Good weather no excuse for Alert Level 4 breaches

Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

Sunny weather in Tāmaki Makaurau today is proving tempting for a number of people out and about in the city.

The vast majority of people are doing the right thing, however our staff have noticed the Tamaki Drive/Mission Bay area has been particularly busy.

We need people to stick to the rules to allow all of us to drop down the Alert Levels sooner.

Four people from Ōtāhuhu were given Covid infringements today after being seen fishing together at Mission Bay.

We would remind people that only essential travel is permitted under Alert Level 4, and you must keep it local.

Meanwhile, Police received information yesterday that two people had breached the southern border checkpoints using false documents and were staying in Taupo.

A message was put out to local Police staff in Taupo which included vehicle registration details.

A Constable finishing her shift yesterday afternoon noticed the vehicle, and called for further Police staff to attend to assist.

Local health authorities were advised, and the pair were arrested and summonsed to appear in court.

They have since returned to Tāmaki Makaurau.

Tāmaki Makaurau compliance update

Since Alert Level 4 came into place, in Tāmaki Makaurau, 78 people have been charged with a total of 82 offences as at 5pm yesterday (17 September 2021).

Of these, 65 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 14 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, one for Failing to Stop (Covid 19-related), and two for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

In the same time period, 182 people were formally warned for a range of offences.

To date, Police have received a total of 9,028 105-online breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Border checkpoints

The next available data for the checkpoints will be on Monday but Police can confirm only a small number of vehicles are continuing to be turned around.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Update on COVID-19 cases — 18 September 2021

Source: Covid-19 New Zealand Government Announcements

Update on cases for 18 September 2021

There are 20 new community cases today. 19 of these are household or known contacts and only one of these remains unlinked.

Interviews are underway with that person to determine how they are linked to the current outbreak. As noted yesterday, we are expecting some fluctuations in case numbers at this point in the outbreak.

Update on today’s COVID-19 cases | health.govt.nz (external link)

20 community cases of COVID-19; 2 confirmed cases and 2 historical cases in managed isolation; more than 60,000 vaccines administered yesterday

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

There are 20 new community cases today. 19 of these are household or known contacts and only one of these remains unlinked. Interviews are underway with that person to determine how they are linked to the current outbreak. As noted yesterday, we are expecting some fluctuations in case numbers at this point in the outbreak. 

12,427 tests were taken yesterday, including more than 7,000 swabs taken in the Auckland region, and more than 1,500 essential worker tests. We have also had over 1,000 saliva tests since Monday with the majority in the last 48 hours. Over 400 employers will be instigating saliva testing for almost 4,500 employees across New Zealand. 

Testing at high levels in Auckland remains an essential part of our outbreak response to detect every community case and stop onwards transmission.  

We continue to urge anyone in Auckland with cold or flu symptoms, no matter how mild, to come forward to be tested. 

In addition, both people with and without symptoms who live in a suburb of interest are asked to get a test. These are: Mt Eden, Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Ōtara, Manurewa.

Cases 

  • Number of new community cases: 20
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: Four 
  • Location of new cases: Auckland 
  • Location of community cases (total): Auckland 1,010 (625 of whom have recovered); Wellington 17 (16 of whom have recovered)
  • Number of community cases (total): 1,027 (in current community outbreak) 
  • Cases infectious in the community : Seven (64%) of yesterday’s 11 cases have exposure events
  • Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious : Four (36%) of yesterday’s 11 cases
  • Cases epidemiologically linked: 19 of today’s cases
  • Cases to be epidemiologically linked: 1 of today’s cases
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 995 (in current cluster) (7 in past 14 days unlinked) 
  • Number of sub-clusters: Nine epidemiologically linked subclusters. Of these, one is active, seven are contained and one is dormant. The three largest subclusters are the Māngere church group: 384; and Birkdale social network cluster: 80; secondary community transmission associated with the Māngere church group 166.
  • There are ten epidemiologically unlinked subclusters.
  • Cases in hospital: 10 (total): North Shore (1); Middlemore (6); Auckland (3)
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: Three
  • Confirmed cases (total): 3,682 since pandemic began
  • Historical cases, since 1 Jan 2021 (total): 151 out of 1,864 since 1 Jan 2021 

Contacts

  • Number of active contacts being managed (total):: 1,140
  • Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 94%
  • Percentage with at least one test result: 82%

Locations of interest

  • Locations of interest (total): 142 (as at 10am 18 September)

Tests  

  • Number of tests (total): 3,218,752
  • Number of tests total (last 24 hours): 12,427
  • Tests in Auckland (last 24 hours): 7,411
  • Tests rolling average (last 7 days): 12,775
  • Testing centres in Auckland: 21

Wastewater*

  • Wastewater detections: There are no unexpected detections. 

