Welcome to The Spinoff’s Election Live for October 10, bringing you the latest on election 2020 and other NZ news. The essential campaign dates are here. For all you need to know about the cannabis referendum click here. For the assisted dying referendum click here. Explore the parties’ pledges at Policy. I’m on email@example.com
5pm: The day in sum
Four new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation were announced. New Zealand has had no active cases in the community since October 7.
It was a busy day of campaigning for party leaders in Auckland with exactly one week left to go before the election.
The Green Party promised to offer free counselling services to all those under 25 and create New Zealand’s first Minister of Mental Health if elected to government.
The Labour Party promised an additional $60 million to boost broadband infrastructure in the regions and rural areas.
The second US presidential debate has been cancelled following Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in a virtual event. Trump also announced his first in-person events since his Covid-19 diagnosis.
3.50pm: Trump resumes campaigning, second presidential debate cancelled
In a reprieve from local politics, there’s plenty happening over in the US where elections are also looming large. The second presidential debate scheduled for later this week has been cancelled after Donald Trump refused to take part in a virtual event despite being diagnosed with Covid-19. The third and final debate though, which is scheduled to take place in less than two weeks time, is expected to go ahead.
Trump also announced his first in-person events since his diagnosis which will involve a speech at the White House and a campaign rally in Florida in the next few days. Earlier today, he appeared on Fox News for a “medical examination” conducted by the channel’s resident medical expert Dr. Marc Siegel. Trump answered questions about his health but stopped short of offering concrete details and addressing lingering concerns over his condition.
Trump acknowledged he likely contracted the disease at one of the White House events last week. Earlier in the day, Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said the president’s unveiling of his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was a “superspreader event” with little social distancing and mask-wearing from attendees.
1.05pm: Four new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation
There are four new cases of Covid-19 to report from managed isolation in New Zealand today. There are no new cases in the community.
Two cases being reported today arrived from South Africa, via Dubai, on 29 September. They’ve been in managed isolation in the Sudima in Rotorua and have returned a positive test result following an additional test due to previously identified cases on their arrival flight. They are both now being transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
The other two cases being reported today arrived from Iran, via Dubai, on October 5. The’ve been in managed isolation in the Rydges in Rotorua and have returned a positive test result from routine testing around day three of their managed isolation. They are also being transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
One person is reported today as recovered. Our total number of active cases is now 44 – all imported cases. There have been no active community cases of Covid-19 since Wednesday, October 7.
12.20pm: Campaign trail heats up with one week left to go
With just a week left before voting closes on October 17, politicians have been busy this morning visiting Auckland’s bustling markets. Judith Collins was at Howick Village Market with Simeon Brown where she purchased herself a blue door snake, while Marama Davidson was at Ōtara Markets. Jacinda Ardern was in both Ōtara and Māngere where she was greeted by throngs of supporters.
10.45am: Greens promise Minister of Mental Health and free counselling for under 25s
The Green Party said it will offer free counselling services to all those under 25 and create New Zealand’s first Minister of Mental Health if elected to government, TVNZ reports.
Mental health spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said the party would also ensure those with acute or severe mental health needs would receive attention within three hours, reduce all other wait times to less than three weeks, and provide funding for inpatient and community mental health services.
“What’s clear is that mental health shouldn’t be treated as a subset of the health portfolio,” Swarbrick said. “We must dedicate a Minister to ensuring that the mental health crisis in New Zealand is addressed.”
10.30am: Labour promises $60m to improve broadband
Labour has promised an additional $60 million to boost broadband infrastructure, Stuff reports.
According to Labour’s Kris Faafoi, a fund would be set up by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to pay for backhaul and other capacity upgrades “in our worst connected regions”. Focus areas would include Gisborne, Manawatu-Wanganui, rural areas outside Auckland and Wellington, Otago, Hawke’s Bay, the West Coast, Wairarapa, and Southland.
9.50am: Clawing back wage subsidy a ‘last resort’ – Goldsmith
On Newshub Nation this morning, National’s Paul Goldsmith and Labour’s Grant Robertson discussed the economy and jobs. On the topic of the wage subsidy, Goldsmith said you’d “have to consider it” if there was another lockdown, but added that a National government would do everything it could to avoid any lockdowns in the future.
He further criticised the scheme for its lack of transparency but noted that clawing back wage subsidy from certain businesses would be “a last resort”. Instead, he said: “the best mechanism is sunlight and maximum pressure”.
8.30am: On the campaign trail
Here’s where our political leaders are today:
Jacinda Ardern is in Auckland visiting Ōtara Markets, then Māngere Markets, before stopping by Labour’s Isthmus Hub Phone Bank. She’ll then be having a walkabout in the CBD starting at Silo Park and Jellicoe Street.
In fact, Ōtara Markets is the place to be this morning with NZ First’s Winston Peters and the Greens’ Marama Davidson both heading there this morning as well. Davidson will then head to Southmall Manurewa before joining up with co-leader James Shaw for an Auckland Central rally with Chlöe Swarbrick. Davidson is also set to visit Ihumātao later in the afternoon.
David Seymour is in Auckland too and visiting Lynfield Community Centre in the morning, Mission Bay beach for an ACT Party BBQ in the afternoon and Ponsonby Central in the evening.
Meanwhile, Judith Collins is will be visiting Howick Village Market.
8am: Yesterday’s headlines
Two new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation were announced. It continues New Zealand’s streak of no active cases in the community.
A woman escaped from a managed isolation facility in Auckland during the early hours of the morning. It was later found to be her second escape after admitting to absconding the night before.
The Electoral Commission said it was confident none of its EasyVote packs could have contained unauthorised materials despite multiple reports from members of the public.
The government announced more than 350 marae would receive $96.5 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Labour announced a raft of new law and order initiatives designed to promote harm reduction and rehabilitation.
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