exile when they were transferred by the US military to make way for testing, and nuclear cleanup to make livestock atolls livable.

But the Tribunal was able to pay less than $ 4 million in awards of $ 2.2 billion due to lack of compensation funds from the US government.

“I greatly appreciate the invitation from the leaders of the four atolls and the opportunity to listen to their concerns and understand the priorities they focus on in the name of their constituents,” Cabral said on Wednesday.

“Nuclear heritage is an important issue and priority for the United States and the Marshall Islands, and is one of the important issues of concern to both our governments.”

The Mayor of Utrok, Tobin Kaiko, said personally, also residents of the island affected by nuclear tests, continue to live with health problems caused by exposure to radioactive fallout.

He said their suffering had been exacerbated by US authorities to consistently underestimate the dangers of radiation and potential health problems among affected islanders.

Mayor of Enewetak, Jackson Ading praised the US for its support of various programs in Enewetak, when commenting on a number of radioactive contamination problems at the former test site.

“We thank the United States for what has been done so far,” said Speaker Kenneth Kedi, who represented Rongelap.

“There is still a long way to go to deal with justice.”

Kedi said they aimed to meet more often with the US ambassador on the matter.

“The Marshall Islands have always been a good friend of the US,” he said.

“We share sacrifices from generation to generation. We have a special relationship.”

Nuclear-affected atoll leaders, who met last week with US Ambassador Roxanne Cabral (fourth from right) and other US officials at the Marshall Islands Resort in Majuro.

Nuclear-affected atoll leaders, who met last week with US Ambassador Roxanne Cabral (fourth from right) and other US officials at the Marshall Islands Resort in Majuro.
Photo: provided

The speaker said that they convinced the US ambassador to the Marshall Islands to be solid with the US. However, he said, nuclear heritage remains an obstacle to smooth relations for the whole nation.

“Our hope,” he added, “is that nuclear heritage will be discussed as part of the results (of the Compact talks).”

Yamamura said the initiative of the nuclear-affected atoll aimed at establishing friendly dialogue with the US government to overcome the changing circumstances that had become clear since the Compact’s first nuclear test compensation package was approved in the early 1980s.

“I have confidence and I pray to God for good results in the future from this preparation,” the Deputy Chairwoman said.

The aim, Jibas added, was to resolve issues including compensation, cleaning up of islands affected by nuclear power, and medical treatment for islanders.


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Slavery victims are “very happy” for the prisoner’s sentence, INZ said | Instant News

The first slave victims and the first convicted human traffickers in New Zealand were “very happy” to learn that their perpetrators of violence would spend more than a decade behind bars, Immigration New Zealand said.

Joseph Auga Matamata in court.
Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

The head of Samoa based in Hastings, Joseph Auga Matamata, is sentenced on Monday up to 11 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $ NZ183,000 in compensation to his 13 victims.

It comes as Samoan observers report that some of the victims considered the sentence too light.

But immigration officials who worked closely with their victims during a three-year investigation told the RNZ that that was not the feedback they had.

“They are very happy to be honest. They are relieved because everything has been a long time and torture them,” said New Zealand Immigration investigative manager Carl Knight.

More than 25 years, Matamata lured his victims to New Zealand with the promise of a profitable job or school.

But when they arrived, they worked long hours without pay in the fields around Hastings and at Matamata’s house, where they were often beaten and verbally abused.

The case was only revealed in 2017 after two men escaped from Matamata’s home and went to the police, triggering a three-year international multi-agency investigation that found a network of violations spanning more than two decades.

The victims were very embarrassed when they returned home empty-handed, because they were supposed to get money for their families and villages, Knight said.

“These people must return to their villages with complete shame without any money at all.

“They are trying to explain … but that doesn’t mean anything because they don’t believe it. It makes not only them, but their families, in a lot of despair … sometimes for years,” he said.

Matamata holds the title especially Matai, which means he is respected by his workers who believe in him and truly obey him.

