What’s on RNZ News at midday – Jan 31
The Northland region will receive almost $13 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to make its water infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events; and the World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a public health emergency of international concern.
1.Experts say we are still some way from reaching the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. The latest figures from China have a number of confirmed cases close to 8,000 and the number of deaths at more than 200. Infections have spread to 18 other countries.
2.The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a public health emergency of international concern. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, announced the decision after a meeting of an independent panel of experts, amid mounting evidence of the virus spread to some 18 countries. He said the greatest concern was the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems.
3.Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says testing for the novel coronavirus can now be done in New Zealand instead of being sent overseas.
4.The evacuation of New Zealanders from Wuhan may be just days away with Foreign Minister Winston Peters saying a charter plane is "almost wheels-up" pending final sign-off. The plan, though, is still a "movable feast" and there are major questions about who will be allowed to board the 300-seat Air New Zealand flight. As of Thursday, 163 New Zealanders were registered on the government's SafeTravel website as being in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
5.The union for airline workers says some volunteers for the evacuation flight from Wuhan are worried they might become overwhelmed if too many people develop symptoms on board. E tū Head of Aviation, Savage says anyone who gets sick in the air will be monitored in case of coronavirus.
6.Chinese people are pleading for understanding from other New Zealanders as they rush to buy surgical masks in pharmacies. There are reports that some specialist masks have sold out here with people sending them to China amid the coronavirus outbreak.
7.A Rotorua Councillor says he’s been bombarded with racist messages since he spoke out about racism towards Asian people after the coronavirus outbreak. Councillor Fisher Wang says he had not been personally targeted with abuse until he spoke to the media.
8.Hot dry weather is making its presence felt around the country and its set to increase in intensity this weekend, bringing with it more fire danger.
9.Firefighters are battling a vegetation fire in the Mackenzie District that's spread rapidly to more than 1000 hectares. They were called to the fire in Burkes Pass near Kimbell shortly before 4am near Fairlie-Tekapo Road.
10.The Ministry for Primary Industries has ended its fruit fly operation and lifted restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables in Auckland's North shore.
11.A woman has appeared at the Hutt Valley District Court this morning charged with the murder of Davis Phillips. Phillips, who was 56, was found critically injured on a Taita Street corner in Lower Hutt early on Sunday and died of his injuries soon after.
12.A child is in a critical condition in Wellington Hospital after being found injured at a Hastings home. Police said they were called to an address in the suburb of Flaxmere late on Wednesday night and found the child with critical injuries. The child was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital initially but transferred to Wellington Hospital yesterday morning.
13.Workers union, the Public Service Association says the proposed restructure of a healthcare provider will cause job losses in the regions. 200 jobs could be axed at Healthcare New Zealand which provides home care and support to vulnerable people and runs community houses for people with disabilities.
14.Wellington iwi Taranaki whanau is said to benefit from the opening of a new 56 house development in Petani. The Paritutu site was offered to the iwi under right of refusal when it's treaty settlement before it was sold to the Wellington company.
15.Ground breaking research from Otago University shows less than four percent of the population are using more than 20 percent of hospital stays, benefit support and jail time.
16.The Northland region will receive almost $13 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to make its water infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events. Two projects are being funded, $12 million will go to the Northland Regional Council and $745,000 to Kaipara District Council.
Help us create a sustainable future for independent local journalism
As New Zealand moves from crisis to recovery mode the need to support local industry has been brought into sharp relief.
As our journalists work to ask the hard questions about our recovery, we also look to you, our readers for support. Reader donations are critical to what we do. If you can help us, please click the button to ensure we can continue to provide quality independent journalism you can trust.