Antarctica – Boomerang from Scott Base – One false start and they’re off!

Source: Antarctica New Zealand

The first cohort of Scott Base staff flew out of Christchurch this morning for Antarctica – marking the start of New Zealand’s 2021/22 summer season.

They NEARLY got there on Monday, but the Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 turned back after four and a half hours due to poor weather in Antarctica. That’s fondly referred to as a ‘boomerang’ amongst Antarcticans. Inclement Antarctic weather kept the plane on the tarmac until this morning, when the Kiwi Hercules took off at 9am on its way to McMurdo Sound. With a suitable weather window in place, the Hercules landed at Phoenix Airfield at 4.07pm, and was due to spend a short time on the ice before heading back to Christchurch.

Sarah Williamson, Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive says these staff members are essential to running Scott Base safely and the organisation has gone to great lengths to ensure they arrive in Antarctica COVID-19 free.

“Adding a two-week isolation period and multiple COVID-19 tests to Antarctic pre-deployment is a big commitment for our people heading south this year, but we want to ensure we’ve done everything we can to keep Antarctica COVID-19 free.

“We are excited to be sending our base maintenance staff south, and to see the return of our team members that have been in Antarctica all winter,” she says.

Antarctica New Zealand has organised accommodation in Canterbury to ensure all people flying south are completely isolated before travel. (This is not the governmental MIQ). There are several COVID-19 tests during the two-week isolation, and masks must be worn to ensure everyone is kept safe.

Once at Scott Base, there is a carefully planned system every time a new cohort arrives. This means masks and physical distancing are the new norm on base.

The summer Scott Base staff will work in Antarctica for the next five months, while twelve staff will stay on throughout winter until October 2022.

Due to COVID-19, fewer people will travel south this season compared with ‘normal’ years. Researchers begin to arrive next month, allowing New Zealand’s world-leading climate change science to continue on the ice.

Health – GPs serving their communities and supporting Pasifika families affected by Delta

Source: Royal NZ College of General Practitioners

The current COVID-19 Delta outbreak has hit the Pacific community hard with about half of all cases being Pasifika people.
Hearing these numbers prompted The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioner’s Pasifika Chapter to spring into action to offer their support to the Pasifika families who have been transferred into a managed isolation (MIQ) facility.
Chair of the Pasifikia Chapter Dr Monica Liva put a call out to Pasifika GPs and was heartened by the number who put their hand up to help, despite their already busy workloads as fulltime GPs.
Dr Liva says, “One way we can do this is simply with a phone call. Being able to speak to these individual or family groups in their first language, such as Samoan, shows that we care by listening to their concerns and supporting them in any way to help put their minds at ease during this stressful and uncertain time.”
The College has previously spoken about the vaccination of Pasifika and Māori communities being a fundamental equity issue, as we know from the data that the effects of COVID-19 will be more damaging for them than other groups. 
College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “While it is promising to see the rates of Māori and Pasifika vaccination rising, now is not the time to get complacent. It is absolutely essential that our focus is to get Māori and Pacific vaccination rates as high as, or preferably higher, than other vaccination rates.
“We need to be looking to the future and ensure we have as much of the population vaccinated to prevent a possible overwhelm of the health system if New Zealand was to encounter another large outbreak.
“We’ve seen how crushing COVID-19 can be to one community; we need to work together to minimise this happening again,” says Dr Murton.
Below is some information on pop-up vaccination events currently available for our Pasifika communities. No appointments necessary and anyone who turns up – regardless of the culture they identify with – will be vaccinated.
Kuki Airani ‘Drive Thru’ vaccination site
Thursday 23 – Saturday 25 September 8.30am – 4.30pm
Atiu Hall, 7 Aitu Place, Mangere
Vaccinate Niue drive through event Auckland
Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 September 8.30am – 4.30pm
15 Robertson Road, Mangere (LDS Chapel)
Samoan vaccination drive through event
Friday 24 – Sunday 26 September 9am – 6pm
Mangere Town Centre

