Jacinda Ardern giving the commencement address at Harvard (Photo: RNZ) Images

Live UpdatesMay 27 2022

DGL to delist from NZX in wake of ‘Eurasian fluff’ scandal

It’s Friday May 27, welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates. Stewart Sowman-Lund is off today so updates will be brought to you by a rotating cast of Spinoffers led by deputy editor Alice Neville. Reach us on info@thespinoff.co.nz


The latest

  • DGL, the chemicals company whose CEO made offensive comments about Nadia Lim, is to delist from the NZX.
  • There have been 25 deaths of people with Covid-19 reported today. There are 350 people in hospital with the virus and 6,862 new community cases.
  • Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has tested positive for Covid-19 in Switzerland, where he has been attending the World Health Assembly.
  • PM Jacinda Ardern has confirmed she will meet with US president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris at the White House next Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time).
  • Overnight, Ardern gave the commencement address at Harvard University in Boston, during which she called on social media giants to clean up their act.
Jacinda Ardern giving the commencement address at Harvard (Photo: RNZ) Images

DGL to delist from NZX in wake of ‘Eurasian fluff’ scandal

It’s Friday May 27, welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates. Stewart Sowman-Lund is off today so updates will be brought to you by a rotating cast of Spinoffers led by deputy editor Alice Neville. Reach us on info@thespinoff.co.nz


The latest

  • DGL, the chemicals company whose CEO made offensive comments about Nadia Lim, is to delist from the NZX.
  • There have been 25 deaths of people with Covid-19 reported today. There are 350 people in hospital with the virus and 6,862 new community cases.
  • Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has tested positive for Covid-19 in Switzerland, where he has been attending the World Health Assembly.
  • PM Jacinda Ardern has confirmed she will meet with US president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris at the White House next Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time).
  • Overnight, Ardern gave the commencement address at Harvard University in Boston, during which she called on social media giants to clean up their act.
May 27 2022

DGL to delist from NZX in wake of ‘Eurasian fluff’ scandal

DGL, the chemicals company whose CEO, Simon Henry, has been under fire after making offensive comments about New Zealand chef Nadia Lim, is to delist from the NZX and trade its shares only on the Australian Exchange.

The company made no mention of the controversy that saw its stock dropped by multiple New Zealand funds managers, saying it had made the decision because volumes on this side of the Tasman were too small to make dual listing worthwhile, reports BusinessDesk’s Pattrick Smellie (paywalled).

However, NZX chief executive Mark Peterson told BusinessDesk, “It is clear this is a reaction to events that transpired earlier this month following reported comments in the media by DGL chief executive Simon Henry on My Food Bag and Nadia Lim. Simon received strong feedback locally on those comments.”

Since dual listing in NZ and Australia last year, DGL had been “a strong performer on the NZX”, he said.

DGL shares dropped from $4.15 on May 4 to reach a low of $3.14 on May 13, as anger grew over Henry’s silence on the matter, and then his widely derided two-line apology. They were trading at $3.09 mid-afternoon today on the NZX, having listed a year ago at $1.10.

Covid-19 latest: 25 deaths, 350 hospitalisations and 6,862 new community cases

The Ministry of Health is reporting 25 new deaths of people with Covid-19 today. This takes the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1,127 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths to 13.

Five of the people who died were from the Auckland region, three were from Northland, one was from Waikato, one was from Hawke’s Bay, nine were from Canterbury, two were from the Wellington region, one was from Mid Central, one was from Bay of Plenty, and two were from Southern.

One person was in their 30s, three people were in their 40s, four were in their 50s, two were in their 60s, four were in their 70s, six were in their 80s, and five were aged over 90.

Of these people, 13 were female and 11 were male. The gender of one person was not reported.

Meanwhile, there are 350 people in hospital with Covid-19, 10 of whom are in ICU.

There are 6,862 new cases in the community, and the seven-day rolling average of cases is 6,960, down from last Friday’s average of 8,032.

Ashley Bloomfield tests positive for Covid-19 in Switzerland

The director general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, has tested positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Health reports.

Bloomfield is in Geneva, Switzerland, attending the World Health Assembly with health minister Andrew Little. He tested positive there on Thursday, and is experiencing mild symptoms.

Bloomfield’s infection will mean a delay to his return to New Zealand, said the ministry. Little left Geneva earlier this week.

Bloomfield is finishing up in the director general role at the end of July.

Spinoff scores multiple Voyager Media Awards nominations

Finalists for the Voyager Media Awards were announced this morning, and the list includes a number of Spinoff writers and contributors.

