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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Feb 3

Auckland Airport says travellers should expect delays and clearing customs as a result of the new restrictions; and iwi leaders have kicked off what will be a series of intense hui at Waitangi in preparation for the Prime Minister’s visit on Wednesday. 

1.Heavy restrictions have been imposed on air and sea travel to New Zealand in a bid to halt the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. There are now more than 14,000 confirmed cases of the virus, half of them outside the Chinese city.    

2.Auckland Airport says travellers should expect delays and clearing customs as a result of the new restrictions. Some flights to and from China have already been delayed or cancelled.      

3.The New Zealand share market has opened sharply weaker reflecting global market concerns about the coronavirus. The benchmark topped 50 index has fallen 220 points or about two percent.     

4.Hundreds have gathered in Panguru this morning to unveil a statue honouring the late Dame Whina Cooper. This year marks 45 years since the historic land march Dame Whina led from Te Hapua to Parliament in Wellington, with the catch cry that not one more acre of land be taken. The statue is being unveiled at Waipuna Marae where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, politicians, iwi leaders, her descendants and those who take part of the annual hikoi from Te Rerenga Wairua to Waitangi will be attending.

5.Iwi leaders have kicked off what will be a series of intense hui at Waitangi in preparation for the Prime Minister’s visit on Wednesday. About 30 people from around the country are meeting for the Iwi Assets and Māori Land Symposium today.       

6.An advocate for whanau who have had children removed by the state, says the Maori led report on Oranga Tamariki released today does not go far enough. The report spearheaded by the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency is based on interviews with more than 1000 whanau.  

7.A man shot dead by the police after he stabbed people in a south London St today had only just been released from prison. 20-year-old Sudesh Amman was under police surveillance at the time of the attack which the police believed have been a islamist related terrorist incident.    

8.The process of selecting the Presidential nominee for the US Democratic Party is about to get underway with the Iowa caucuses. Public opinion polls show a close race among the leaders of the 11 contenders vying to challenge republican President Donald Trump.

9.A commemoration to mark the 89th anniversary of the 1931 Napier earthquake was held in Hastings this morning. The 7.8 quake struck at 10:47 am, killing 256 people and causing huge damage to both Napier and Hastings.        

10.Road closures, power outage and several fires in the South Island have been keeping Civil Defence and Emergency Services busy today. Two fires in Canterbury are still out of control, while power could be restored to Fox Glacier and south Te Parenga on the West Coast by mid afternoon.           

11.Another unusually hot day in Eastern parts of the country and today’s expected hottest spot Hastings, it's already over 32 degrees and it's edging closer to the forecast maximum of 36.  

12.Forest & Bird has presented a 10,000 strong petition to Government Ministers calling for an end to commercial fishing practices that it says kill almost 15,000 seabirds each year. The petition submitted to Stuart Nash and Eugenie Sage includes more than 3,000 individual submissions.  

13.Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit has won the BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay. The film has already nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival last year. It's also been nominated for this year's Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as Best Editing, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.

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