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May 15 2022

Covid-19 latest: 15 deaths, 384 hospitalisations and 5,745 community cases

Image: Toby Morris

The Ministry of Health has reported 5,745 community cases, the lowest number since this time last week. The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7,608. Last Sunday it was 7,510.

Having seen daily case numbers reach as high as 9,392 this week, the ministry said today’s figures were “an important reminder to remain vigilant. There are three actions everyone can do to help protect themselves and others from Covid-19.”

There are 384 hospitalisations and eight people in ICU. There have been 15 deaths.

The deaths reported today include 13 people who have died over the past two days and two people who have died since May 7.

Three people were from the Auckland region; two were from Waikato, one was from Taranaki, two were from the Wellington region, four were from Canterbury and three from Southern.

Two people were in their 50s, one in their 70s; nine in their 80s and three were aged over 90.

Of these people, seven were women and eight were men.

Ukraine win Eurovision Song Contest

Ukraine’s entry, the Kalush Orchestra (Photo: Maxim Fesenko)

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra have won the 66th Eurovision Song Contest with their song ‘Stefania’. The UK’s Sam Ryder came second.

The Ukrainian entry was favoured to win but the surprisingly strong showing from the UK, long a Eurovision also-ran, threatened an upset as the votes from the 40 participating nations began to roll in.

However as the final nations delivered their votes it was clear that Ukraine would be the winner, carried across the finish line on a tidal wave of European support.

Lead singer Oleh Psiuk had shouted “Please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now” from the stage after the band performed.

Wrote the Guardian:

“Their song, which mixes rap with elements of Ukrainian folk music, was originally written in honour of the group’s mothers. The group have subsequently rededicated it to all matriarchs in Ukraine, as lines such as ‘I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed’ found new resonance. The six men who make up the group had to receive special permits to leave Ukraine and travel to Italy during the war.”

‘Dream of an Auckland that’s different’: Efeso Collins launches mayoral campaign

Efeso Collins takes the stage at his Auckland mayoral campaign launch, May 14 2022 (Photo: Charlotte Muru-Lanning)

Auckland councillor Efeso Collins launched his campaign for the mayoralty last night with a promise of a fairer, more affordable city. The event was held at trendy central-city music venue Soap Dancehall, a fitting location for the unveiling of Collins’ campaign song, Nesian Mystik’s very danceable 2002 anthem ‘For the People’, the title of which has also been adopted as the Collins campaign’s tagline. Campaign songs have been an important part of Collins’ political identity – ‘Vote Efeso Collins’, the song that soundtracked his first council campaign in 2013, became a cult favourite.

“We want to be bold,” Collins told the crowd of more than 100 supporters standing at the edges of the vinyl dancefloor. “Let’s dream of an Auckland that’s different.” Affordable housing, public transport, climate change and unity were the themes brought up throughout the evening by Collins and others who spoke.

Efeso Collins speaks to an indoor crowd at his mayoral campaign launch
Efeso Collins takes the stage at his Auckland mayoral campaign launch. (Photo: Charlotte Muru-Lanning)

The campaign party was also a display of unity between the Labour Party and Green Party – though not without friendly jibes. Both parties have endorsed Collins’ mayoral bid, marking the first time the Greens have endorsed an Auckland mayoral candidate outside their own party.

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman spoke to the crowd and described Collins as “a candidate for unity”. Labour minister Michael Wood, meanwhile, said this was “a campaign for the future, a campaign for the people”. The evening was MC’d by AUT’s law school dean Khylee Quince, with Auckland councillor Josephine Bartley and South Auckland poet and activist Aigagalefili Fepulea’i-Tapua’i also making speeches in support.

Collins will be on the ballot for mayor alongside Viv Beck, Gary Brown, Wayne Brown, Ted Johnston, Jake Law, Craig Lord and Leo Molloy. The local elections are held on October 8.