Publisher Duncan Greive was nominated for his story about his terrible sleep habits, A brief history of the humiliating places I have fallen asleep, in the best first-person essay or feature category.

Editor-at-large Toby Manhire is a finalist in the best columnist category.

Creative director Toby Morris and science writer Siouxsie WilesCovid-19 explainers were nominated in the best artist/graphic design category.

Former Spinoff staffer Justin Latif is one of three finalists in the community journalist of the year category, for his reporting on South Auckland.

Senior writer Alex Casey is a finalist in the best feature writer, short form, category.

The awards recognise work published in 2021, and will be handed out at an awards dinner on August 20.

Second Covid-19 vaccine booster announced for most vulnerable

Several hundred thousand people most at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 will soon be eligible for a second booster vaccine, the government has announced.

It follows a recommendation from the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 vaccine technical advisory group that a second dose, six months after an initial booster and on top of a three-dose primary course, could benefit those at high risk of getting very sick from Covid-19. That includes older New Zealanders, aged-care residents, people aged 16 and over and living in disability care facilities, and those 16 and up who have severely compromised immune systems.

Final decisions on the group’s make-up will be made within the next fortnight, said Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins. The government intended to amend the Medicines Act to ensure a more equitable and effective roll-out of the second booster programme, by making it available without visiting a GP. The new policy should be in effect from mid-June. Eligible people who have had Covid-19 recently must wait at least three months after their infection before having the additional dose.

A two-dose course plus the booster still provided effective and lasting protection to those not at risk of severe illness from the virus, “which is why we can be more targeted in the rollout of the second booster”, Hipkins said. “We know a booster helps reduce the chance of more serious infection, and it will be less likely that you need hospitalisation. And if you haven’t had your first booster yet, it is not too late to get it in time for the winter season.

Connecting a business in the middle of a forest

Tuhua Mutu and a group of mountain bikers (Image: Mountain Bike Rotorua, Clint Trahan; additional design: Tina Tiller)

Rotorua is a world-class destination for mountain bikers. But setting up a biking business in the middle of the forest was more difficult than Tuhua Mutu thought. ​​Nestled in the iconic redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest is Mountain Bike Rotorua, where staying connected to communicate with visitors and keep everyone safe is essential.

Mutu shared his story of building a thriving business and overcoming the challenges of being remote with The Spinoff here.
Vital to that business is a good, stable internet and phone connection – ensuring visitors stay safe in every corner of the park.

Learn more about how Vodafone can help you to embrace the magic of technology. (Sponsored)

Ardern delivers Harvard speech; will meet Biden, Harris at White House next week

The prime minister will meet with US president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris at the White House on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT). The meeting had been in doubt due to Jacinda Ardern having recently had Covid-19.

“My intention is to continue the conversations we had in the Capitol yesterday,” Ardern told media at Harvard University, where she had delivered the commencement address. “There are a number of areas in which the United States and New Zealand have very similar views, a numbers of areas where we wish to see their presence continue or increase.

“I imagine on the agenda will be the likes of the war in Ukraine and the considerable effort New Zealand has put in to ensuring that we’re playing our part. I imagine we’ll equally discuss our region and the fact that it is becoming increasingly contested, and the role of the United States in our regional economy is important. I imagine we’ll also discuss trade to that end as well.”

Ardern said she “absolutely” would be pushing for the US to join the CPTPP.

“We’ve been open about our view that the CPTPP is the best way that the United States can join and strengthen the economic resilience of our region.”

Harvard commencement speech

The prime minister had earlier spoken to 8,000 graduates at the Harvard commencement ceremony in Boston in front of an audience of around 30,000, from whom she received a standing ovation.

The loudest applause was in reaction to Ardern’s comments about New Zealand’s move to ban mass assault rifles and gun reforms after the Christchurch terror attacks. Ardern’s visit to the United States, the first since the pandemic began, has become increasingly preoccupied with the issue of gun law reform, following a shooting at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people including 19 children were killed on Tuesday.

Ardern used her Harvard address to express her concerns about social media, calling on online providers to clean up their act.

“The time has come for social media companies and other online providers to recognise their power and to act on it,” she said. “That means upholding their own basic terms of service. That means recognising the role they play in constantly curating and shaping the online environments that we’re in. That algorithmic processes make choices and decisions for us – what we see and where we are directed – and that at best this means the user experience is personalised and at worst it means it can be radicalised. It means that there is a pressing and urgent need for responsible algorithm development and deployment.”

Read the full speech here.