No change recommended to Quarantine Free Travel; visitors to locations of interest should follow local instructions – Melbourne community case

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health’s current assessment is that the public health risk to New Zealand from the Melbourne community case announced today is low.

On that basis the Ministry does not at this stage recommend any change in Quarantine Free Travel between New Zealand and Victoria.

The Ministry’s current assessment is based on information provided by Victorian Health authorities that there is a likely link to the border through the recent time spent in managed isolation in South Australia, a limited period when the individual was in the community while infectious – since May 6, and relatively few locations of interest.  Victorian Health authorities are following up contacts at a workplace from May 5.

Information about locations of interest visited by the case is available on Victoria’s Department of Health website:
https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites#public-exposure-sites-in-victoria.

Individuals in Australia who were at a location of interest at the specified times are required to follow Victoria’s health advice regarding isolation and testing.   Anyone who has been at a location of interest cannot travel to New Zealand from Australia within 14 days of exposure.

Anyone in New Zealand who has been at any of the locations of interest at the specified times should contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, self-isolate and be tested as soon as possible.
       
The Ministry will be requesting airlines communicate this message to anyone flying to New Zealand from Victoria in the next 24 hours.  The Ministry will also be contacting recent arrivals from Melbourne and Victoria since May 6 providing the same advice.

The Ministry will remain in close contact with its Australian counterparts as the situation evolves.

Anyone planning to travel to Melbourne and Victoria should take into account that advice from health authorities could change at any time and be prepared for their travel plans to be disrupted.

An update is expected tomorrow, later in the day, based on results of additional testing and a further public health assessment by Victoria’s health officials.

No Vaping signs displayed in schools from today

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act has taken another important step forward today with a key new requirement taking effect.

On 11 November 2020, changes under the Act saw the existing prohibition on smoking at schools, kura kaupapa, kôhanga reo and early childhood facilities extended to include vaping. This means these places must be smoke free and vape free, indoors and out, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Following on from this, from today, ‘no vaping’ signage must be displayed at these locations in addition to the existing requirement to display ‘no smoking’ notices. Schools are also required to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no person smokes or vapes in any part of their school, whether inside or outside, at any time of the day.

“One of the key intents of the Act – and a key commitment of our Government – is to protect our tamariki, young people and non-smokers from the risks associated with these products,” says Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Harriette Carr.

“Over the coming months, we will continue to phase in important changes – like this introduction of the ‘no smoking’ and ‘no vaping’ signage – to prioritise the wellbeing of New Zealanders. As leaders in our communities, schools have a particularly important role to play. Their mahi and efforts – from displaying the right signage to ensuring students, staff, visitors, parents and whânau are aware of the no smoking and vaping policies and rules – will contribute to positive health outcomes for our current and future generations.”  

Free resources and more information are available at the Smokefree and Ministry of Health websites.

Gisborne crash causes damage in Taruheru Cemetery

Gisborne crash causes damage in Taruheru Cemetery

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Statement to be attributed to Inspector Sam Aberahama,Tairāwhiti Area Commander:
 
Gisborne Police were notified of a single-vehicle crash on Nelson Road, Makauri, just after 6.30pm tonight (Tuesday).
 
The vehicle left the road and rolled before coming to a stop in Taruheru Cemetery.
 
The sole occupant of the vehicle received minor injuries and was taken by private vehicle to hospital for treatment.
 
A significant number of headstones nearest to the road have been damaged as a result of this crash.
 
We appreciate that hearing this news will cause distress for those who have whānau buried at this cemetery and we have been in contact with the Gisborne District Council (GDC) tonight in relation to this damage. 
 
GDC is going through a process of identification of the headstones and will be contacting the whānau of the affected headstones. We advise anyone with questions to contact GDC on 06 869 2447.
 
A Kaumātua will also be at the cemetery in the morning to bless the site.
 
Police will provide any assistance required by the GDC in the coming days in relation to this matter.
 
The area will remain cordoned off overnight and under guard.
 
Police enquiries into the cause of the crash are ongoing.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by Police Media Centre.
 
 
 

STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE IN GAZA AND ISRAEL

STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE IN GAZA AND ISRAEL

Source: Save The Children

Save the Children is horrified by the airstrikes last night that killed 24 people, including nine children in the Gaza Strip.[i] A further 103 people have been injured. Rockets were also launched from Gaza into southern Israel, injuring seven people. This comes after days of violence in Jerusalem which saw hundreds injured. 

