21 May 2022


Election day in Australia

21 May 2022

Election day in Australia

May 21 2022

Eleven arrests made at Harbour Bridge protest

The Auckland Harbour Bridge protest earlier today (Photo: Screengrab/Mana News Live)

Eleven people have been arrested at today’s Auckland Harbour Bridge protest after a slow convoy of vehicles brought traffic to a standstill and some protestors left their vehicles.

Waitematā district commander Naila Hassan said the arrests were made after multiple protestors failed to adhere to an agreement on how the protest would be conducted.

A police van was also damaged in the protest, she said.

The police had been made aware that a group was planning the protest earlier this week, Hassan said. “We engaged with that group over the last few days, with a view to deterring them from undertaking unlawful activity. We continued to negotiate with that group this morning at Onepoto Domain however they were adamant they wished to march over the bridge.”

Superintendent Naila Hassan, Waitematā District Commander, speaks to media this afternoon (Photo: Newshub live/screengrab)

Hassan said police succeeded in convincing the group to drive their vehicles over the bridge instead, and that “they would travel at a set speed that would not cause undue risk to themselves and other road users”.

“As they went over the Harbour Bridge, they failed to agree with the conditions we had set and started to undertake unlawful activity,” Hassan said.

“They slowed their vehicles whilst on the Harbour Bridge, brought them to a stop and a number of people jumped out of their vehicles. Thankfully we were prepared for that action and our staff acted very swiftly and professionally.”

Footage live streamed on the Mana News Facebook page showed a number of people being led away by police.

According to social media posts made by participants, the protest was part of a hīkoi to Wellington in opposition to Three Waters reforms.

The bridge fully reopened to traffic around 1pm and Waka Kotahi reported traffic was running smoothly by 2pm.

Democracy (sausage) in action: Australia goes to the polls

Former leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten enjoys a democracy sausage on May 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Voting is underway in the federal election that will decide whether prime minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National Party coalition remains in government or is unseated by Labor, led by Anthony Albanese.

It’s only just a bit after noon on the east coast so there’s still more than five hours of voting time left – though a significant proportion of Australians had already cast their vote before today through “pre-polling” and postal voting. Thursday saw the highest number of pre-poll votes in Australian history, with 743,00 votes cast on that day alone. Voting in federal elections is compulsory in Australia.

A new law has allowed the counting of pre-poll votes to start earlier than in previous years. Still, unless there’s a landslide either way (though one way is more likely than the other) we’re still not likely to know the result until the wee hours, New Zealand time.

In the meantime, please enjoy these photos celebrating that most venerated of Aussie electoral traditions, the mighty democracy sausage.

Covid-19 latest: Six deaths, 400 hospitalisations and 6,635 community cases

Image: Toby Morris

The Ministry of Health has reported 6,635 new community cases of Covid-19 and six deaths. A total of 400 people are currently hospitalised and of those, 12 are in ICU or HDU.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7,972 – last Saturday it was 7,595.

COVID-19 deaths

Six people have died with Covid-19.

These deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1,045. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 13.

Of the people whose deaths reported today, two were from the Auckland region and one each from Northland, Taranaki, Canterbury and the Southern region.

One person was in their 60s, two were in their 70s, two were in their 80s and one was over 90.

Of these people, two were women and four were men.

Vaccination rates for all DHBs

  • Northland DHB: first dose (90.1%); second dose (88%); boosted (67.2%)
  • Auckland DHB: first dose (99.1%); second dose (98.2%); boosted (73%)
  • Counties Manukau DHB: first dose (96.2%); second dose (95%); boosted (65.7%)
  • Waitemata DHB: first dose (96.5%); second dose (95.6%); boosted (70.8%)
  • Waikato DHB: first dose (95.1%); second dose (93.6%); boosted (66.1%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: first dose (95.1%); second dose (93.4%); boosted (65.3%)
  • Lakes DHB: first dose (93%); second dose (91.3%); boosted (65.5%)
  • MidCentral DHB: first dose (96.4%); second dose (95.1%); boosted (71.6%)
  • Tairāwhiti DHB: first dose (92.9%); second dose (90.7%); boosted (65.3%)
  • Whanganui DHB: first dose (91.8%); second dose (90.3%); boosted (70.8%)
  • Hawke’s Bay DHB: first dose (97.3%); second dose (95.7%); boosted (69.1%)
  • Taranaki DHB: first dose (94.6%); second dose (93.2%); boosted (67.4%)
  • Wairarapa DHB: first dose (96.4%); second dose (94.9%); boosted (72.4%)
  • Capital & Coast DHB: first dose (98.4%); second dose (97.8%); boosted (79.2%)
  • Hutt Valley DHB: first dose (96.6%); second dose (95.6%); boosted (74.4%)
  • Nelson Marlborough DHB: first dose (96.4%); second dose (95.2%); boosted (73%)
  • West Coast DHB: first dose (92.6%); second dose (91.2%); boosted (70.9%)
  • Canterbury DHB: first dose (99.8%); second dose (98.9%); boosted (73.9%)
  • South Canterbury DHB: first dose (94.6%); second dose (93.6%); boosted (73.9%)
  • Southern DHB: first dose (98.5%); second dose (97.5%); boosted (72.8%)

Partially and second doses percentages are for those 12+. Boosted percentages are for 18+ who have become eligible 3 months after having their second dose or 16 and 17 year olds who have become eligible 6 months after having their second dose.

Labor retains lead as Australia goes to the polls

Scenes from Channel 7 as Anthony Albanese debated Scott Morrison. Image: Tina Tiller

Today is election day in Australia and Labor still has a commanding lead over the Liberal-National coalition, according to Roy Morgan commentary published yesterday.

The company’s final poll earlier in the week had the Anthony Albanese-led Labor set to win, with a two-party preferred vote poll putting Labor at 53% against the Liberal-National coalition of 47%. That’s a swing of 4.5 points to Labor since the 2019 federal election, when Scott Morrison’s coalition pulled off a squeaker of a win.

The final Newspoll mirrored the Roy Morgan result.

“Roy Morgan continued interviewing throughout this week but there has been no evidence of a swing to the L-NP seen in previous weeks continuing during the final week of the campaign. In addition, of the 17.2 million Australians on the electoral roll, the AEC figures show that there are already over 7.3 million (42.7%) who have voted at a pre-poll location or who have requested or returned a postal vote,” yesterday’s commentary read.

The final poll showed support for the coalition at only 34% of the primary vote – far too low for it to have a chance of forming a government.

Labor’s primary support is also low at only 34%. However Labor – referred to widely as the ALP – can rely on a strong preference flow from the Greens, which have 13% primary support, to form a government after the election.

We’ll continue our election coverage throughout the weekend. In the meantime, read our essential drongo’s guide to the Australian election and find out why the “teal wave” may play a deciding role today (or not).