The government announced last year it had advanced purchase agreements for 60,000 doses each of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid, but neither is approved for use here yet.
Representatives from manufacturing, food and grocery, and healthcare are all warning of serious shortages if the self-isolation period for close contacts of Covid-19 cases is not reduced.
Police say two people have suffered critical injuries after being affected by carbon monoxide fumes in the west Auckland suburb of Kumeū.
Police have named the woman whose body was found at a property in Christchurch’s Addington suburb over the weekend.
More than five weeks after torrential rain set off a series of giant mudslides that washed away the Banks Peninsula road, the only way out is a steep hike over a saddle to neighbouring Paua Bay.
Fire crews at a scrub fire in the Upper Hutt suburb of Trentham have secured a 30-metre perimeter around the site of the weekend’s blaze today.
A group of Kiwi scientists have developed a potential solution to the more than 25,000 tonnes of Covid-19-related plastic waste that has polluted the oceans in the past two years.
A number of close contact Omicron-related locations of interest in Auckland and Nelson have been added to the Ministry of Health’s website today.
One primary school principal in Māngere East says since the announcement of Omicron’s arrival in the community, she has been thinking about how to handle predicted staff shortages.
Emergency crews are warning their services wil take a hit in the Omicron outbreak, with already strained staff facing another massive challenge.
Swimmers and dog walkers are urged to be wary of toxic algae in Otago lakes and rivers.
The arrival of Omicron has spurred on the country’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, with the total number of administered booster doses ticking over one million today, and 100,000 paediatric doses now administered or booked.
Breakfast food, gardening tools and outboard motors are among the items desperately needed in Tonga following the devastating eruption and tsunami.
People should wear well-fitting N95 respirators instead of surgical masks to best protect themselves against the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant Omicron, public health experts say.
A person has died after a crash on the outskirts of New Plymouth this afternoon.
New Zealand does not have enough nurses or ICU beds, healthcare figures warn, as their workforce braces for Omicron.
Warbirds over Wanaka International Airshow has been cancelled for the second time in two years following the shift to the red traffic light setting.
The Ministry of Health says to date, there are 19 community cases of Covid-19 associated with the January Omicron Cluster – all are in isolation.
Countdown is expecting supermarkets and their stock will be hit by Omicron before the general population and a spokesperson is urging people to shop normally.
Panmure locals fear for the fate of an ‘iconic’ retro-style sign, which they say is important to their community identity.
An Auckland rest home kitchen worker is believed to have Omicron.
New Zealand’s plan to slow the spread of Omicron is sensible and should help to reduce the peak of the outbreak, says an epidemiologist based in Australia.
People should do everything they can against Omicron, but it’s likely large numbers will be infected, the Covid-19 Response Minister says.
One person has died following a two-vehicle collision in Waipu this morning.
The Coast to Coast and the Queenstown Marathon are now in doubt after a cascade of other event cancellations due to the shift to the ‘red’ traffic light setting.
With news a Nelson family have the Omircon variant of Covid-19, the mayors of Nelson and Tasman say their region has been preparing for an outbreak.
Air New Zealand is expecting more cases of Omicron among its crew, with some now showing symptoms, its CEO Greg Foran says.
An 11-year-old boy left disabled by a botched birth has finally been given ACC cover after a five-year battle.
Aucklanders are relatively relaxed about the country moving to the red setting after the prime minister confirmed the highly infectious Omicron variant was circulating in the city.
Covid-19 data modeller Michael Plank says a significant proportion could become infected with the variant over the course of the new outbreak, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.
Police have identified the body of a man found on Sunday morning in Tauranga Harbour.
Kāinga Ora hopes new fencing, speed bumps, signage and mirrors will stop vehicles hitting children in driveways.
Rock stablisation work will begin on the Nevis Bluff in the Gibbston Valley next week after fresh cracks were noticed in the rock face.
Auckland-based charities are crying out for foster families to look after homeless animals over summer.
The Weld Pass, midway between Blenheim and Seddon, will fully close for five nights in mid-February for asphalt resurfacing.
A group of young seabirds are settling into their new home at Cape Farewell, at the northernmost tip of the South Island.
New Zealand police say there are no plans to move the Franz Josef station, despite prompting by the Westland mayor who is concerned about the earthquake risk.
Flights, airports, supermarkets, and the Sky Tower are among new locations of interest linked to the confirmed community Omicron cases.
A university lecturer hopes her stories on female Asian migrants can start a movement that empowers others.
Ministry of Health officials are reviewing the current advice around masks and the most effective ones as it is confirmed the highly transmissible Omicron variant is spreading in the community.
Sexual assault charges have been laid against prisoners in 17 incidents where Corrections staff were assaulted, and the agency is being called on to do better.
Organisers of a collection drive have been so inundated with donations to be shipped to Tonga, they’re asking for more drums to hold the extra goods.
Summer festivals, events and the prime minister’s wedding have had to be postponed or cancelled due to the country moving to the red traffic light setting from tonight.
Human remains have been found in the bush in Pipiwai, near where Northland man Kukama Waa was missing.
National leader Christopher Luxon says the government went into a go-slow mode around Covid-19 over the summer, and urgently needs to increase availability of rapid antigen tests.
Police are investigating an attempted aggravated robbery at a fruit and vegetable store in Christchurch.
There are 24 new community cases of Covid-19 in the community, and 47 new cases in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, health officials say.
It is “inevitable” as Omicron spreads in the community there will be some impact on the supply-chain, but officials are working hard to minimise it, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.
Workers at Auckland City Mission are helping plan for food supply disruptions and staffing strain, in case Omicron spreads in the city.
