New Zealand

Kangaroos to face Kiwis in Wollongong in October

The announcement of the trans-Tasman Test provides the first details of the international calendar which is expected to include an Oceania series and Great Britain Lions tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

It will be the first time the Kangaroos have hosted the Kiwis in Australia since the mid-season ANZAC Test was cancelled in 2017.

The two nations have only met once since, with New Zealand defeating Australia in Auckland last October.

New Zealand's fire danger highest it's been in a long time - Fire and Emergency

Most of the country is under a total fire ban after weeks without rain led to tinder dry conditions.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) principal risk advisor Peter Gallagher told The AM Show New Zealanders weren't used to living with such high fire risk.

"If we were all living in Australia we'd be having that awareness about all these things that may cause that little tiny spark.

"That's all we're talking about - just has to be a mower blade striking a rock, or an emission from a chainsaw, something like that.

New Freemasons centre in NZ part of modernisation drive

After about two years of work, the Canterbury Kilwinning Lodge is opening in Woolston's Ferry Road today.

It's hoped that the new centre will give the Freemasons a renewed presence in Christchurch, after earthquakes forced the closure of a number of centres.

For the past five years a centre in Shirley has hosted the majority of masonic events in the city.

Freemasons New Zealand Grand Master, Mark Winger, said the new, purpose-built, boutique-style building would accommodate masonic ceremonies, as well as social activities for the wider community.

NZDF delivers voting equipment for Solomons

Air Commodore Tim Walshe said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided the voting screens to the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission.

New Zealand, together with its Pacific partners, contributed to restoring peace and stability in the Solomons in the early 2000s so they are pleased to support the islands again in a tangible way as it prepared for the elections, Mr Walshe said.

The RNZAF Boeing 757 flew to Honiara to deliver the voting equipment, as well as supplies for the Fred Hollows Foundation, an NGO providing eyecare in the region.

     

NZ ups its diplomatic presence in Pacific

The reset aims for a heightened focus on the Pacific and today's announcement will see 14 new diplomatic and development positions created offshore.

Mr Peters said the new posts would be in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Honolulu.

In addition four new diplomats will be placed in Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels, and New York, "to co-ordinate development policy and partnerships for the Pacific region".

NZ$10 million vaccine funding

Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, announced this today in Port Moresby soon after the conclusion of the APEC Leaders’ Summit.

New Zealand will be working in partnership with the National Department of Health and Australia on this program.

“We are going to put $10 million towards PNG’s vaccination campaign from life threating and preventable diseases,” Peters stated.

4 nations join PNG’s electrification initiative

As a result, PNG has invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States to work together to support its enhanced connectivity and the goal of connecting 70 percent of its population to electricity by 2030.

Currently, only about 13 percent of PNG’s population have reliable access to electricity.

In a joint media conference today, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, along with his counterparts from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the US said electricity lifts the living standards of communities in cities, towns and remote villages.

Police Commissioner farewells NZ contingent

During the official opening of the RPNGC Water Police Headquarters at Konedobu in Port Moresby last Friday, Baki appreciated the governments of Australia and New Zealand for assisting the RPNGC in some of the work that have been taking place.

He acknowledged them particularly for the provision of police advisors to help the RPNGC deliver the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2018.

Strong, deep earthquake felt across central New Zealand

GeoNet has reported the quake was a magnitude 6.7, although it was centered at a depth of 193km.

Parliament has been suspended after the quake.

More than 15,000 people have already reported feeling the quake on GeoNet.

GNS Science duty siesmologist Lara Bland warned local residents to expect aftershocks.

Ms Bland said longer, rolling quakes tend to produce fewer aftershocks but there would "certainly" be some coming.

Civil Defence said there is no tsunami threat.

Heavy snowfall blankets New Zealand's South Island

MetService warned heavy snow from overnight and carrying into this morning, at Central Otago, Southland and Fiordland, may disrupt travel and could damage trees and powerlines.

The cold conditions may also cause stress for livestock, MetService said on its website.

The weather agency stated snowfall may hit warning amounts above 500m in inland Dunedin and North Otago.

Fiordland, Westland south of Otira and Otago Headwaters and Canterbury Lakes and rivers are also expecting heavy rain today.