Whānau resilience to COVID-19 increased in Kaiaua

Source: Te Puni Kokiri

Te 24 o Mahuru 2021 | 24 Mahuru 2021
When the second Aotearoa-wide lockdown was announced, the Wharekawa Marae Reservation Trust in Whakatiwai, Kaiaua (near the Coromandel) was able to better respond swiftly to the needs of their whānau and community.
Funding the Trust received from the Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities Fund (BSRC) was instrumental in their response to COVID-19 and has set them up for the future.
The Te Puni Kōkiri fund invests in capability and provides resources to support iwi and Māori organisations to build sustainable and resilient communities.
This investment is helping the Trust build strategic and critical relationships to provide support to whānau and the community, particularly in response to COVID-19.
Prior to lockdown, the Trust proactively began working with Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, on a plan to transport whānau to vaccination providers.
“When we went into lockdown, we were able to pivot to respond to the direct needs of whānau, ensuring access to testing and regular medical services,” said Kaiwhakahāere, Eddie Manukau.
“This relationship meant we got a mobile vaccination clinic up and running. Of our whānau, 70-80 per cent have had their first vaccination. In October the clinic will run again to ensure whānau get their second dose.”
“We felt better prepared this time as a result of the BSRC investment and the relationships it enabled us to create. Our learnings from 2020 were vital to enabling our immediate mobilisation using our identified whānau leads, and quickly conducting wellbeing checks via social media and phone calls.”
The Trust is using the community connections of marae whānau to contact the wider Māori community to encourage them to get vaccinated.
“A more co-ordinated approach to ensuring our whānau receive the right information to inform their vaccination decisions is crucial. We are scoping a shared vaccination drive with other marae and iwi within our rohe.”, says Eddie.
Trustee Michelle Wilson agrees the BSRC Fund increased the Trust’s capacity and capability to pivot resources to support whānau o Wharekawa Marae.
“We were in a position to immediately respond to the Alert Level 4 announcement on 17 August 2021. We were able to activate communications to pull together whānau leads from around the rohe, ensuring whānau needs were quickly identified and supported,” said Michelle.
Wharekawa Marae is one of many examples of the direct impact on whānau that results from funding iwi, hapū and Māori organisations to carry out regionally led initiatives.
“We are proud to continue our support of Wharekawa Marae. It is encouraging to see how the Trust has utilised the funding to effect positive, future-focused change in their community,” said Te Puni Kōkiri Regional Director, Martin Mariassouce.
Last week Te Puni Kōkiri announced the COVID-19 Whānau Recovery Fund, a further $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities in Tamaki Makaurau, Te Tai Tokerau and Northern Waikato.
Te Puni Kōkiri is continuing to support hapū, iwi, Māori providers and organisations to facilitate a Māori-led response and recovery from COVID-19.

Legal Issues – Court ruling a victory for common sense – Family Planning

Source: Family Planning

Great news and a victory for common sense and for people seeking abortion services. 
That's the response from Family Planning to a High Court decision today where a group of health professionals opposed to abortion have lost a court case over whether their rights were infringed if they had to tell a woman where to find contact details of abortion providers. Following law change in March 2020 , a practitioner with a conscientious objection is obliged to tell the woman of their objection, and how to find the contact details of the nearest service provider.
Justice Ellis in the High Court ruled that none of the clinicians rights were infringed or limited in the way alleged. Even if the rights had been limited, Justice Ellis said, the limits could be shown to be justified in a free and democratic society.
“We know many things can make it difficult to access abortion services – cost, travel, stigma. The idea that a clinician can themselves be a barrier is completely unacceptable and I am pleased the court has ruled in this way,” Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says. 