No child should be scared by air raids, sirens or woken up at night to the sounds of jets and shelling – yet for children in the region this is an all too regular part of their childhood. Families in Gaza have told Save the Children how they spent a sleepless night fearing for their lives. 

Save the Children’s Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jason Lee, said:   

“There is no possible justification for children being killed or injured. We condemn and demand an immediate stop to the indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians, including children. This is a grave violation of children’s rights and perpetrators must be held to account for their actions and brought to justice. 

“Children are already living in grave danger, and with every rocket or airstrike launched they are brutally reminded of this fact. We urgently need all parties to stop hostilities and bring an end to the fear and suffering children and families have endured for far too long. How many children have to die before the situation is brought to an end?” 

We have spokespeople available in Gaza and Jerusalem.   

[i] Gaza Ministry of Health 

Media contacts:

Beirut: Ahmed Bayram: ahmed.bayram@savethechildren.org 

London: Antonia.roupell@savethechildren.org +447855957573 

Out of hours (UK): Media@savethechildren.org.uk +447831650409

 

NZEI Te Riu Roa takes educators’ pay concerns to Public Service Minister

NZEI Te Riu Roa takes educators’ pay concerns to Public Service Minister

Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

NZEI Te Riu Roa takes educators’ pay concerns to Public Service Minister

11 May 2021

NZEI Te Riu Roa took educators’ concerns to the Public Service Minister today in a meeting between the Government and public sector unions.

“Educators have been frustrated and disheartened by the Government’s recent statements on public sector pay. Today we led a conversation with the Minister around pay in education – focusing especially on the hard work educators have done to support communities throughout the pandemic”, says National Secretary Paul Goulter. “We particularly emphasised the disappointment of principals around their pay outcomes in their last collective agreement negotiations.”

“As public sector unions, we discussed with the Minister how we now want to move forward.

“We all agreed that upcoming bargaining will be in good faith with no predetermined outcomes, that there will be scope to discuss cost of living increases in negotiations for all union members covered by collective agreements – with higher increases for lower paid workers, and that there is ultimately no pay freeze.

“We agreed that this new guidance, which replaces the Government’s proposed three-year guidance on public sector pay, will be reviewed next year.

“The Minister agreed that wellbeing and workload issues are a priority to address, and he will explain this to those who will be at the negotiating table as soon as possible.

“As a union, we’ll continue to push on this issue and to amplify our members’ concerns – especially as we draw closer to the start of negotiations for the tens of thousands of our members on public sector collective agreements in just a couple of months’ time. We’re hopeful of what we can achieve, but of course it will be in negotiations that we’ll see the true extent of the Government’s commitment to what they’ve said today.”

Arrest made in relation to duck shooting incident

Gisborne crash causes damage in Taruheru Cemetery

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Alexandra Police yesterday arrested a man in relation to a duck shooting incident on Sunday 2 May, in which two women were injured.

The 26-year-old Central Otago man has been charged with careless use of a firearm causing bodily injury.

He is scheduled to appear in Alexandra District Court on  Wednesday 12 May. 

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre. 

Employment – CTU public service unions meet with Public Service Minister

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: CTU
The Council of Trade Unions and affiliated public service unions, met with the Minister for the Public Service Hon Chris Hipkins this afternoon to discuss the pay expectations of those working in our public services.
CTU President Richard Wagstaff said it was a good discussion, “It was a constructive meeting. We made it crystal clear how unhappy and angry union members are feeling in response to the policy announcement.”
“There was absolute agreement that bargaining will be in good faith without pre-determined outcomes. It was also agreed that there is scope to discuss cost of living increases in negotiations for all union members covered by collectives, with higher increases for low paid workers and that there is no pay freeze.”
“The Minister said that the guidance for state sector employers will be reviewed next year.”
“We were reassured to hear that the Minister intends to accelerate pay equity and pay parity processes to settlement, positively impacting on the gender and ethnic pay imbalance. And the Minister also agreed that addressing wellbeing and workload issues are a priority.”
“We agreed that because bargaining is already underway and more bargaining will occurring in the coming weeks, that it is important to make sure todays discussion will be explained to those at the negotiation tables as soon as possible.”
“The channels of communication are open, and we agreed to have further discussions,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

Employment – PSA meets with government – union members will bargain for pay increases

