Cyclone Gita hit Golden Bay residents, businesses to get $100K government injection

Golden Bay residents and businesses affected by Cyclone Gita will get a $100,000 boost from the government.

Economic Development Minister David Parker and Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi made the announcement today.

"The community has asked for support and I think it's important that they get it," Mr Parker says.

"The damage to Takaka Hill Road means many of Golden Bay's businesses are suffering from lower levels of custom and limited access to freight services that will potentially have long term impacts."

The region's State Highway 60 is currently only open to escorted convoys. Source: 1 NEWS

The $100,000 will go into a relief fund managed by the Tasman District Council.

Mr Faafoi says the money from Civil Defence will be used to provide one-off hardship grants to Tasman District residents affected by the storm event.

"It will cover such things as essentials for daily life, extra financial costs due to flooding, and costs not covered by insurance or other funds," says Mr Faafoi.

Primary producers will not be eligible for this funding, having already been delivered support through Rural Support Trusts.

The storm caused major slips on the Takaka Hill highway, the only road access in the area, which could take days to clear. Source: 1 NEWS

Auckland student with measles likely second case from Singapore Airlines flight

A second case of measles has been confirmed in Auckland and health authorities say the person, an AUT student, is likely to have caught the disease on a Singapore Airlines flight to Auckland more than two weeks ago.

One person who was on board flight SQ285 which landed in Auckland on Thursday February 22 was found to have measles.

The second case is an AUT student, and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service says it's working closely with AUT to determine the immunity of people who have been in classes with the individual while infectious. 

Anyone who has been in contact with the student and is not immune is being required to stay at home in quarantine to prevent the disease spreading.

The public health service says it's likely other people around Auckland's central business district from March 1 to 6 and the Albany Westfield shopping centre from March 6 between 12pm and 4pm may have been exposed to the disease when the student was walking around.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Josephine Herman is urging Aucklanders to protect themselves against measles by getting vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine. 

The vaccine is free from your GP and people should phone their general practice to discuss whether their vaccinations are up to date, she said.

"Measles is very easily transmitted through coughing, sneezing or simply walking past someone who is infected and breathing their contaminated air," Dr Herman said.

If one person has measles, 90 per cent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected, she said.

Measles is a highly infectious disease which can have serious complications but anyone born before 1969 is likely to be immune to the disease without having had the vaccine.

Symptoms of measles include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, fever, a raised red rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body. 

Doctor with stethoscope
Doctor (file). Source:


Lyttelton Port workers strike after failed pay and safety talks

Lyttelton Port workers have gone on strike after failed pay and safety negotiations yesterday.

Around 200 members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union are involved in the action, which could last another 13 days.

"No ships will be able to berth, no maintenance will be done, a lot of the container terminal will stop working," RTMU organiser John Kerr told 1 NEWS.

The Christchurch Port Authority says the RTMU refused a salary increase of three per cent for each of the next three years, an offer it described as "generous". 

Mr Kerr said that was "pretty inflammatory" given that members of another union were offered more, although the Maritime Union members had also agreed to controversial roster changes as part of the deal.  

RTMU members are also in dispute over docked pay after they withdrew from notified protest action last week.   

Lyttelton, New Zealand - January 22, 2005: A Blue Star ship loads and unloads at Cashin Quay, the main container wharf at Lyttelton, which is the port for Christchurch. The port suffered considerable damage during the last Christchurch earthquake, There is a major project currently underway to restore and upgrade the port infrastructure.
Lyttelton Port (file picture). Source:

They have formed "peaceful" picket lines outside the port today and say they remain open to negotiations with the port company.

A planned 13-day strike is expected to have a huge impact. Source: 1 NEWS