The $ 183,000 reparation, paid by Matamata after the Crown lost half of Hastings’s property, would “change lives” for its victims, Knight said.

This case also led to further training for frontline Immigration staff to try to identify potential trafficking.

Eleven Samans came to New Zealand on holiday visas issued there arranged by Matamata or his colleagues, while two teenagers were adopted by him in the months before they arrived.

The agency is also working with other government agencies, the migrant community and businesses to raise awareness of such crimes, said New Zealand’s Immigration National Investigation Manager Cam Moore.

“As education and awareness and a number of intergovernmental initiatives move forward, that might bring up the potential for further disclosure of this type of violation.”

New Zealand immigration will not be interested in whether they are happy with the sentence imposed on Matamata.

Matamata’s lawyer said he considered his choice, but both the prosecution and defense had 28 days to appeal the guilty verdict or sentence.


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Air New Zealand withhold bookings for Australian flights until August 28 | Instant News

Air New Zealand has postponed further bookings to Australia until August 28.

Image file.
Photo: AFP

The airline held new bookings in early July to help the government arrange quarantine for incoming passengers yesterday was announced the freeze was extended until August 9th.

The Australian government has a limit of arrival of 30 passengers per flight to Sydney and Brisbane.

The arrival of international passengers to Melbourne is currently not permitted until 8 August.

The airline’s commercial and customer head Cam Wallace said his detention was to ensure future bookings were not interrupted if the Australian government extended their restrictions.

“We know there are people who want to return to Australia at this time and we will be ready to fly as soon as we can accommodate more passengers,” he said.


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The decision regarding filling New Zealand for managed isolation is expected to be ‘very short’ | Instant News

The prime minister said the announcement about charging New Zealanders to stay in isolation-managed hotels would be made “very, very soon”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will not be interested in specifics before the official announcement.
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

With only two weeks sitting left in the period of time, time is running out for the government to make legal changes that will be needed to enforce joint payment schemes.

Jacinda Ardern rejected suggestions that the government was struggling to form consensus on this issue, and said it was not his intention to depend on the Opposition to get any plan outside the line.

“It would be wrong to assume that it was only a party discussion that needed time,” he said.

“This is actually quite a complicated matter to draft a law, to ensure that we protect the rights of New Zealanders to return home, but also at the same time to ensure that everyone has thought carefully about their decision to make decisions about travel in the current environment. “

New Zealand’s first leader, Winston Peters, said a few weeks ago he wanted returnees to quit, and today he described the policy as “work in progress”.

Greens co-leader James Shaw said his party would not support a regime that charged New Zealand already abroad.

“For the majority of people trapped overseas, we just think it’s unacceptable.

“There is a large ex-pat community, many of them stuck in a situation now where they are trying to go home, where their visas are up and we don’t think that’s fair.

“If someone knows that they are going abroad for a short trip or business trip, given the costs, there are cases to be made, but for people who have gone before the law, have absolutely no idea that this will happen to them then it’s not fair and it’s retrospective, “he said.

Ardern will not be interested in whether the government is considering a blanket scheme, or whether it will only charge certain types of arrivals.

“I have said several times the different factors that we have remembered when we consider this issue. I want to make sure that I submit it to the actual announcement before giving you more details, but there are various choices we had before we considered, “he said.

“When you are here in New Zealand and you make a deliberate decision to go abroad, it is something very different from someone abroad who returns to New Zealand.

“And I think there is some sympathy for New Zealanders who have lived and worked abroad who are trapped in this pandemic and through no fault of their own must now find themselves back,” Ardern said.

National Party leader Judith Collins said it was important for the government to work with the Opposition, rather than just expecting it to automatically support its plans.

“The government needs to show us the law, they must really start treating this as a cross-party problem. We agree in principle, but we need to know the details and we cannot register until we have seen the details,” Collins said .

He said that his party will seek an extensive filling scheme, but it is important that there are options for exceptions on the basis of affection or medical care.

