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  • Ardern’s popularity stumbles on New Zealand’s slow road to vaccination

    Polls this week suggest the glacial speed of the Covid vaccine rollout is starting to affect Labour’s support, even as PM remains personally popular An unbeatable leader in times of crisis, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s soaring popularity has teetered on the country’s slow road to vaccination. This week, polling in New Zealand indicated some of the gloss may be fading from the Ardern government’s second term, which has enjoyed soaringly high popularity over the past year. The poll, conducted by Newshub/Reid Research, put Labour at 43%, down 9.7 percentage points. The results followed a similar trend line polling by TVNZ from May. Related: Bots and scalpers: desperate Kiwis try everything to get into Fortress New Zealand Related: New Zealand pandemic policies pushed 18,000 ch…

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  • Ardern’s apology to Pacific peoples was just the beginning – we will continue the fight | Melani Anae

    What was delivered was a watered-down version of what we called for – it will do little to dismantle systemic racism When the Polynesian Panthers (PPP) activist group began calling for an apology for the dawn raids two years ago, we went into the process with eyes wide open. Government lobbyists seldom get everything they ask for, but our intent was honest and real and fuelled by our Panther legacy and love for the people. We believe that the apology was, and is, a necessary step towards the healing and restoration of trust and relationships between the Pacific peoples and families who were adversely affected by government actions during the dawn raids and the government. Related: ‘Government-sanctioned racism’: Pasifika in New Zealand call for apology for Dawn Raid policy Related: 'Devas…

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  • Media tactics and strategic baiting: inside the mind of ex-All Blacks coach Steve Hansen

    In this extract from a new biography, Gregor Paul tells how the legendary coach prepared for the 2015 World Cup final against the Wallabies If it were possible to measure confidence on a device with a scale, Hansen’s numbers would have been off the charts in the week of the final. He wasn’t complacent, or arrogant – he simply knew that his side had the measure of the Wallabies in every way. He respected them, knew the dangers they posed and was aware that Australia had emerged through the so-called pool of death and were in great form, battle hardened and a different team to the one they had been a few months earlier at Eden Park when the All Blacks thumped them. Still, they left none of the residual doubt in Hansen the way the semi-final fixture against the Springboks had. Since Hansen h…

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  • 'All I've ever wanted to be is myself,' says weightlifter Laurel Hubbard – video

    The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard reflected on her history-making participation at the Tokyo 2020 Games as the first transgender woman to compete in the Olympics.  I don't think it should be historic ... we are human, and as such I hope that just by being here, that's enough, she said after her appearance in the over-87kg final, which had been the subject of controversy and scrutiny. Hubbard failed with attempts to lift 120kg and two at 125kg in the snatch as she made a quick exit from the competition. China's Li Wenwen of China won gold, with Britain's Emily Campbell taking silver. Laurel Hubbard’s Olympic dream dies under the world’s gaze Continue reading...

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  • Coronavirus live news: US reaches 70% first-shot goal while Japan shifts to home care for most Covid patients

    White House greets vaccine news as ‘Milestone Monday’ while Japan moves to ensure it has enough hospital beds amid a spike in Covid cases US reaches Biden’s 70% first-shot goal as threat to unvaccinated people grows Hundreds of health workers in isolation as Delta hits Australian state of Queensland Johnson dumps ‘amber watchlist’ plan as it emerges top adviser has quit 6.03am BST Welcome to the Guardian’s rolling updates on the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Livingstone. At least 70% of adults in the US have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccination shot, reaching a target Joe Biden originally said he had hoped to achieve by 4 July. Health and government officials have in recent days painted the resurgence of coronavirus there as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, highlighting t…

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  • New Zealand reserve bank to toughen mortgage-lending rules in bid to tackle housing crisis

    Measures include reducing number of loans to borrowers with small deposits and potential debt-to-income restrictions New Zealand’s reserve bank has announced plans to tighten up mortgage-lending, as the country struggles to tackle its housing crisis. One measure, which would come into force from 1 October after consultations, will involve reducing the portion of loans banks can make to owner occupiers with less than 20% of their deposit. Related: House prices in Australia and New Zealand among world’s fastest growing in 2021 Related: House with no toilet sells for $2m as New Zealand property market soars Continue reading...

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  • Jacinda Ardern apologises over New Zealand 'dawn raids' in 1970s – video

    New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has formally apologised to Pacific Island people who were targeted for deportation in aggressive home raids in the mid-1970s. Ardern attended a ceremony at the Auckland town hall during which she made the apology on behalf of the nation for the racially charged 'dawn raids', which targeted Pasifika people for deportation. ‘The government expresses its sorrow, remorse, and regret that the dawn raids and random police checks occurred and that these actions were ever considered appropriate,’ Ardern said. Jacinda Ardern apologises for New Zealand ‘dawn raids’ on Pasifika people in 1970s Continue reading...

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  • New Zealand commission launches inquiry into ‘massive human rights failure’ on housing

    Crisis has been marked by escalating rents, high rates of homelessness and substandard conditions New Zealand’s housing crisis has become a “massive human rights failure”, the Human Rights Commission has said, as it launches a national inquiry into the problem. “Successive governments have failed New Zealanders,” chief commissioner Paul Hunt said in a statement as he announced the inquiry. “New Zealand governments have signed up to a critically important human right: the right to a decent home. For generations, they have promised to create the conditions to enable everyone to live in a decent home, but this has not happened.” Related: ‘Pressures have built up’: how can New Zealand solve its social housing crisis? Related: House with no toilet sells for $2m as New Zealand property market s…

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  • Jacinda Ardern apologises for New Zealand ‘dawn raids’ on Pasifika people in 1970s

    The raids on Pasifika migrants and their subsequent deportations separated families and devastated communities New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has issued a formal apology for historic racist policing of Pacific people and offered scholarships to Pacific students. Hundreds of people packed Auckland town hall on Sunday to hear the apology for the “dawn raids” of the 1970s during which authorities hunted for visa overstayers. Related: ‘Government-sanctioned racism’: Pasifika in New Zealand call for apology for Dawn Raid policy Related: Has the ‘New Zealand dream’ turned sour for Auckland's Pacific Islanders? Continue reading...

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  • Bots and scalpers: desperate Kiwis try everything to get into Fortress New Zealand

    New Zealanders stranded abroad are growing increasingly frustrated with the country’s over-subscribed quarantine system In the age of coronavirus, New Zealand can seem like an idyll: a tightly sealed hermit kingdom, recently rated best place to survive global societal collapse, and one of the last countries in the world to evade incursions from the Delta variant. But the walls of fortress New Zealand aren’t only successful at keeping out Covid-19. With demand for government-required quarantine greatly exceeding the supply of spaces, desperate New Zealanders are going to enormous lengths – employing bots, coders, and $2000 booking assistants – to try to secure entry to the country. For many, the emotional and psychological toll is enormous. Related: No ‘return to normal’ expected in post-p…

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