COVID-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (total): 4,630,806; 1st doses: 3,049,241; 2nd doses: 1,581,565
  • Vaccines administered yesterday (total): 60,480; 1st doses: 33,048; 2nd doses: 27,432
  • Māori: 1st doses: 286,766; 2nd doses: 138,377
  • Pacific Peoples: 1st doses: 184,868; 2nd doses: 95,701

NZ COVID-19 tracer

  • Registered users (total): 3,228,277
  • Poster scans (total): 366,380,713
  • Manual diary entries (total): 16,505,506
  • Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday: 2,524,913

 * There was no detection of COVID-19 in a wastewater sample collected on 14 September from Snells/Agies. This follows a detection from this site on 7 September, it is likely that this earlier detection was from known cases in the area. Recovered cases can continue shedding viral matter for weeks after recovering.  

Subcluster reporting 

A number of clusters are no longer cause for concern as we are not seeing new positive cases within them. Each cluster that remains of interest, could be considered as a big bubble with the majority being close-knit groups of households There has been good communication and engagement with these groups of households. 

Additional reporting will now include the number of subclusters that are active, contained, dormant or closed, based on the time since the last case associated with the subcluster was reported, and factors like whether the case was a household member. This helps us determine the risk associated with each subcluster.  

  • Active subclusters: Cases reported within the previous 14 days and are not household or other known contacts of previous cases  
  • Contained subclusters: Cases reported within the previous 14 days and are household or other known contacts of previous cases  
  • Dormant subclusters: No cases reported in the previous 14 days  
  • Closed subclusters: No cases reported in previous 28 days 

Confirmed cases identified at the border 

Arrival date 

From 

Via 

Positive test day/reason 

Managed isolation/quarantine location 

16 September 

UAE 

Malaysia 

Day 0 / routine 

Auckland 

16 September 

India 

Serbia Montenegro / UAE 

Day 0 / routine 

Auckland 

Historical cases identified at the border 

Arrival date 

From 

Via 

Positive test day/reason 

Managed isolation/quarantine location 

14 September 

Russia 

Singapore 

Day 0 / routine 

Christchurch 

11 September 

Sri Lanka 

Full travel history to be confirmed 

Day 0 / routine  

Auckland 

Fatal crash, Christchurch – Canterbury

Fatal crash, Christchurch – Canterbury

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Police can confirm one person has died following a crash in Christchurch this morning.

Emergency services were alerted to the single-vehicle collision on Bridle Path Road at 1:50am.

Sadly one person died, another was taken to hospital with moderate injuries.

The Serious Crash Unit has been notified and enquiries into the cause of the crash are continuing.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Police continue to investigate baby girl’s death

Police continue to investigate baby girl's death

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Please attribute to Detective Inspector Scott Beard, Auckland City Police

Police are continuing to work through their DNA phase in a bid to find the mother of a baby girl whose body was found at a recycling facility in Onehunga a month ago.

Detectives have been working hard to try to identify the baby girl and her mother since the newborn was found on August 16.

Police have secured a significant amount of CCTV footage from various trucks coming into the Recycling Plant, but are no closer to establishing what suburb the baby girl has come from and what recycling truck she came in.

Given there was no way to determine for certain the newborn came to the recycling facility in the blue bag she was found near, and that there are several suburbs where such blue bags are used, Police are hoping their DNA phase will lead to some answers.

Police are working closely with the ESR forensic scientists in their DNA phase and narrowing down over 300 potential familial links.

These potential contacts are from all over the country, and enquiries have been made in Christchurch and Hamilton as well as across Tamaki Makaurau.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard says Police would like to thank those in the community who have been offering support.

Police have been overwhelmed with those people in the wider community showing their respects for the baby girl.

Some members of the community have also chosen to name the baby Anahera, which means Angel and at the same time provided two teddy bears and a traditional Kahu Huruhuru for the baby girl to wear at her eventual funeral.

Detective Inspector Scott Beards says Police continue to appeal for the mother of the baby, or anyone who may know she is, to do the right thing and contact Police.

