Grape vines being irrigated in Central Otago. PHOTO: MARK PRICECentral Otago’s grape harvest must go on — wine producers are deemed an essential service, meaning Covid-19 will not stop the 2020 vintage. "Sharing of best practice is consistent, with all-member conference calls, and leaders in the industry sharing, via the association, best practices on practical matters such as picking grapes." Harvest has now generally begun in Central Otago, and is expected to run for the month of April. The board of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association represents a group of 170 grape growers across Central Otago.
The Highlanders will move from one period of self-isolation to a national lockdown as the season continues along its rollercoaster ride. That two-week period ends today, but it is no party, as the national lockdown is in force until April 23. Head coach Aaron Mauger initially returned to his house and decided his wife Amy and his two younger children Ivy (8) and Hugo (6) would go into self-isolation with him. Just past halfway through their self-isolation when the lockdown was announced last week, Mauger was not too disappointed, saying it was inevitable and backed the Government’s decision. The players were concentrating on keeping fit and as the lockdown continued the connections between players and coaching staff would increase.
Our lovely Danish exchange student Caroline Berg (17) came to us somewhat unexpectedly. We had just relocated to Invercargill and moved to our home when we got word, Caroline needed to be rehomed from where she was staying in Auckland. The mother instinct in me kicked in, and I volunteered our family to "adopt" her for the remaining four months in New Zealand. She slowly settled in and not only became part of our little unit but also part of the wider family. Our home is just that little bit quieter, and it just feels she has gone away for the weekend.
James Johnston completed his Five Passes hike in Kinloch, to find New Zealand in lockdown and masked figures approaching him. PHOTO: SUPPLIEDA solo hiker had the shock of a lifetime when he returned from a five-day South Island tramp to find New Zealand in lockdown. Englishman James Johnston set off on the difficult Five Passes route, with no idea he would be approached by three hooded figures, wearing masks and hi-viz jackets, on his return. “In their masks and their hoodies, it looked like ... a post-apocalyptic survivor squad.”Mr Johnston set out on Sunday, March 22. Mr Johnston had finished his walk at 2.15pm and caught the 4pm flight to Wellington with 10 minutes to spare.
As Police Commissioner Mike Bush called for an end to those flouting the rules of the Covid-19 lockdown — including freedom campers — the Dunedin City Council is still fielding reports of the campers in the city. Three arrests had been made over persistent breaches of the rules, and if people were not complying with the Government’s rules, the police’s lenient approach could be revisited, Mr Bush said. And council parks and recreation group manager Robert West confirmed yesterday the council was still monitoring freedom camping across the city each evening. "We have had some feedback about a small number of freedom campers still in the city [there were three vehicles over the weekend]," he said in an emailed response. People continuing to camp during the lockdown were asked to call the council to discuss alternative accommodation.
Dunedin's Red Badge security has been in high demand since the country moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 4 and it is recruiting staff “like crazy”. CEO Andy Gollings said it had been a strange time for the company. He said Red Badge had been hired mainly for access control to the places which remained open, including testing laboratories, hospitals and shopping centres. The company expected its team would grow by about 150 people. The security team, which once worked at the Forsyth Barr Stadium for events, would now be scattered across Otago and Invercargill.
New NZ junior triallists Angus Kenny (left) and Reuben Cook rowing for Otago at Lake Ruataniwha earlier this season. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETTThree young rowers from the South have been included in a Rowing NZ junior trial squad. The squad includes rowers from all round the country, although one of the main trial selections regattas, the Maadi Cup, was canned. RNZ would continue to take guidance from World Rowing (FISA) regarding the 2020 World Rowing Junior Championships, which is currently scheduled to take place from August 16-21 in Bled in Slovenia. The athletes on the list may be required to complete further testing in their home regions ahead of the final junior triallist list being announced.
Blue Penguins Pukekura scientist Hiltrun Ratz holds an unusually chubby little penguin from the colony at Pilots Beach. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSHA fat penguin is bringing some positive news to the Otago Peninsula Trust in Dunedin. The little penguin weighs a hefty 1520g. Blue Penguins Pukekura scientist Hiltrun Ratz discovered the big chick when she fed and weighed chicks whose parents were moulting, Ms Barker said. About 80% of the people who took the Blue Penguins Pukekura tour were international tourists.
The cancellations include the 2020 Heartland Championship, the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament, the national sevens tournament and all provincial union representative rugby tournaments. He felt it would not be a huge blow financially for the Heartland unions, as most of them were in good health. He said the Heartland unions were supportive of the move and all the stakeholders were constantly in dialogue over what could be done in the current environment. "It’s a blow for the Heartland Unions to lose their much-loved championships. Robinson said if things turned around there was a chance some games could be played in the Heartland unions.