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: PSA
A delegation from the Public Service Association today discussed upcoming pay negotiations with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister for the Public Service, the Minister of Workplace Relations and the Public Service Commissioner.
Frank and constructive discussions took place, and the government acknowledged bargaining must be conducted in good faith with no predetermined outcomes.
“Union members will resolve the question of public sector pay rises through collective bargaining,” says PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.
“As always, that means workers must get actively involved with their union and encourage colleagues to do the same.”
The union and the government agree there is scope to discuss cost of living increases for all union members covered by collective agreements, including higher increases for the lowest paid, and equal pay settlements must be sped up.
There was agreement today that more workers should receive scheduled increases through step-based pay systems. Negotiations enable these pay systems to be implemented.
The possibility of a multi-employer collective agreement for the public service was discussed. The PSA strongly supports this as a way to align pay and conditions consistently, efficiently and fairly.
The government said it will review its pay guidance in 2022, a year earlier than originally announced.
The union took the opportunity to outline how hurt and angry PSA members are feeling in the wake of last week’s pay restriction announcement. The government acknowledged these feelings are deep and widespread.
“We’ve been blown away over the past week to see so many public workers raise their voice and challenge the prospect of pay restrictions. In their workplaces, in their communities and in the media, public servants took a stand and it’s been heard at the very top,” says PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk.
“Our response to last week’s pay announcement has required a team effort from unionists at all levels. Change happens when ordinary people are prepared to make it happen, and we will continue to bargain for positive change in the years ahead.”

Business and Sport – Wynyard Edge Alliance wins 2021 ENZ Arthur Mead award for Engineering Excellence

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: McConnell Dowell

McConnell Dowell is pleased to announce that the Wynyard Edge Alliance won the Engineering New Zealand, Arthur Mead Award for Engineering Excellence for Projects greater than $10 million for the 36th Americas Cup infrastructure project.

The awards night at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland was attended by many members of the WEA project team lead by Kurt Grant (McConnell Dowell) who accepted the award on behalf of all that were involved with this outstanding project.

The Wynyard Edge Alliance delivered the stage for the 36th America’s Cup and a waterfront consisted of McConnell Dowell, Downer, Beca, T+T, Auckland Council, Panuku and MBIE.

The Alliance was recognised for numerous innovative materials and techniques including:

– pre-casting of the wharf and breakwater components and transporting them to site by barge, saving numerous truck trips through downtown Auckland,
– laying the groundwork for future development of the Wynyard Point land on which decades of heavy bulk fuels had been stored,
– provided a language skills programme for the construction workers that has assisted the workers to confidently move to other construction projects as well as engaging deeply and successfully with stakeholders and partners in a highly sensitive environment.

Most importantly, they got it all done in time for the 36th America’s Cup races to begin, meeting all of the project milestones and completing the project with 1.1 million worker hours LTI free.

Congratulations to everyone that worked on this outstanding project, deemed a Beacon project by MBIEs Construction Sector Accord, helping Emirates Team New Zealand win the 36th Americas Cup.

PSA meets with government – union members will bargain for pay increases

PSA meets with government - union members will bargain for pay increases

Source: Public Service Association (PSA)

A delegation from the Public Service Association today discussed upcoming pay negotiations with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister for the Public Service, the Minister of Workplace Relations and the Public Service Commissioner.

Frank and constructive discussions took place, and the government acknowledged bargaining must be conducted in good faith with no predetermined outcomes.

“Union members will resolve the question of public sector pay rises through collective bargaining,” says PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.

“As always, that means workers must get actively involved with their union and encourage colleagues to do the same.”

The union and the government agree there is scope to discuss cost of living increases for all union members covered by collective agreements, including higher increases for the lowest paid, and equal pay settlements must be sped up.

There was agreement today that more workers should receive scheduled increases through step-based pay systems. Negotiations enable these pay systems to be implemented.

The possibility of a multi-employer collective agreement for the public service was discussed. The PSA strongly supports this as a way to align pay and conditions consistently, efficiently and fairly.

The government said it will review its pay guidance in 2022, a year earlier than originally announced.

The union took the opportunity to outline how hurt and angry PSA members are feeling in the wake of last week’s pay restriction announcement. The government acknowledged these feelings are deep and widespread.

“We’ve been blown away over the past week to see so many public workers raise their voice and challenge the prospect of pay restrictions. In their workplaces, in their communities and in the media, public servants took a stand and it’s been heard at the very top,” says PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk.

“Our response to last week’s pay announcement has required a team effort from unionists at all levels. Change happens when ordinary people are prepared to make it happen, and we will continue to bargain for positive change in the years ahead.”