“There is not much tolerance in places like Papakura, in my electorate, for people to take long vacations abroad and we all have to pay quarantine fees.”

Finance Minister Grant Robertson was asked if he felt comfortable with the cost of isolation being managed.

“That is our most important line of defense, so we must ensure that we protect the safety of New Zealanders and those who enter,” he said.

“I have worked closely with Minister Woods regarding costs, no matter what we do in terms of billing, there will still be significant costs for taxpayers, but I think all New Zealanders can see around them in their daily lives to benefit we keep our borders tight. “


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China accuses New Zealand of violating international law over the extradition treaty | Instant News

The Chinese Embassy in Wellington accused New Zealand of interfering with international relations with its decision to suspend extradition with Hong Kong.

Winston Peters
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Secretary of State Winston Peters announced today New Zealand suspended the extradition treaty with Hong Kong after the passing of the controversial law.

China goes through a national security law in late June which criminalized forms of political protest in Hong Kong with sentences, including life imprisonment.

Peters said the law had “eroded legal principles” and undermined the rules of ‘one country, two systems’.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy said the suspension was “a major disturbance in China’s internal affairs”.

“The decision of the New Zealand government is a serious violation of international law and the basic norms governing international relations. That is a major disturbance in China’s internal affairs. The Chinese side has expressed great concern and strong opposition,” the embassy said in a statement.

“Hong Kong’s affairs are entirely Chinese domestic affairs, and do not permit foreign interference.

“The Law on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) is an important step to ensure a stable and sustainable implementation of the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. Its implementation will strengthen Hong Kong’s legal framework, ensure social ordering, improve business environment and contribute to Hong Kong’s prosperity and long-term stability. “

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in some cases New Zealand would take a different position from China, and this was one of them.

“We do have a mature relationship with China. There are several opportunities where we take different positions, this is clearly one of them. We take the same approach with the relationships we always have, we are very consistent.”

“We will open up where there are areas where we have to adjust our position – this is clear to us based on New Zealand principles.”

The government has said it will review its decision if China returns to the previously promised position in Hong Kong.

Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom also suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong this month, and US President Donald Trump ended preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong.

The Chinese embassy in New Zealand said in a statement that efforts to pressure China over Hong Kong would not succeed.

“The Chinese side urges the New Zealand side to comply with international law and the basic norms governing international relations, immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and Chinese domestic affairs in any form to avoid further damage to Sino-New Zealand relations.”

The extradition step was approved by all major parties

Announcing the suspension of the Hong Kong extradition treaty, Peters said the new national security law contradicted the commitment made by China to the international community in 1997, and “it is clear now that the law is no longer as it is, and therefore our extradition arrangements are not stand up “.

He said New Zealand would keep the door open to restore the agreement “if they have to return to honor the 1997 commitment then we will review our situation too.”

Ahead of China’s statement in response, he said he did not expect back pressure from the country, telling reporters that he “always said when we were committed by China, we trusted them – and I hoped they would uphold their commitments.”

National foreign affairs spokesman Simon Bridges also welcomed the government’s move, and even questioned the time New Zealand had taken to reach the decision.

“I don’t think we can be silent, we must defend our values ​​in this field, around democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” he said.

“I don’t want to be too critical, I think it’s already slow. I note that in the recent communique of the Five Eyes partners they were in a position to condemn the law, at that time our government – through Minister Peters – effectively expressed concern rather under where they are, “he said.

This step also received support from the Greens.

“It is clear to us that China, in essence, is taking over the legislative and Hong Kong system,” said co-leader James Shaw.

“The idea of ​​’one country, two systems’ is being broken. We think someone who is a Hong Kong citizen here, basically we will export it back to the equivalent of mainland Chinese law.”

ACT also welcomed the announcement, with leader David Seymour saying New Zealand “finally showed support for our partners in Five Eyes, an alliance that is crucial for our national security”.

“Because there is no such agreement with China, New Zealand cannot justly extradite people to Hong Kong, because they can now be immediately transferred to Chinese jurisdiction,” he said.

Hong Kong security law

China says that security law is required to overcome separatist activities, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign elements – and reject criticism as interference in their affairs.

The Hong Kong government will be asked to carry out most of the new law enforcement, however Beijing will be able to refuse Hong Kong authorities in some cases.

The implications include:

  • The crime of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign troops can be punished with a minimum sentence of 10 years, with a maximum being a life.
  • Causing hatred towards the central government and the regional government of Hong Kong is now a violation under Article 29
  • Damaging public transport facilities can be considered terrorism
  • Those found guilty will not be allowed to stand for public office
  • Beijing will establish a new security office in Hong Kong, with its own law enforcement personnel – no one will be under the jurisdiction of the local authority
  • Hong Kong’s chief executive can appoint judges in national security cases and the justice secretary can decide whether there is a jury or not
  • Decisions made by the national security commission, formed by local authorities, cannot be legally challenged
  • China also said it would take over the prosecution in cases considered “very serious”, while several trials would be tried behind closed doors.
  • People suspected of violating the law can be tapped and monitored
  • Management of foreign non-government organizations and news agencies will be strengthened
  • This law also applies to non-permanent residents


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Photonics: New Zealand’s $ 1.2 billion industry that you have never heard of | Instant News

The less well-known New Zealand photonic industry is valued at more than one billion dollars, and can grow exponentially.

Photo: Luchschen

Photonics uses light to sense, create and transmit information, just as electronics relies on electrical signals.

Products that rely on photonics include smartphones, computers and fiber optics.

If there has ever been a year to show the importance of the photonic industry, 2020 is that.

From Netflix to Zoom, New Zealanders adapt and are overcome by locking Covid-19 level four thanks to photonics.

David Hutchinson, director of the Dodd-Walls Center at Otago University, said recently that a solution to the closure was not possible.

“Optical fiber will be a prime example. We have just gone through a lockout where many of us ended up holding a Zoom meeting and nothing might have happened if we still did not communicate via copper wire.”

A report released today rates New Zealand’s photonic industry at $ 1.2 billion, which is equivalent to the export value of infant formula or about two-thirds of the export value of wine.

The industry now involves 121 companies that employ more than 2500 people and, while all that is impressive, Hutchinson said the industry could grow exponentially in the future.

“New Zealand is great at finding special areas and doing things very well, and this is something we have a lot of expertise in this country and I think we can really excel.

“What we need is ingenuity and let’s try to find as many problems as we can solve using optical technology.

So what is photonics?

Basically, this uses light in applications – many in the same way electronics use electrical signals – but light opens up the ability to communicate more data – a single optical fiber can support one million HDTV signals simultaneously.

Apart from giving us something to watch during a pandemic, photonics can answer some of the problems that it causes.

The University of Auckland’s Physics and Chemistry Professor at Cather Simpson said Orbis Diagnostics, a company involved with it, discovered the photonic technology that it uses to detect cows’ preparedness to mate has applications for Covid-19.

“We did that during level 4 locking and we’ve got our initial data looking at Covid antibodies in the blood. So Orbis has been spinning from cows to Covid, we want to say, but again, using photonic.”

Professor Simpson said they were still about a year away from the prototype, but that was promising.

“This technology will be something you can bring to the hospital entrance or to the airport, so that is the point of the diagnostic system that is needed, it tells you whether you are safe to travel or safe to visit grandma.”

Photonic applications go a step further, from the early detection of mastitis in diary cows to selective breeding in the industry, to the efficient future of indoor agriculture to provide low-carbon local food supplies, he said.

Andy Stevens is chief executive of Coherent Solutions, a company that exports testing equipment for the photonic industry worldwide, and said the industry has a bright future in New Zealand.

He said there was no reason the industry could not have the same growth metrics nationally, making the industry worth $ 40-60 billion.


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