57 days ago

When does NZ move to the 'traffic light system'?

The Team Reporter from Stuff

Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who do not yet have both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine face a tightening of their freedoms on December 3, when the Government moves the entire country into the new “traffic-light” system.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the date on Monday, saying Covid-19 was not going to be eradicated from New Zealand.

“The hard truth is that Delta is here and not going away,” Ardern said.

While Aucklanders will finally see an end to New Zealand’s longest lockdown, those in other parts of the country could face far more restrictions if they have not been fully-vaccinated.

Read more here.

More messages from your neighbours
6 hours ago

Husband for sale (and other happy things) in today's Antidote

The Team Reporter from Stuff

We live in unusual times. It all gets a bit much some days. So we're bringing you a much-needed dose of positivity to remind you that there's inspiration, kindness and quirkiness out there too.

Sign up here to get The Antidote delivered to your inbox each day.

Today: The story of a husband for sale on Trade Me, a skipper with a digger, kiwi chicks in the skies and many, many beers for Betty White.

9 hours ago

Beer, wine and BBQ events fill the South's summer lineup

Jake Kenny Reporter from Community News

Hey neighbours,

Summer in the South Island is in full flow as upcoming events are welcomed by improving weather.

Ōtautahi Smoke, the first festival of its kind in the South Island, promises a mix of barbecue food from the best grill operators in the country, music from Kiwi favourites, and drinks. It’s the newest of a range of beer, wine and food events to look forward to in the coming months.

The South Island Wine and Food festival, North Canterbury wine and food festival, Christchurch Vegan Expo and the Great Kiwi Beer festival form a lineup of events sure to attract eager foodies, drink connoisseurs and curious punters to the Garden City.

Click 'Read more' below for the full story.

10 hours ago

Omicron may kick-start Kaikoura’s vax stagnant rate

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Adam Burns:
The arrival of Omicron could be the marker as to whether Kaikōura's stagnant vaccination rates are kickstarted.

Mayor Craig Mackle believes the inevitable emergence of the latest variant threat of Covid-19 may serve as an indicator as to whether community concern will bump up the vaccination numbers in the district, which at one point served as a national benchmark.

With 88 per cent of the district's applicable population double vaccinated, Kaikōura now has the lowest rates of any of the territories in the South Island.

It was previously touted as the top performing town in New Zealand in early October, according to the Ministry of Health with 55 per cent of its population receiving both doses.

"It was a solid start and then it just stalled," Mackle said.

The town copped a slight scare last week when a supermarket and a hardware store, visited on Wednesday January 5, were listed as locations of interest by the Ministry of Health.

Kaikōura Health (Te Ha o Te Ora) said the development had sparked only a minor increase in testing and Mackle agreed there had been little cause for concern among locals.

"To be fair it was nothing much," he said.

"It does alert you and makes you concentrate on what you're supposed to be doing.

"Obviously it was just someone passing through and nothing further has reared its head."

Mackle was at a loss as to why vaccination numbers had stalled.

"I'd like to see anyone who can be done, done," he said.

"There's a multitude of reasons that people believe they don't need it. But you can't change the way some peoples' minds work."

However he remained confident that the rates would ramp up once Omicron surfaced in the district.

"I bet it will step up once it appears here as it tends to in other places," he said.

"You get the ones who don't like to be told what to do...they'll be the first ones to jump."