For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work here. New Zealand is currently in alert level two – read The Spinoff’s giant explainer about what that means here. For official government advice, see here.
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7pm: The day in sum
There are no active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand for the first time since February. It’s now been 17 days since the last new case was reported.
New Zealand will move to alert level one at midnight tonight.
A new report on Oranga Tamariki baby uplift practices published by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner found “deep systemic issues” with families describing the system as dangerous, brutal and racist.
Jetstar announced it would resume domestic flights in New Zealand from July 1.
The Warehouse Group announced it was planning six store closures and an organisational restructure, with over 1,000 jobs potentially on the line.
6.20pm: Jetstar to resume domestic flights
Jetstar will resume domestic flying across New Zealand on July 1, with fares available from $21.d
The resumption of services will see Jetstar flying 75 return flights per week to five destinations, returning to approximately 60% of its normal domestic schedule. Customers with bookings on the remaining 40% of flights have been contacted and offered a range of options.
Jetstar will closely monitor demand, with further domestic flights likely be added to the schedule in coming months. The domestic schedule from 1 July includes:
- Auckland to Christchurch (24 weekly return flights)
- Auckland to Dunedin (3 return weekly flights)
- Auckland to Wellington (27 return weekly flights)
- Auckland to Queenstown (14 return weekly flights)
- Christchurch to Wellington (7 return weekly flights)
5.50pm: Splore Festival returning in 2021
Gigs are finally gearing up for a return with Splore announcing shortly after the alert level one announcement that the festival would be back next year.
Splore Festival director John Minty said New Zealand being Covid-19 free was a “determining factor” for going ahead with the festival. He said he was thrilled that it had happened much faster than he’d anticipated.
“There are so many small businesses that make up the fabric of Splore and I am really happy to engage our loyal crew and also support all our suppliers, sponsors, performers, artists, food and craft vendors,” said Minty.
But with Covid-19 still engulfing countries like the US and UK where Splore sources some of its music acts, Splore is set to take a “stay local” approach for 2021.
The festival is scheduled to take place on February 26-28, 2021 at Tapapakanga Regional Park.
5.10pm: National Transition Period comes to an end
At 1.53pm today, the National Transition Period which came into force on May 13 due to Covid-19 was officially terminated, Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare announced.
The National Transition Period supported a move from an emergency response into the initial recovery phase and provided the national recovery manager – the director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black – and others access to special powers designed to assist with recovery.
“With the powers available under the new Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, the significant progress made by government agencies to coordinate longer-term welfare assistance and the commitment of our team of five million, I am satisfied that the National Transition Period is no longer required,” Henare said.
“[But] this move does not signal that New Zealanders should stop being vigilant in protecting themselves and others from the virus … It is essential we all follow the alert level one requirements and remain prepared.”
3.00pm: New Zealand to move to alert level one at midnight tonight
Read the full text of Jacinda Ardern’s speech here.
On the same day New Zealand reached the milestone of having no remaining active cases of Covid-19, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced the country will move to alert level one at midnight tonight.
“Around the world we saw people losing their loved ones and their livelihoods at a rate that was unacceptable to us,” said Ardern. “Our goal was to come out the other side as quickly and safely as we could,” she said. She said New Zealand had “united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus”.
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