Morning Briefing July 6: Labour launches campaign amid new isolation headaches

A woman who allegedly absconded from managed isolation in Auckland will now face court once she’s completed her quarantine.

Jacinda Ardern Source: Getty

The 43-year-old allegedly escaped the Pullman Hotel by climbing a fence and was found by police two hours later. She’s been charged with breaching the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.

Megan Woods, the minister in charge of managed quarantine, insists isolation facilities have robust systems in place and that the woman “didn’t simply wander out the door”. 

The incident follows a Government apology for the mistaken release of Kiwi Covid patients’ private information over the weekend.

RNZ reports the communications of potentially everyone involved in the Covid-19 response could be examined as part of the inquiry into the leak.

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Borders dependent on vaccine?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the trans-Tasman bubble is being held up by Australia’s desire to open itself up as a whole, rather than state-by-state.

She told TVNZ’s Q+A that’s a problem given the current issues in Victoria. The state has taken drastic action in the fight to stamp out its latest Covid-19 outbreak, with 3000 residents in Melbourne’s public housing blocks forced into “hard lockdown” under police guard. 

However, Ms Ardern says New Zealand is “not necessarily” waiting on a Covid-19 vaccine before lifting all border restrictions.

She says other factors include any developments of effective treatments for the virus, as well as fast and reliable testing.

Vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris told Q+A a Covid-19 vaccine is unlikely to be rolled out until the end of next year.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says it’s ending a trial into whether anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine – the one touted by US President Donald Trump – helps patients hospitalised with Covid-19. 

Labour's pitch for three more years

Labour launched their election campaign in the shadow of Covid-19 over the weekend.

The party held its annual conference in Wellington where Jacinda Ardern said she wants to manage New Zealand’s rebuild after managing the country’s health crisis. 

While Covid-19 dominated her speech, she did outline Labour’s five-point plan for economic recovery, which includes extending the Small Business Loan Scheme and outlining projects for cleaning up the country’s struggling waterways (the full list of which can be found here).

National leader Todd Muller says Labour’s promises are “just more KiwiBuild” and has branded their response to the current economic crisis as “very, very tepid”

But it wasn’t all policy at the party conference.

Some Labour members also used the occasion to take a swipe at New Zealand First, saying they hope the coalition partner doesn’t make it back into Parliament at September’s election.

Strong support for euthanasia

The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll shows there’s still strong support for legalising euthanasia.

Ahead of September’s referendum on the issue, 63 per cent of those surveyed said they would vote in favour of the law change. Twenty-four per cent were against legalising euthanasia, while the remainder were unsure or said they wouldn’t vote. 

TVNZ’s Breakfast will have a panel debating the issue just after 7am today.

Kylee Guy speaks out

The widow of murdered Feilding farmer Scott Guy has made an emotional plea for the public's help, as she tries to find her husband's killer.

Speaking publicly for the first time in eight years, Kylee Guy appeared on TVNZ’s Sunday programme last night to mark the 10th anniversary of her husband’s death.

She says she still hasn’t come to terms with the unsolved murder case and believes the public could hold information that may help find and convict her husband’s killer. 

Other news of note this morning: 

Police are searching for one of the country’s youngest killers after he escaped from a south Auckland facility over the weekend. 

An economist says the flood of Kiwis returning home during the Covid-19 pandemic will help the Auckland housing market (paywalled). 

Rocket Lab says the loss of one of their spacecraft yesterday won’t affect the viability of their business.

An expert says a plan to recycle Auckland's wastewater may breach tikanga.

With England’s pubs reopening over the weekend, police say it’s “crystal clear” drunk people are incapable of social distancing. 

A new course is underway to help 100 people learn how to drive a tractor after they lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

And Kanye West’s supposed bid to run for US President is off to a good start – he’s reportedly yet to file the required paperwork for the move. 

And finally...

Michelle and Todd Muller Source: Sunday

Todd Muller had a rocky start when he took over the reins at the National Party, but with a surge of support in a recent poll, he’s finally finding his feet in the job.

So, TVNZ’s Sunday programme travelled to his home in Tauranga to meet the Muller family and quiz the wannabe Prime Minister about Catholicism, contraception and cannabis.