Morning Briefing July 2: River decision a mere band-aid for Auckland’s water woes

A temporary solution has been found for Auckland’s growing water crisis, but mayor Phil Goff stresses it’s merely a short-term fix for a big problem.

Mangatangi Dam in the Hunua Ranges, near Auckland Source: Watercare

An agreement in principle has been reached for Auckland to take an extra 75 million litres of water a day from the Waikato River.

But as the city’s worst drought in 25 years continues, Aucklanders are being warned other longer-term solutions will need to be looked at, including using treated wastewater. 

In return for the extra water being taken from Waikato River, Mr Goff says several million dollars will be paid to a trust focused on improving the river’s water quality.

The long-term health of the river remains a central concern, with Waikato Regional Council chair Russ Rimmington saying there could be “profound negative impact” on river flows come summertime. 

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Dalton under scrutiny

The America’s Cup has long been plagued by drama off the water - and New Zealand’s latest tilt at hosting the event is mired in more of it as the power wielded by Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton goes under the spotlight.

As the Government investigates Team NZ’s management and the use of public money for the America’s Cup, sources tell 1 NEWS they’re not surprised there’s been a blow-up over the team’s governance.

However, Mr Dalton remains firm, saying questions about the team’s handling of the escalating situation will be answered. 

Winter finally arrives in the north 

The Desert Road is closed this morning as a cold snap sweeps up the country.

And while a dump of snow overnight has forced the closure of State Highway 1 in the central North Island, Wellington’s winds have been howling, too.

Several Interislander ferry services were cancelled yesterday afternoon, while this video shows passengers flying into the capital got to once again enjoy the stomach-churning approach Wellington Airport is famous for. 

Bloomfield takes a break

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says he’s taking a holiday next week after six months of keeping the public informed about Covid-19.

But as he checked in to see if that was okay, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was urging New Zealanders to keep up the fight against the virus.

She warned that Victoria in Australia is an example of how Covid-19 could easily take hold again in New Zealand if the country’s not vigilant.

Although zero new cases were recorded here again yesterday, she says the spike in cases across the Tasman is a reminder New Zealand is “currently a safe haven in a dangerous world”.

She says Victoria was registering days with zero new cases just three weeks ago – and now parts of the state are back in lockdown.

Getting the shovels out

The Government has revealed details of the “shovel-ready” projects getting a funding boost in their $3 billion infrastructure spend.

The projects are aimed at rebooting the economy in the wake of Covid-19 and include support for Auckland City Mission and investments in climate change resilience and “transformative energy”.

The full list of projects around the country can be downloaded here.

Other news of note this morning: 

On the same day a new fuel tax began, a bill proposing rules to promote industry competition and lower petrol prices passed its first reading in Parliament. 

Police in Italy have made the world’s largest ever drug bust.

Australia is set to spend $288 billion on a new aggressive military stance, including acquiring long-range missiles.

A new report by the UN Population Fund says more than 140 million females are considered “missing” today because of a preference for sons over daughters and extreme neglect of young girls.

The film and TV sector has been given a $73 million top-up to cope with ongoing Covid-19 fallout. 

The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) has upheld four complaints made about social media posts by Auckland influencer Simone Anderson.

The Covid-19 crisis has shaken many industries to their core – and now the global coffee market looks set to join them

And finally...

Laura Daniel recovers after completing burpees Source: Seven Sharp

I’m led to believe that some people discovered the joys of working out at home during lockdown.

But while it might be cheaper than joining a gym, the hard part about exercising from home is making yourself actually do it.

One Hamilton woman reckons she’s cracked the secret to a successful garage gym, so Seven Sharp’s Laura Daniel went along to hear all about it – and to see if it’s possible to conduct an interview while doing burpees.