Police are searching for the driver of a ute believed to have struck and seriously injured a cyclist in Cromwell this morning.
Christchurch City Council is looking to follow others in New Zealand and overseas in scrapping fines for overdue library books.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that the whole of New Zealand will move into the red light Covid-19 setting at midnight tonight.
Northlanders are being encouraged to get tested for Covid-19, with two new cases confirmed in the region.
More than 8000 people are expected to compete in the Auckland Marathon today.
There has been no progress in dealing with New Zealand’s high rate of child abuse despite strategy talks in recent years, according to an independent child abuse advocacy and training provider.
Fire crews are attempting to make the most of cooler morning conditions in Wellington to mop up the fire at Trentham, in Upper Hutt.
Ensuring fathers get information about the importance of vaccinations could be key to boosting childhood immunisation rates, according to new research.
A homicide investigation is underway after a 37-year-old woman was found dead in her Christchurch home yesterday evening.
A snorkeller has died in a water incident at Otara Bay in the Coromandel.
Several houses and a resthome are being evacuated in Taupō as a vegetation fire threatens properties.
Southern GPs have been warned they could be treating as many as 5000 Covid-19 patients a month within a matter of weeks, should an Omicron outbreak sweep across Otago and Southland.
Five Air NZ flights have been linked to nine cases in the Nelson Tasman area, and a crew member has tested positive for the virus.
A large fire in bush and scrub close to houses in Upper Hutt is concerning residents.
A cluster of Covid-19 in Hastings has grown to 13, with six new cases added to the official tally today.
Doctors are preparing to support people isolating at home when Omicron gets into our community.
National MP Dr Shane Reti is hopeful tech giant Elon Musk will provide desperately-needed internet access to the people of Tonga.
Five flights have now been linked to the Nelson Tasman cases of Covid-19.
A South Auckland GP thinks the government has dropped the ball on ensuring doctors have access to Covid-19 rapid antigen tests.
People are advised to stay out of the water after a significant increase in cyanobacteria and E.coli levels.
Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles is “really worried” about the government’s plan for an Omicron outbreak, warning the red traffic light setting will not be enough to slow the variant down.
The planned Covid-19 response has been updated to adapt for the arrival of Omicron, Manawatū health officials say.
Two men jailed for killing a Palmerston North man 15 years ago will remain behind bars after their first parole hearings.
Sam’s Take – This week Sam looks at one of the favourites for the award season race, Spencer, the psychological drama about the Princess of Wales.
Whangārei mayor calls on government to take breakaway councils’ Three Waters counterproposal seriously
Whangārei mayor Sheryl Mai is urging the government to take a Three Waters counterproposal being put forward by 24 councils seriously.
The Bluff Oyster and Food Festival has been cancelled due to the threat of Covid-19 outbreaks and rapid changes to traffic light settings.
There are nine new cases of Covid-19 in Nelson and Tasman, all from the same household.
Doctor Bernard Conlon says he has received notification from the Medical Council of New Zealand that it intends to suspend him ahead of the investigation into the various complaints laid against him.
A case of Covid-19 detected in Palmerston North has been confirmed to be the Omicron variant.
A health expert believes a suspected Omicron case in Palmerston North could have laid dormant for the duration of the person’s MIQ stay and five negative tests.
Kukama Waa has been missing since 5 January in the Pipiwai forest area.
Ecologists are reviewing research on reefs around the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, to see how biodiversity may fare following the latest eruption.
Emergency services say a report of a small plane crash near Whangamatā on the Coromandel Peninsula appears to have been a false alarm.
A thief with a green thumb has been looking for a five finger discount in the central Auckland suburb of Hillsborough.
Timaru has had discoloured drinking water for close to a month, with some residents also reporting their water with ‘floaties’ smells.
A positive wastewater sample of Covid-19 has been detected in Tairāwhiti.
Volcanologists estimate the material ejected in the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption was about twice that of the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
Six properties were below the fire, which burnt through 5 hectares of vegetation.
Northlanders have expressed mixed reactions over the government’s decision to move Te Tai Tokerau to the ‘orange’ traffic light setting overnight.
Modelling for when Omicron hits suggests a peak of 190 Covid-19 patients in hospital on any given day, based on a prediction of about 1800 community cases a day in the city.
Specialist New Zealand Defence Force staff will be checking Tonga’s shipping lanes are passable and the wharf is safe so desperately needed humanitarian supplies can get through.
A West Coast kaupapa Māori health provider is holding its first vaccination clinic for tamariki near Hokitika this weekend, as the vaccine rollout is extended to children.
The kea population in the Nelson Lakes has been boosted with the addition of six chicks after a successful breeding season.
Hauora Tairāwhiti is anticipating up to a third of staff might be out of action ill or isolating when Omicron inevitably sweeps into the community.
An investigation into a train nearly hitting a rail worker in a maintenance truck has found communication between rail workers needs serious improvement.
Police have arrested a 60-year-old man on methamphetamine charges following a search warrant in South Taranaki today.
Bay of Plenty Police have arrested a second person in relation to the 2018 death of David Kuka in Tauranga.
Stark inequities in treatment and survival rates for Māori and Pacific patients diagnosed with NZ’s biggest cancer killer are the focus of $6 million in new research funding.
The New Zealand Defence Force’s Commander of Joint Forces Jim Gilmour speaks about the operational response in Tonga.
National’s leader Chris Luxon says the government has no plan for tackling Omicron, and decisions today show Labour “took a month off”.
A plane carrying aid and disaster relief supplies will arrive in Tonga today, as will the HMNZS Wellington – Minister of Defence Peeni Henare says it will check shipping channels and wharf approaches first.