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The Wellington region will move to alert level 2 from 6pm on Wednesday 23rd June until 11.59pm on Sunday 27th June.

The announcement comes after a person who travelled from Sydney to Wellington tested positive for COVID-19. The person was in Wellington from 19-21 June.

At this stage, the rest of New Zealand will remain at alert level 1.

Alert level 2 means the following rules must be followed.

  • Limits on gathering size to fewer than 100 people, including tangi, church services, weddings and so on
  • Physical distancing in public places of 2m, and at least 1m in most other places including workplaces
  • Face masks remain mandatory on all public transport, and are encouraged while waiting for public transport and in rideshare services and taxis as well
  • Businesses can open but must follow public health rules including the 100 person cap on venues
  • Hospitality locations must apply the three S rules
  • As with all levels, people with symptoms should call Healthline or their doctor to seek advice on getting a test

Travel is not restricted under alert level 2, but anyone who has been in the Wellington region over the weekend should keep alert level 2 behaviours if they go elsewhere.

Medsafe has given the all-clear for New Zealanders as young as 12 to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Early this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed Medsafe had granted “provisional approval” for the vaccine for youth aged 12 to 15. However, it is conditional on Pfizer continuing to provide data from its clinical trials.

Until the all clear is given, the minimum age for a COVID vaccine remains 16. In New Zealand there are 265,000 children in the 12-15 age bracket.

Ardern said that schools and community hubs would play a pivotal role in giving vaccinations to this younger age group.

Children are much less likely than adults to get severely ill from Covid-19, but overseas some have been hospitalised and even died. Young people can also transmit the virus to others.

Some children, such as those of MIQ workers, may be vaccinated sooner than others if the MedSafe decision was approved by Cabinet.

A runaway sheep is on the loose in New Plymouth.

The sheep was last seen in a house after barging its way in when the owner opened the door.

The New Plymouth District Council said the ram was first captured on the Huatoki Walkway, in the Glenpark area of the city, after attempted to head-butt pedestrians. The ram was taken to the city’s animal shelter.

However, the ram, belived to be called as Duggy​, then escaped.

The local council believe the ram is possibly on the loose somewhere in the Waiwhakaiho area.

A tornado has hit South Auckland, killing one person and injuring two others.

The storm lifted roofs, toppled trees and caused huge damage in the suburb of Papatoetoe at around 8:30am on Saturday morning.

A worker was killed when the tornado struck a freight container Auckland Ports hub in Wiri Station Road.

New Zealand’s MetService said the storm was incredibly localised and the front which bought the bad weather had moved on by 11am.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had her Covid-19 vaccination in Auckland.

Ardern was vaccinated along with the Chief Science Advisor Juliet Gerrard.

After her injection, Ardern said that the injection was “pretty pain free” and felt better than having the flu vaccination.

Earlier she said: “For me it’s a really big milestone to be a part of what is the biggest vaccination event and the biggest health rollout of our history is a really important milestone for me.”

Ardern has recently announced the roll out strategy of the vaccine to the wider population.

Those aged 60 or over would be eligible from 28 July, and those aged 55 and over from 11 August.

Further age cohorts would be confirmed following more Pfizer shipments in July.

Currently only 7.7% of the population is fully vaccinated. However, the government is happy with the progress of the immunisation programme.

There are over 340,000 people in the country who are fully vaccinated, and some time next week, it’s expected the millionth dose will be administered.

What people are doing to our climate affects our human rights. Climate change is already threatening  many of our rights, and our ability to live well together. That’s why we refer to climate change as the climate crisis, because humanity needs to do more, and faster, to stop the worst effects from happening.  

People have a right to fresh water, food, housing, health and sanitation, adequate standards of living, work, a healthy environment and a culture. All of these are threatened by the climate crisis. Unprecedented heatwaves, wildfires, intense back-to-back tropical storms, severe drought and rising sea levels are having a negative effect people’s ability to live with the full enjoyment of these rights.  

The people feeling the impacts of the climate crisis first are those who live in close connection with nature and rely on natural resources for survival. For example, neighbouring countries around the Pacific are struggling to cope with erosion on their shores and salt water killing their main food crops like taro and coconuts.  

But there’s good news too! There’s a growing understanding across all countries of what needs to happen to take us out of crisis mode and into a future of sustainability. This movement is called a Just Transition and it’s a way of getting everyone on board to make positive change. We can all do things to make a difference such as refusing to buy foods packaged in plastic. But if we are to see real change it must be a structured effort by everyone, not just individual people doing good in their own lives. This means it must come from institutions and governments that guide the way we live. An example of a structured Just Transition could be how governments around the world are supporting fossil fuel workers into new jobs. 

Other positive structural changes include more of a global effort under the Paris Climate Agreement to keep climate pollution down. While this agreement doesn’t go far enough, it does have the recipe for a sustainable world. Governments now know what processes they need to put in place to reduce our human impact on the environment.  

Amnesty International is calling on all government to;  

  • Stop using fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) as quickly as possible. 
  • Reduce greenhouse gas pollution to zero by 2050 at the latest, and richer countries should do this faster. 
  • Make sure everyone, in particular those most affected by the climate crisis or the transition to a fossil-free economy, is properly informed about what is happening and is able to participate in decisions about their futures. 
  • Make sure that climate action is done in a way that does not violate anyone’s human rights, and reduces rather than increases inequality. 

The more people who know about this recipe for success, the more likely it is governments will feel pressure to implement news ways of living that enable us to enjoy all of our human rights with adequate housing, food, water, freedom of cultural expression, health and more. 

New Zealand’s largest agricultural event, Feildays 2021, has kicked off in Hamilton.

The event is held at Mystery Creek, near Kirikiriroa-Hamilton. It is the first time the event has been held in two years due to Covid restrictions.

In 2019, nearly 130,000 people attended the event and more than $500 million was generated in sales revenue for New Zealand businesses.

This year more that 1000 exhibitors have their companies and products on display.

Fieldays Online was launched during Covid-19 in 2020 and will also return for this year. Last year it had 90,455 visitors and viewers from more than 75 different countries.