“We know someone knows what happened and we urge them, or anyone who suspects they may know who her mother is to come forward and speak to us.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact 105 quoting file number 210816/2825 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre 

Contraception choices highlighted by Massey researcher on podcast

Contraception choices highlighted by Massey researcher on podcast

Source: Massey University


Long-Acting Reversible Contraception


Dr Tracy Morison, Health psychologist.

Health psychologist Dr Tracy Morison has shared her research on the complexities around contraception choice in an episode of the international science podcast, ResearchPod.

ResearchPod connects peers and the public to the latest ideas, initiatives, and innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, arts and humanities, and business research.

The episode titled Investigating Sexual and Reproductive Injustices, focuses on the complexities around contraception choice and uptake, especially popular long-acting methods, such as contraceptive injections, implants, and intrauterine devices also known as Mirena and Jadelle in New Zealand.

Dr Morison’s research, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden fund, aims to highlight questions of power and the capacity of individuals to act independently in the provision of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) in Aotearoa, and explore these insights through a more holistic framework to understand reproductive health issues.This framework – known as the Reproductive Justice Framework –  has significant potential for application in New Zealand, especially in facilitating not only rights-based but person-centred contraceptive care, Dr Morison says. 

“This is a way to investigate the social and political conditions that surround people making choices about contraception and reproduction more broadly.”

“I focus on the issue of LARC because innovations in these contraceptive methods have meant that they’ve been received and promoted in public with much enthusiasm in public healthcare globally, including in Aotearoa New Zealand but the politics surrounding LARC and reproductive health have not been factored into contraceptive programming.”

“This provides an ideal case study to generate local data including women’s perspectives, as well as to extend the framework of Reproductive Justice. Listeners will be introduced to a new way of thinking about and exploring issues related to sexuality and reproduction.”

You can listen to the episode of the podcast here.

Related articles

Linguistics podcast unravels the allure of Ashley

Giant Waikato penguin: school kids discover new species

Giant Waikato penguin: school kids discover new species

Source: Massey University

The Kawhia giant penguin Kairuku waewaeroa. Image credit: Simone Giovanardi.

Penguins have a fossil record reaching almost as far back as the age of the dinosaurs, and the most ancient of these penguins have been discovered in Aotearoa. Fossil penguins from Zealandia (ancient Aotearoa) are mostly known from Otago and Canterbury although important discoveries have recently been made in Taranaki and Waikato.

In 2006 a group of school children on a Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club (JUNATS) fossil hunting field trip in Kawhia Harbour, led by the club’s fossil expert Chris Templer, discovered the bones of a giant fossil penguin.

Researchers from Massey University and Bruce Museum (Connecticut, United States) visited Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato to analyse the fossil bones of the ancient penguin. The team used 3D scanning as part of their investigation and compared the fossil to digital versions of bones from around the world. 3D scanning also meant the team could produce a 3D-printed replica of the fossil for the Hamilton Junior naturalists. The actual penguin fossil was donated by the club to the Waikato Museum in 2017.

Dr Daniel Thomas, a Senior Lecturer in Zoology from Massey’s School of Natural and Computational Sciences, says the fossil is between 27.3 and 34.6 million years old and is from a time when much of the Waikato was under water.

“The penguin is similar to the Kairuku giant penguins first described from Otago but has much longer legs, which the researchers used to name the penguin waewaeroa – Te reo Māori for ‘long legs’. These longer legs would have made the penguin much taller than other Kairuku while it was walking on land, perhaps around 1.4 metres tall, and may have influenced how fast it could swim or how deep it could dive,” Dr Thomas says.

“It’s been a real privilege to contribute to the story of this incredible penguin. We know how important this fossil is to so many people,” he adds.

Kairuku waewaeroa is emblematic for so many reasons. The fossil penguin reminds us that we share Zealandia with incredible animal lineages that reach deep into time, and this sharing gives us an important guardianship role. The way the fossil penguin was discovered, by children out discovering nature, reminds us of the importance of encouraging future generations to become kaitiaki [guardians].”

Mike Safey, President of the Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club says it is something the children involved will remember for the rest of their lives.

“It was a rare privilege for the kids in our club to have the opportunity to discover and rescue this enormous fossil penguin. We always encourage young people to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. There’s plenty of cool stuff out there just waiting to be discovered.”

Steffan Safey was there for both the discovery and rescue missions. “It’s sort of surreal to know that a discovery we made as kids so many years ago is contributing to academia today. And it’s a new species, even! The existence of giant penguins in New Zealand is scarcely known, so it’s really great to know that the community is continuing to study and learn more about them. Clearly the day spent cutting it out of the sandstone was well spent!”

