Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for September 18. Auckland is currently at alert level four, the rest of NZ level two. Our coverage of the Covid response depends on members’ contributions. Click here to learn more.
- There are 20 new community cases of Covid-19, all in Auckland.
- The outbreak total is now 1,027.
- One of today’s cases remains unlinked.
- There are 10 people in hospital with Covid-19, including three in intensive care.
Ngā nama o te rā nei
- E rua tekau ngā kēhi Kowheori-19 hou, ā, kei Tāmaki Makaurau te katoa.
- Kotahi anake te kēhi hou kāore anō kia tūhonotia e ngā mātai tahumaero ki te mate urutā.
- Tekau tāngata e pāngia ana e te mate Kowheori-19 kei rō hōhipera, tokotoru kei te wāhanga whāomoomo.
5.40pm: Nice weather no excuse for lockdown breaches, says police
The New Zealand police have issued a statement asking Aucklanders to stay vigilant after noticing Mission Bay getting particularly busy on this sunny day. Perhaps the nicest weather of the lockdown so far has proven tempting for a number of people out enjoying their weekend.
Police have reminded everyone in Auckland that under level four restrictions, only essential travel is permitted and it must be kept local. A decision will be announced on Monday regarding an in-principle move to level three for the city.
To date, police have received a total of 9,028 alerts through their online Covid-19 reporting tool. Breaches have been in relation to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Tāmaki Makaurau.
1.15pm: 20 new delta cases in the community
There are 20 new community Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number in the delta outbreak up to 1,027. Of the 20 cases, 19 are household or known contacts, and one remains unlinked. Interviews are underway with that person to determine a link.
All of the new cases are in Auckland, with seven of yesterday’s 11 cases infectious in the community. Ten people are in hospital.
Testing at high levels in Auckland remains an essential part of our outbreak response to detect every community case and stop onwards transmission, the Ministry of Health has said in a statement.
More than 12,000 tests were taken yesterday, including over 7,000 swabs taken in the Auckland region, and more than 1,500 essential worker tests.
There were 60,480 vaccine doses administered yesterday around the country.
Anyone in Auckland with cold or flu symptoms, no matter how mild, is urged to come forward to be tested.
In addition, both people with and without symptoms who live in a suburb of interest are asked to get a test.
12.35pm: Will community case numbers continue to trend down?
The latest Covid-19 case numbers will be released through a 1pm press release (though they aren’t always punctual). Daily new case numbers have decreased since Tuesday, with 11 new community cases reported yesterday. This weekend’s numbers will factor heavily into Cabinet’s decision on Monday regarding Auckland alert levels. Auckland is currently at level four (and the rest of the country in level two) with an in-principle decision to move to level three at 11.59pm Tuesday.
See all the stats from the delta outbreak rendered crisply with The Spinoff Covid tracker.
We’ll have all the latest at 1pm.
10.15am: Black Caps pull out of Pakistan tour
The New Zealand men’s cricket team have abandoned their tour of Pakistan, citing security concerns. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released a statement, saying New Zealand Cricket (NZC) “unilaterally decided to postpone the series” despite “foolproof security arrangements” being put in place for the matches, reports RNZ.
The tour was set to be the first home matches for Pakistan against New Zealand in 18 years. They’ve largely visited other countries after the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in 2009. Jacinda Ardern has supported the decision to abandon the tour, saying player safety is paramount. “I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead,” she said in a statement. “But we totally support the decision that’s been made.”
Many Pakistan players, past and present, have expressed their disappointment in the decision via social media. Former captain Ramiz Raja tweeted, “Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.”
9.15am: Three new locations of interest
Three new locations of interest have been released this morning by the Ministry of Health. They are the Blue Sea Laundromat in Manukau (16th Sep), Z Central Parade in Mount Maunganui (14th & 11th Sep), and the Chemist Warehouse – Ronwood Centre in Manukau (15th Sep). See the full list of locations of interest here or use The Spinoff interactive map here.
A reminder that all residents of the suburbs of interest are encouraged to get a Covid-19 test, regardless of symptoms. The suburbs are:
- Mt Eden
What a beautiful day for it.
9.00am: Pākeha far more likely than Māori to be discharged without conviction
Last year, 35% of all criminal charges laid in New Zealand were brought against Pākehā defendants. And 35% of all discharges without conviction were received by Pākehā. Meanwhile, 43% of criminal charges were brought against Māori but they only received 24% of discharges without conviction.
A report from RNZ has revealed the disparities in the way New Zealand’s justice system works for different people. The largest gap showed in charges for sexual assault and related offences, where Pākehā made up 45% of people charged and 60% of people subsequently discharged without conviction. Māori accounted for 30% of those charged but only 15% of those discharged without conviction.
The trend continued across a number of offences, and wasn’t confined to just charges either. A separate report in the series revealed that Pākehā are granted name suppression three times as often as Māori. The report was prescient after the (Pākehā) Auckland couple that absconded to Wānaka earlier this week was granted interim name suppression.
From the report:
Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann doubted the disparity reflected a bias by judges, but she would not rule it out.
“As a judicial leader I can’t overlook the possibility it also reflects unconscious bias on the part of the judiciary and for that reason we educate judges to try to address that. We have to really strive as judges to be consciously impartial as we sit in judgement and that requires us to know about our own weaknesses.”
She accepted that wider societal factors could not be ignored and may be contributing to the disparity.
- There were 11 new community cases of Covid-19, all in Auckland.
- The outbreak total has now passed 1000, although 549 people have recovered.
- There are 14 people in hospital with Covid-19, including three in intensive care.
- 89,073 vaccine doses were administered on Thursday.
- The trans-Tasman travel bubble has been paused for another eight weeks.