Morning Briefing April 21: Covid-19 threatens community again

Another border worker has tested positive for Covid-19 in Auckland - this time they are a person who cleans international planes.

Plane interior. Source:

The case's household contacts have so far tested negative for the coronavirus, but three locations of interest have been identified - a mall food court, a hardware store and an ice cream parlour.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday said the worker had been vaccinated for the virus, but reminded Kiwis the jab was 95 per cent effective at reducing symptomatic onset of Covid-19 so it’s still possible to get the illness. 

There were no other new Covid-19 cases in managed isolation or in the community yesterday, but the positive case connected to the border comes one day after the opening of the trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia.

Ardern reassured the public that the case won’t affect the travel bubble and Health Minister Andrew Little has spoken to his Australian counterpart about the border-related case. Watch the prime minister's full statement here

Meanwhile, Ardern also yesterday reaffirmed New Zealand's commitment to multilateralism and the importance of an "inclusive recovery" at this year's Boao Forum for Asia.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic has served as a "stark reminder" of "just how interconnected our world is and the vital importance of working together to ensure our safety and prosperity".

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Ihumātao payment 'unlawful'?

But the Government has also come under fire, yesterday evening saying it had rectified an error that led to the Auditor General finding the payment of $29.9 million to pay for the land at Ihumātao to be unlawful due to officials missing key steps in gaining approval.

In December, after years of dispute, a binding memorandum of understanding (He Pūmautanga) was signed by Kīngitanga, the Crown and Auckland Council, with the Government buying the land.

However, after the "technical error", National MP Nicola Willis accused the Government of deciding the "usual rules need not apply", while ACT leader David Seymour said Kiwis "deserve better". 

1 NEWS Political reporter Maiki Sherman called it another "messy chapter in a messy saga" for the Government. Read more about what she had to say here

Kiri Allan shares cancer update

In a touching video of her singing during chemotherapy treatment, Labour MP Kiri Allan has shared an update, weeks on from her cervical cancer diagnosis.

Earlier this month, the 37-year-old revealed a six-centimetre-long tumour was discovered the same day she led the country through a tsunami evacuation alert in March as Minister for Civil Defence.

However, she appears to be in good spirits.

In the video posted on Facebook, Allan breaks out into song from her hospital bed alongside her family while medical staff hook her up to an intravenous drip.

Minneapolis jury mulls George Floyd decision

decision is due this morning about the fate of Derek Chauvin - an ex-cop accused of killing George Floyd in Minneapolis and sparking global Black Lives Matter protests.

Floyd’s death captured worldwide attention when video circulated of the then-officer kneeling on his neck as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All three charges require the jury to conclude that Chauvin's actions were a "substantial causal factor" in Floyd's death and that his use of force was unreasonable.

The most serious charge carries up to 40 years in prison.  

Breaking his careful silence about the case, US President Joe Biden said he was "praying the verdict is the right verdict". will have the latest on the verdict when it is made available.

Prince William weighs in on football drama

Prince William has released a rare statement in his role as Football Association President, discouraging the establishment of a new football Super League.

On Monday, 12 clubs announced their intention to form a breakaway competition from the Champions League, with plans to begin the new league “as soon as is practicable”. Then yesterday, UEFA said players at the 12 clubs could be banned from the European Championship and next year’s World Cup.

The Duke of Cambridge shared a statement to social media expressing his concern about the “damage” the proposed Super League could cause to European football.

Find out more in the BBC’s explainer here.

Other news of note this morning:

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At just 15, Flynn Cranston helped produce a global hit single from his bedroom. Source: 1 NEWS

And finally...

The nation seems to be making a name for itself by pumping out talented young musos, from their bedroom tunes to global hits. We’ve had Jawsh 685, now meet the Kiwi teenager – 15-year-old Flynn Cranston - making history as the youngest New Zealander to feature on the US Billboard charts.