Dr Esther Dale, a plant ecologist who now lives in Switzerland, was also there.

“It’s thrilling enough to be involved with the discovery of such a large and relatively complete fossil, let alone a new species! I’m excited to see what we can learn from it about the evolution of penguins and life in New Zealand.”

Alwyn Dale helped with the recovery of the fossil. “It was definitely one of those slightly surreal things to look back on – absolute bucket list moment for me. After joining JUNATS there were some pretty iconic stories of amazing finds and special experiences – and excavating a giant penguin fossil has got to be up there! A real testament to all the parents and volunteers who gave their time and resources to make unique and formative memories for the club members.”

Taly Matthews, a long-time member of the Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club, and who works for the Department of Conservation in Taranaki, says, “Finding any fossil is pretty exciting when you think about how much time has passed while this animal remained hidden away, encased in rock. Finding a giant penguin fossil though is on another level. As more giant penguin fossils are discovered we get to fill in more gaps in the story. It’s very exciting.”

The research is detailed further in a paper entitled A giant Oligocene fossil penguin from the North Island of New Zealand recently published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The study describes Kairuku waewaeroa as a new species of fossil penguin and provides a more complete picture of the diversity of giant penguins.

The research was led by PhD student Simone Giovanardi, with Dr Daniel Ksepka, Bruce Museum and Dr Daniel Thomas, Massey University.

EIT graduate lives her dream in television | EIT Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti

EIT graduate lives her dream in television | EIT Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti

Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

2 hours ago

Harata Taurima-Thomas is living her dream.

The EIT graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts (Māori) through Te Ūranga Waka on the Hawke’s Bay Campus, is currently on an internship at Māori Television in Auckland and believes she has found her calling.

For 21-year-old Harata, her future pathway began when she enrolled at EIT in 2018.

“It was the most amazing experience ever.  It just felt so right being at EIT, learning te reo, our korero, our history and our tikanga, right where I was from in Ngāti Kahungunu.”

Her long-term plan was to continue studying, but a summer job in the boning room at the Whakatū Meat Works gave her a new perspective.

“I loved the job and have a lot of family who still work there. Toughening up at the works really gave me the tenacity to pursue the internship. I was sad to leave but realised that I needed to utilise my degree and chase my dream of working in te reo Māori.”

Harata had the courage to cold call Māori Television with a pledge she’d be willing to start from the ground-level.  By chance, the network had just launched its internship programme and flew her to Auckland for an interview.

“We hadn’t advertised the internship and were impressed by the enthusiasm of this young wahine,” said Māori Television’s Director of Content, Maramena Roderick.

“She showed initiative to get her foot in the door and that’s exactly what we were looking for.  Her passion for te reo Māori and willingness to start from the bottom sealed the interview.”

Harata admits that a boning room and a television studio are on “opposite ends of the spectrum”. 

“I was absolutely blown away with them and everything worked out.”

Interns are rotated through all departments to learn every facet of the business from live studio shows to technology and operations, marketing and social media as well as news and current affairs.  Successful interns may be offered a full-time role at the end of their training.

Harata’s first rotation was with Mataora which produces live shows like Lucky Dip, Pio Terei Tonight and 5 Minutes of Fame. 

“Mataora is where all the in-house productions and sets are made.  My mahi included working with the producers and crew, learning everything that happens behind the scenes to make a live show from co-ordinating guests and talent, props, call sheets and audience control.  It’s been eye-opening.”

Harata has also created content for TUKUHQ, the digital platform for rangatahi.

“It’s an experience I’ll never forget.  Every step was exciting and I learnt something new like the practicalities of creating content from scratch, researching and pitching an idea to editing the final product.”

A stint in the reo Māori Department, which undertakes translating and subtitling, also appealed to the young fluent speaker.   But it is the newsroom that looms next for Harata.

“I will be heading there later this year to shadow journalists, learn the disciplines of reporting and working to tough deadlines.  .”

She has already had a taste of journalism. Harata and another intern produced a “mood piece” on Protect Pūtiki, a protest action against a proposed marina development at Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke Island.

“They were having a demonstration outside the Auckland City Council, and we saw on Facebook that it was happening so asked if we could cover it.  We got to go out with our handheld camera and our little mic and interview people. It was exhilarating.”

Rush hour traffic and COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdowns have not deterred her and she is determined to pursue a career with the media organisation.

“Lockdown has shown that everything can change suddenly and it’s all hands on deck.  My dream has made me part of a team where even interns can make a difference.”