Footage shared by cabinet minister Andrew Little shows residents at the Bob Scott retirement village in Lower Hutt enjoying their happy hour while observind social distancing rules from their balconies. Residents at a Lower Hutt retirement village have been enjoying each other's company from a safe distance in the midst of the coronavirus emergency. In a video shared by cabinet minister Andrew Little on social media residents of the Bob Scott Retirement Village can be seen enjoying a drink and socialising from their balconies during their weekly happy hour. "See how the residents are uniting, while maintaining social distancing to protect each other... Self-isolation isn't social isolation, whatever your age," Little posted. INSTAGRAM For the last two weeks residents at the Bob Scott Retirement Village in Lower Hutt have been having drinks and chippies brought to their room because of the coronavirus emergency.
March 30, 2020 09:00 UTC
Family and support people are now the only visitors allowed into the Aspiring Lifestyle Retirement Village in Wanaka after a staff member tested positive for the Covid-19 virus on Friday. Managing director Aaron Armstrong said the staff member was tested on March 26 when a close contact of their spouse received a positive test result on the same day. The staff member left the village at lunchtime on Wednesday, March 25 in preparation for the nationwide lockdown and has not returned since, he said. All staff were advised of the positive test on Friday and any staff that may have been in close contact with the positive staff member were sent home that day to isolate themselves were not returning to the village. Residents were advised on Saturday, only one resident was deemed to be a close contact and they were isolated like everyone else in the village, Mr Armstrong said.
March 30, 2020 07:41 UTC
The MS Zaandam cruise ship which has been battling with an outbreak of Covid-19, four deaths and over 189 passengers and crew reporting flu like symptoms. A cruise ship battling an outbreak of Covid-19 with Kiwis on board was expected to pass through the Panama Canal on Monday, but whether it can dock at its final destination in the US remains up in the air. Stuff understands there were 15 Kiwis on the cruise ship, which left Buenos Aires in Argentina on March 7 for a 14 day cruise via Uruguay and the Falkland Islands, before stopping in Chile on March 21. Margaretha said she's hoping her parents, who are now on the Rotterdam, will be able to get off the ship when it arrives in Florida. STUFF The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam has been stranded off the coast of Panama and unable to dock over fears some of the passengers and crew have Covid-19.
March 30, 2020 06:33 UTC
Government has created a reporting mechanism for the public, email@example.com, where people can send emails alleging price gouging among retailers. NETFLIX The Government wants to know if your mates have been naughty, and it's counting on you to tell them. In ordinary times overcrowded footpaths and overzealous seaside mirthmaking are merely noisome, but in the age of Covid-19, they're potentially deadly. Announcing the lockdown last week, the prime minister urged kindness, and asked people to leave enforcement to the enforcers. There is some comfort in asserting even a hollow control over an uncertain world, even if it means pointing the finger.
March 30, 2020 06:22 UTC
Kiwis at risk of losing jobs in Australia because of coronavirus will be eligible for a huge new wage subsidy scheme worth $1530 a fortnight. READ MORE:* Coronavirus: Government announces wage subsidy changes* First death from coronavirus in New Zealand, as total rises to 514* Nelson coronavirus patient remains 'critically unwell' in ICU* Coronavirus: Government condemns social media bullies* PM Jacinda Ardern praises lab staff for 'tireless' work1 NEWS A regional breakdown of the latest coronavirus data. "We will pay employers to pay their employees," he said. "It's great New Zealanders who work and pay tax in Australia will be covered by their version of the wage subsidy scheme," she said about the development. "New Zealand is also supporting Australians working and paying tax here with our wage subsidy package.
March 30, 2020 05:48 UTC
Luk Philip, 40, has been convicted of indecently assaulting a girl under 12-years-old. (File photo)A vineyard worker convicted of indecently assaulting a girl in Marlborough will be deported on the first flight to Vanuatu, but amid the coronavirus pandemic no-one knows when that will be. READ MORE: Vineyard worker charged with indecent assault on girlThe incident was "out of character, opportunistic, fleeting and somewhat spontaneous", and Philip was remorseful, Zintl said. Zintl said Air Vanuatu had suspended all flights due to Covid-19, but Philip would be able to continue working until the first available flight. Philip was not registered to the child sex offender list given that he would be deported as soon as possible, he said.
March 30, 2020 05:03 UTC