Health – Commission responds to Implementation Unit’s mid-term review of 2019 mental health package

Source: Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Mostly on track, but more to do – Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission calls for greater focus to address barriers to accessing mental health support
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission has welcomed the release of the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet’s Implementation Unit Mid-term Review on the Government’s progress following its $1.9 billion investment into mental health.
“While the overall picture shows progress has been made and initiatives are on track, we support the report’s call for steps to be taken to speed up delivery in certain areas so that everything is in place come 2023 / 24.” says Board Chair, Hayden Wano.
“In particular, we’d like to see focus on the growth of kaupapa Māori services, and support options for our Pacific communities, as we know they disproportionately experience mental distress or addiction. We also echo calls for greater focus on growing our mental health and addiction workforce at pace.”
The Commission provides system leadership and oversight by monitoring people’s wellbeing in Aotearoa and the things that help us to be and stay well, as well as assessing how our mental health and addiction system supports our wellbeing.
Hayden Wano says the Access and Choice Programme, funded through the mental health and addictions package, is critical to give people access to services and supports when we need them and for there to be a greater range of choice as to the type of support and service options available.
“We are currently carrying out our own focused review of the Access and Choice Programme, which is due to be released in mid-October,” says Hayden Wano.
The Commission welcomes the focus on infrastructure in the Implementation Unit’s Mid-term Review. There is an urgent need to upgrade existing inpatient mental health facilities. Many facilities are no longer fit for purpose, have outdated design features, and need to be modernised and updated.
Hayden Wano says that more inpatient beds is not the answer to meeting people’s wellbeing needs and not what people and communities called for in He Ara Oranga.
“We are calling for the Government to urgently invest in and prioritise the expansion of community-based acute mental health support options to help address acute inpatient capacity issues.” he says.
“Our wellbeing system needs to be providing community-based therapeutic support and culturally-appropriate acute care for when people do become unwell. These services and solutions give us choice as to how we are cared for and supported.”
The Commission believes there is a need to look at new and different ways of how people are cared for in inpatient settings to improve how existing bed capacity is used. The right workforce and staffing levels are also key to ensuring that inpatient facilities can optimise the number of acute beds available at any given time.
“Inpatient facilities are only part of the equation. As a nation, we need to keep having the wider conversation about what it’s really going to take to meet people’s wellbeing needs. That means having a greater focus on prevention and early intervention. People in Aotearoa need to get the support we need at the right time and be supported to regain our wellbeing in our local community,” says Hayden Wano. 

Local Government – Central Ward by-election result

Source: Hutt City Council

Preliminary results from Hutt City Council’s Central Ward by-election reveal that Glenda Barratt is the likely front runner to be the city’s new Central Ward councillor. The result is close with only a small number of votes separating Ms Barratt from Andrea Hilton.
The preliminary result was announced at 12.30 pm today following a voting period which began on August 19 and was extended by two weeks due to Covid 19 restrictions.
Hutt City Council’s Elections Officer, Bruce Hodgins, says 15 special votes are still to be processed. Confirmation of the result is expected to be announced on Monday 27 September.
“With 12 candidates standing for election, Central Ward electors had plenty of choice as to who they would like representing them on Council,” said Bruce.
“Voter turnout for by-elections is typically lower than for the triennial elections,” adds Bruce, noting that 24% of electors chose to exercise their democratic right to vote in this by-election. This compares to the 40% turnout for the 2019 triennial election.
Subject to the result being confirmed, Glenda will be sworn in as a Councillor at the next Council meeting on 5 October 2021.
For more information, visit

Arts – Whiti Hereaka, Recipient of the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship 2021

Source: The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc

Whiti Hereaka is an award-winning novelist and playwright of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Tainui and Pākehā descent, based in Wellington. She will use the fellowship to complete the research and development for a new novel.

Whiti says: 'I’m not sure if there are enough exclamation marks in the world to express how thrilled I am to be awarded the 2021 NZSA Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship (although I’ll try to restrain myself to just one!)

I’d like to acknowledge the generosity of the Beatson’s in setting up the fellowship and thank Peter for his ongoing support of writers. When he rang me to congratulate me, Peter was warm and genuinely interested in my work and my career. It is lovely to know that my work is appreciated and supported, especially when I feel like I’ve been in the mid-career doldrums.