Senior Lecturer at Te Ūranga Waka, Parekura Rohe-Belmont, said that Harata was the co-recipient of two awards  – the Tuahine Northover ‘He Maimai Aroha’ award for key roles held on the marae ātea, and the Robin Albert award for all round excellence within the degree programme.

“We are very proud of Harata, poho kererū ana mātau!”

EIT graduate lives her dream in television | EIT Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti

EIT graduate lives her dream in television | EIT Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti

Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

59 seconds ago

Harata Taurima-Thomas is living her dream.

The EIT graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts (Māori) through Te Ūranga Waka on the Hawke’s Bay Campus, is currently on an internship at Māori Television in Auckland and believes she has found her calling.

For 21-year-old Harata, her future pathway began when she enrolled at EIT in 2018.

“It was the most amazing experience ever.  It just felt so right being at EIT, learning te reo, our korero, our history and our tikanga, right where I was from in Ngāti Kahungunu.”

Her long-term plan was to continue studying, but a summer job in the boning room at the Whakatū Meat Works gave her a new perspective.

“I loved the job and have a lot of family who still work there. Toughening up at the works really gave me the tenacity to pursue the internship. I was sad to leave but realised that I needed to utilise my degree and chase my dream of working in te reo Māori.”

Harata had the courage to cold call Māori Television with a pledge she’d be willing to start from the ground-level.  By chance, the network had just launched its internship programme and flew her to Auckland for an interview.

“We hadn’t advertised the internship and were impressed by the enthusiasm of this young wahine,” said Māori Television’s Director of Content, Maramena Roderick.

“She showed initiative to get her foot in the door and that’s exactly what we were looking for.  Her passion for te reo Māori and willingness to start from the bottom sealed the interview.”

Harata admits that a boning room and a television studio are on “opposite ends of the spectrum”. 

“I was absolutely blown away with them and everything worked out.”

Interns are rotated through all departments to learn every facet of the business from live studio shows to technology and operations, marketing and social media as well as news and current affairs.  Successful interns may be offered a full-time role at the end of their training.

Harata’s first rotation was with Mataora which produces live shows like Lucky Dip, Pio Terei Tonight and 5 Minutes of Fame. 

“Mataora is where all the in-house productions and sets are made.  My mahi included working with the producers and crew, learning everything that happens behind the scenes to make a live show from co-ordinating guests and talent, props, call sheets and audience control.  It’s been eye-opening.”

Harata has also created content for TUKUHQ, the digital platform for rangatahi.

“It’s an experience I’ll never forget.  Every step was exciting and I learnt something new like the practicalities of creating content from scratch, researching and pitching an idea to editing the final product.”

A stint in the reo Māori Department, which undertakes translating and subtitling, also appealed to the young fluent speaker.   But it is the newsroom that looms next for Harata.

“I will be heading there later this year to shadow journalists, learn the disciplines of reporting and working to tough deadlines.  .”

She has already had a taste of journalism. Harata and another intern produced a “mood piece” on Protect Pūtiki, a protest action against a proposed marina development at Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke Island.

“They were having a demonstration outside the Auckland City Council, and we saw on Facebook that it was happening so asked if we could cover it.  We got to go out with our handheld camera and our little mic and interview people. It was exhilarating.”

Rush hour traffic and COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdowns have not deterred her and she is determined to pursue a career with the media organisation.

“Lockdown has shown that everything can change suddenly and it’s all hands on deck.  My dream has made me part of a team where even interns can make a difference.”

Senior Lecturer at Te Ūranga Waka, Parekura Rohe-Belmont, said that Harata was the co-recipient of two awards  – the Tuahine Northover ‘He Maimai Aroha’ award for key roles held on the marae ātea, and the Robin Albert award for all round excellence within the degree programme.

“We are very proud of Harata, poho kererū ana mātau!”

Update: Arrest in Timaru homicide investigation

Fatal crash, Christchurch – Canterbury

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Please attribute to Detective Inspector Scott Anderson:

Police have arrested and charged a 40-year-old woman with murder in relation to the death of three children in Timaru last night. 

The woman is due to appear in the Timaru District Court tomorrow morning.

Police would like to reassure the community that this was a tragic isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else.

An earlier release stated one child was aged seven and two were three. This is incorrect, they were aged six and two.

We apologise for this error.

A scene examination will continue at the Queen Street address tomorrow.

As this matter is now before the courts, Police will not be making any further comment.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre