Morning Briefing July 26: Travel bubble now 'all or nothing'

The dangers of the Delta variant mean a new approach for the trans-Tasman travel bubble, and day two of the Olympics delivers highs and lows for Kiwi athletes.

Sydney Airport departures. Source:

The Government won’t be partially reopening the trans-Tasman travel bubble to different states due to the dangers of the Delta variant.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told TVNZ’s Q+A the entire quarantine-free travel corridor will remain closed until authorities are “comfortable” community transmission in Australia is contained.

The bubble was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks, with the “precautionary approach” taken due to Delta's transmissibility. 

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also warned of Delta’s dangers, saying young people can fall victim to the “cruel disease”.

The state recorded another 141 cases of Covid-19 yesterday, while a woman in her 30s and without pre-existing conditions died from the illness. The 43 cases currently in Sydney’s intensive care units also span a range of ages.

"If anybody thinks this is a disease just affecting older people, please think again," Berejiklian says.

Berejiklian also expressed her disgust over the anti-lockdown protests that erupted in Sydney on Saturday.

Nearly 60 people have been arrested over those demonstrations, with two men also charged with allegedly striking a police horse

Meanwhile, back on this side of the Tasman, critical Covid test results are expected in Taranaki today following two positive wastewater detections in the region.

Wider sampling has since been taken, with health officials also urging more people in the area to get a Covid test

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Highs and lows at Games

Another Kiwi swimmer has smashed a New Zealand record on the way to an Olympic final, with Dunedin’s Erika Fairweather qualifying fourth fastest in the 400-metre freestyle event last night.

The teenager’s efforts came on the same day Lewis Clareburt narrowly missed out on a medal in the 400-metre individual medley. 

Elsewhere, rower Emma Twigg cruised through to the semi-finals of the women’s single sculls; Luuka Jones put in a near-flawless performance in her second run to qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s kayak event; and surfers Billy Stairmand and Ella Williams both advanced to the third round of their competition.

The news was also good for hockey fans, with the Black Sticks women taking victory over world number two Argentina in their opening match. But it proved a tough day for the OlyWhites football team, who lost to Honduras last night

And the Olympic action continues today – you can find a rundown of which Kiwi athletes are competing and when here.

Weather wreaks havoc worldwide

New Zealand must cut down on its emissions or "live with the consequences" as more extreme weather events cause death and destruction around the world, a NIWA climate change scientist says.

Dr Sam Dean told Q+A although recent extreme weather events in New Zealand can’t be definitively linked to a changing climate change yet, "they will ... have been affected to some degree by climate change".

He says the rate of change on the planet right now is “way more rapid than anything in human history” and that decisions about what to do need to be guided by science.

His comments come as Siberia and Scandinavia feel the effects of extreme heat and other parts of the world struggle with intense rainfall and flooding.

Thousands were fleeing swollen rivers in the Philippines yesterday, while a search for survivors continues in India’s western Maharashtra state where heavy monsoon rain has killed more than 100 people. 

Dean’s comments also come as RNZ reports New Zealand is likely to have “record high imports” of coal this year.

Migrants' patience runs thin

Migrant workers filling skill shortages, such as teachers, nurses, doctors and engineers, are running out of patience with the Government's lack of a clear pathway forward for them.

The Covid pandemic has seen a pause on residency applications and with no end to that situation currently in sight, many skilled migrants are considering leaving New Zealand for good.  

National's immigration spokeswoman Erica Stanford says the situation is "hugely problematic" with the Government “reneging on the promise” of residency in a reasonable time period.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi says the Government is looking at ways to manage the system and the increased wait times - but did not elaborate further.

A deep dive into dairy 

Dairy has long been vital to New Zealand’s economy – but a new documentary says it’s an industry that’s gathered bills yet to be paid, both in financial debt and environmental cost.

Milk and Money is a six-part documentary led by Re: journalist Baz Macdonald, which examines the impact of the industry on New Zealand and asks what sustainable dairy looks like in Aotearoa.

You can find all six episodes of that investigation here.  

Other news of note this morning:

- Still battling a humanitarian disaster courtesy of Covid-19, Fiji is now facing a serious political crisis, with several MPs taken into custody last night.

- Relatives of the Erebus crash victims are divided over a suggestion to move the proposed national memorial in Auckland to a different site.

- Anti-apartheid protesters from 1981 have returned to Hamilton to mark 40 years since their infamous storming of Rugby Park.

- Overpayments have cost the Ministry of Social Development $22.6 million over the past five years.

- Auckland’s Puhinui Station reopens today following a $69 million upgrade.

- A Salvation Army pilot project aiming to disrupt the mobile trading market has reached the end of the road due to the Government’s upcoming credit law changes.

- Breakfast presenter and mad rugby fan John Campbell has examined the factors depleting the Pacific of its rugby talent

- And Aotearoa’s first Reading Ambassador says he’s keen to encourage others to give reading a go.

And finally...

Chef Chantelle Nicholson Source: 1 NEWS

An award-winning Kiwi chef and restaurateur in London is a frontrunner to achieve another big accolade.

Hamilton-born Chantelle Nicholson has been shortlisted for one of Britain's top culinary honours – Chef of the Year.

Nicholson quit her legal career back in 2004 and has been plying her trade in London’s tough restaurant scene ever since.

1 NEWS Europe correspondent Daniel Faitaua sits down with the chef to find out why she’s a cut above the rest.