Tourists fined for bringing Pacific shell, coral souvenirs into NZ

Two travellers have been fined for trying to bring protected corals and shells back to New Zealand after tropical holidays. Some of the shells that were retrieved by the Department of Conservation. Photo: Supplied / DOC Some shells and corals found in Pacific Islands are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species … Read more

What do we know about the latest Omicron subvariant BA.2.75?

A new Omicron subvariant which has been circulating in India has been detected in New Zealand for the first time. Early evidence suggests that BA.2.75 may be more successful in avoiding immunity than earlier variants. Photo: Getty Picture Alliance The Ministry of Health’s latest statement said genome sequencing on Friday confirmed two cases of BA.2.75 … Read more

Police investigate fight involving group with weapons

Four people have been arrested following reports of a fight among gang members in Taupō. Taupō. Photo: 123rf Police said they were alerted to a disorder incident on Te Heuheu Street about 9.35am on Tuesday, where people had reported seeing gang members with weapons including a firearm. The group left the scene before officers arrived. … Read more

Postcode lottery for aged care admittance – research

Vulnerable people are being forced to wait too long for residential aged care beds and need much greater support when they are admitted, says new research pointing to a postcode lottery in the sector. Photo: 123rf There had been an alarming lack of progress in providing timely residential care at the right level, in an … Read more

Wages climb, job market ‘levelling off’ – Trade Me data

Wages are continuing to climb as employers fight to secure talent, but there are signs the job market is stabilising. Photo: 123rf Data from Trade Me for the three months ended June showed the nationwide average salary increased by 2 percent year-on-year, to reach $66,016. The number of jobs listed on the website fell 5 … Read more

Data quality issues with clean car scheme resolved, officials say

Hundreds of data quality issues with the clean car discount scheme have now been resolved, officials say. Photo: 123RF The used car industry has complained that wrong or missing data is leading to some customers getting the wrong rebates or fees since the scheme began three months ago. The Transport Agency said it resolved 619 … Read more

Mt Ruapehu volcanic unrest declines, alert level lowered

The chances of a volcanic eruption on Mt Ruapehu have lowered, with the alert level dropping to one. Photo: GNS Science Volcano activity has been fluctuating between moderate and strong levels of tremor for the past month. But GNS Science said it had settled down over the past week. However, the Department of Conservation said … Read more

What the rise in Omicron cases means, and what you can do

Aotearoa is heading into the middle of winter, Covid-19 case numbers are rising, and health professionals warn it could mean a return to red restrictions. Photo: 123RF However, there are other cards that could be played to help push back the Omicron winter bite. There was a jump in cases that started late last month: … Read more

Tairāwhiti tops hazardous drinking list

Tairāwhiti has the highest hazardous drinking rate in the country according to a report presented to Gisborne District Council. The Gisborne District Council has showed its support for Chlöe Swarbrick’s alcohol amendment bill which seeks to reduce alcohol advertising in sports. Photo: Supplied / Gisborne Herald The report, prepared by Alcohol Healthwatch in support of … Read more

Snells Beach cafe workers still waiting for unjustified dismissal payments

By Sarah Curtis, Open Justice reporter of Eight cafe workers awarded nearly $150,000 after they were abruptly sacked just ahead of the first nationwide Covid-19 lockdown are yet to see the money. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King In January last year, the ERA found in favour of the former employees’ personal grievance claim, ruling they … Read more