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Morning Briefing Oct 23: Covid-19 threatens community as bar closes, student isolates

Kiwis are being urged to remain vigilant over Labour weekend as Covid-19 threatens to re-emerge in the community again.

The Malt pub in Greenhithe, Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield yesterday reminded the public to “dust off those masks” and remember to keep using the Government’s Covid Tracer app as sign ins have significantly dropped off.  

Epidemiologist Sir David Skegg also aired concerns at the level of complacency he says the public and Government have been showing towards Covid-19 since the country reverted to Alert Level 1. 

It comes after it was revealed a man infected with Covid-19 recently visited an Auckland pub before later testing positive.

As well, a student at Auckland’s Rangitoto College is in self-isolation after a family member developed the virus. But the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is assuring the North Shore school that any risk to staff or other students was “very low”.  

The NZ Herald also reported a Covid-positive person shopped at Burnsco in Gulf Harbour, a store for marine and motorhome gear, at the weekend. Everyone in the store at that time is being treated as casual contacts. 

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Cargo ship workers infected

Across the ditch, two crew members have tested positive for Covid-19 on board the cargo ship thought to be the source of New Zealand's recent community infections.

All 19 crew of the Sofrana Surville were tested after a New Zealand port worker who had been on the ship tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.

Queensland Health said arrangements were being made to transfer the two crew to hospital. According to New Zealand's Ministry of Health, another crew member tested a weak positive, indicating a historical infection.

Meanwhile, the port worker who was New Zealand’s 1530th Covid-19 case – and was working onboard the vessel - is being hailed a “hero” who may have saved the country from a new community outbreak by acting swiftly. 

There were also two new imported cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand yesterday, according to the Ministry of Health. 

Call to scrap Oranga Tamariki

Oranga Tamariki should be scrapped and its powers handed over to Māori – that’s the call from campaigners appearing before an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing.

The Māori Women's Welfare League has told the Waitangi Tribunal that Māori initiatives to reduce the number of tamariki in their care have been short-lived because the Crown has all the control.  

It’s the first week of the hearing into the Government agency which aims to identify what difference legislative and practice changes introduced in 2017 made, and any changes the Crown must make to be Te Tiriti o Waitangi compliant. 

Quake-damaged church design unveiled

The concept design for Christ Church Cathedral, which was significantly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, has been unveiled.

The concept design for the reinstated Anglican cathedral and the two supporting buildings making up the "Cathedral Quarter" will see the cathedral as a centrepiece flanked by "modern buildings that both contract and complement it", according to the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project.

The $154 million project will mean the reinstated cathedral will have more flexibility in how it functions, both internally and through its supporting buildings, Right Reverend Dr Peter Carrell said. 

Sausage rolling with the wins

New Zealand’s “Pie King” – AKA Patrick's Pies owner Patrick Lam - has proved he’s no one-trick pony, yesterday taking out the inaugural best sausage roll award.

The seven-time Supreme Pie Awards winner has now added winner of the Bakels Legendary Sausage Roll award to his belt. Lam said the win probably came down to his flaky pastry, which matched well with the sausage. 

Other news of note this morning:

- The Independent Police Conduct Authority has cleared an officer who allowed drunk convicted murderer Paul Tainui, who was out on parole, to leave a booze checkpoint in Christchurch, even after he was found with knives in the car. 

- Former US President Barack Obama has blasted US President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus, his culpability in national discord and his overall fitness for the job. 

- East Coast medicinal cannabis company Rua Bioscience, founded by a Māori community, is now live on the New Zealand stock exchange, debuting at 70 cents a share. 

- Waikato District Council is appealing for information after a "beautiful pup" was left injured after being shot more than 10 times with an air gun. 

- Two police staff members have been taken to hospital after being seriously injured at Rotorua Police Station. 

- Nokia says it has been tapped by NASA to build the first cellular communications network on the moon.  

- Rudy Giuliani has been shown with his hand down his pants after flirting with an actress playing a young woman pretending to be a television journalist in a scene in Sacha Baron Cohen's latest mockumentary, a sequel to his hit Borat film. 

Rose Matafeo in a scene from Baby Done. Source: 1 NEWS

And finally...

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the village behind the new film Baby Done includes award-winning director Taika Waititi, Kiwi actress Rose Matafeo and one well-known Harry Potter star.

Seven Sharp’s Laura Daniel caught up with the one carrying the fictional baby in the exclusive interview here