21 days ago

Trans-Tasman bubble: Mysterious first flight from Australia arrives 41 minutes after bubble opens

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

The first quarantine-free flight from Australia has landed in New Zealand, less than an hour after the trans-Tasman bubble officially opened.

The Qantas flight took off from Sydney late Sunday night, and was initially due to land early Monday morning – six minutes after the bubble opened. It touched down in Auckland 41 minutes after the new rules kicked in.

From April 19, Kiwis and Australians are able to travel between the two countries without having to quarantine.

Stuff understands the Qantas flight was repositioning to Auckland and the only passengers on board were crew.

The flight was not listed on Auckland Airport’s arrivals board, but a Qantas A330 was initially listed on Flight Radar 24 as arriving at 12.05am. The border opened six minutes earlier.

Qantas refused to answer any questions about the flight, including who was onboard.

A Qantas 737 (different from the expected A330) was seen leaving Sydney Airport for New Zealand late on Sunday evening. Flight Radar 24, which plotted the flight heading towards the North Island, had no destination listed.

Aircraft can potentially arrive more than 30 minutes early if they have a strong tailwind across the Tasman, but if that happened, the pilots could intentionally slow the plane to ensure they arrive after the border opening. However, if they had a medical emergency on the plane or a mechanical issue, it would need to land as soon as possible.

That could be one of the reasons no passenger flights are scheduled to land overnight, just after the border opens.

Instead, the first quarantine-free passenger flight arriving from Australia is a Jetstar service from Sydney. JQ201 is due to land at 11.20am, where an official welcome is planned at Auckland Airport.

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2 minutes ago

Poll: Do you support banning school jackets in the classroom?

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

High school students are too cold to learn because they have to remove their jackets in class, parents say.

The students, at Auckland’s Mount Albert Grammar School, are prohibited from wearing their jackets – which are optional to buy as part of their school uniform and cost $98 – inside.

Stuff understands this is because of the rustling noise the jacket makes, which has been deemed distracting in class, but was unable to reach the board of trustees for confirmation.

Instead, the students are allowed to wear a jersey, which costs $98, or a cardigan, which costs $120, in class.

Parent Tracy​ Kelly-Hunt​ said the rule is depriving children of their basic need of warmth, reflected in Maslow's hierachy of needs.

“According to my daughter most of the older rooms are cold – a new TV is bought but not heating."

The woollen school jumper is uncomfortable and itchy to wear, said the social work student at Auckland University.

Kelly-Hunt said the uniform was so expensive she had to buy it secondhand, and other parents had to borrow money from the Ministry of Social Development to pay for it.

“Why are they charging that amount for a uniform and our kids have got to take that jacket off and be cold in the classroom, and they’re not going to learn anything?”

Fellow parent Emily​ Hall​ said her 15-year-old son does not wear a jacket to school because of the rule.

He has no locker and his bag is always full, so he has nowhere to put a jacket, she said.

“As a parent, I am really annoyed that I spent a lot of money for a jacket he does not feel he can wear.”

Hall said she finds it insulting that students are having their clothing micro-managed.

Deputy head boy Tali​ Meavale​ said students have to remove their jackets because on rainy days, the clothing could be wet and damp, leading to them getting sick.

There are also problems with students sweating in their jackets at lunchtime, making them smell, he said.

Teachers in the small number of classrooms that aren’t heated are lenient, and “allow students to wear their jackets for half the period”, the 17-year-old said.

“We offer jerseys here at MAGS as well as scarves, and I understand some students can’t afford it, but we also offer help for these students.”

Mount Albert Grammar School principal Patrick​ Drumm​ said he had not received any complaints about the jackets.

The uniform was approved by the board of trustees and had not changed for many years, he said.

“Certainly if it's a serious enough issue, I'd expect and welcome parents to make contact through the normal processes.”

In June 2020, West Auckland’s Avondale College changed its policy to allow students to wear their outdoor jackets inside the classroom.

*Please put NFP if you do not want your comments used by Stuff.

Do you support banning school jackets in the classroom?
  • 0% Yes
    0% Complete
  • 0% No
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  • 0% Neutral
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  • 0% Unsure- it's a complex issue.
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0 votes
6 days ago

Poll: Do you support the fine increase for using a mobile while driving from $80 to $150?

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

Drivers have been captured on camera boldly using their phones while driving, to video call, text and make calls.

The footage, taken in Auckland, comes as the Government increased the cost of a fine for using a cellphone while driving from $80 to $150.

Over the course of a week, ahead of the fine increase, a Stuff visual journalist captured numerous people using their phones while driving, including a woman who appeared to be on a video call while passing through an intersection, a man speaking on the phone and numerous people texting or looking at their phone.

Last year, police issued more than 40,000 infringement notices for the offence.

A driver for Dingo Groundworx NZ was captured using their phone while driving a truck along Williamson Ave, in Ponsonby.

Owner Cameron Hadley told Stuff all employees were very aware they should not be using their phones while driving.

He said he would be raising the issue in a staff meeting.

AA road safety spokesman Dylan Thomsen told Stuff he wasn’t surprised to hear about the woman video calling while driving.

While AA supports the Government’s fine increase, Thomsen said it wasn’t going to solve the problem.

“People just can’t resist the temptation if they hear their phone go off ... it’s not something you do by accident.”

“A lot of people use their phone behind the wheel and don’t do other risky things.”

He hopes as there are further advancements in technology, phone companies can have default “do not disturb” modes that activate as soon as drivers start moving in their car.

“Until we change the mindset it will be hard with enforcement alone, people don’t appreciate the risks until it’s too late,” Thomsen said.

To see video footage, go here:


*Please put NFP if you do not want your comments used by Stuff.

Do you support the fine increase for using a mobile while driving from $80 to $150?
  • 90.5% Yes
    90.5% Complete
  • 7.7% No
    7.7% Complete
  • 1.8% Unsure- it's too complex
    1.8% Complete
2013 votes
3 days ago

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