One of the strange conundrums of a career in writing is that as you progress it seems to get harder to find the time to concentrate on writing. The stipend attached to the fellowship gives me my writing time back. I’m excited to get stuck into my next novel, Ariā, over summer.

I also want to acknowledge the judges for their careful and thoughtful mahi. I mihi to the past and future Beatson fellows, and I hope that my mahi will contribute to our collective legacy. And finally, thank you to the NZSA — for all the work you do for and on behalf of NZ writers.'

The judging panel of James Norcliffe and Jillian Sullivan commented: 'It was a privilege and a pleasure to be asked to choose the winner of the 2021 Beatson Fellowship from the twenty-one applicants. It was also a task freighted with difficulty because of the very high quality of the leading contenders.

The applications this year covered a wide range of genres: from novels, a verse novel, short stories, poetry, essays and non-fiction ranging from history to self-help books. The quality was so high in our final lists, and the breadth of projects which writers are working on was inspiring, that it is affirming of the creative life in our country.'

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc)  congratulates Whiti Hereaka along with the four outstanding applicants who were shortlisted:- Murray Edmond, Louise Wallace, Philippa Werry and Pat White.

This annual award is made possible with thanks to the generosity of the Beatson’s. In establishing this fellowship, they have given NZ authors a valuable opportunity to be economically secure while they bring a project to completion.  It’s a commitment and affirmation for New Zealand writers. The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc) is most grateful.

In 2020 the fellowship was awarded to Siobhan Harvey who used the time to to support the writing of her poetry project – Ghosts (OUP) a volume of verse which was published to much acclaim earlier this year.

Previous recipients have included Frankie McMillan, Sue Wooton, Jillian Sullivan, Tina Makereti, Michael Harlow, Emma Neale, Mandy Hager, Carl Nixon, Glenn Colquhoun, Sue McCauley and Marilyn Duckworth.

The NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship is an annual award open to any NZSA members working on a new fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama project. Find out more about the fellowship.

Word version of Media Release
PDF version of Media Release

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc is the principal organisation representing writers in Aotearoa. Founded in 1934, it advocates for the right to fair reward and creative rights, administers prizes and awards, works closely with the literary sector liaison and runs professional development programmes for writers.

Media and Funding – 110 journalist roles funded to provide Public Interest Journalism across the motu

Source: New Zealand on Air

Public Interest Journalism has received an $18m boost with the announcement of funding for an additional 110 journalists* across Aotearoa with a specific mandate to produce stories that keep New Zealanders informed and engaged, and support a healthy democracy.  

The funding is the result of the second competitive funding round via NZ On Air’s $55m Public Interest Journalism Fund. The fund was announced in February to address a deficit in public interest journalism, a key pillar in a healthy democracy.

Combined with the first funding round, $29m has now been committed to a mix of journalism roles, defined journalism Projects, and Industry Development initiatives.

Demand for the fund has been high. Round 2 saw a total of 63 applications applying for 311 roles and seeking close to $47m in funding.  

Role-based funding is designed to support the revitalization of the industry, to address ‘news deserts’ and deficits in coverage of matters of importance to New Zealanders. Statistics NZ figures show that the number of journalists halved between 2006 and 2018.

“Funding journalists back into newsrooms particularly at regional and local levels will help redress the drastic reduction in journalist numbers over the past few years and ensure the sector has the workforce to deliver strong public interest journalism,” says NZ On Air Head of Journalism Raewyn Rasch.

The performance of the funded roles is measured on content outputs. Funded roles in this round are geographically spread across the country, and will also go some way to address deficits in reporting for specific ethnic communities or issues.  

The funding includes an expansion of the pre-existing Local Democracy Reporter scheme, and a new Open Justice – Te Pātiti scheme to fill gaps in court reporting, ensuring the public is better informed in these critical areas.

A map showing distribution of funds to date is able to be downloaded here.

*This figure does include 16 Local Democracy Reporter roles that were funded for a fixed term originally out of one-off allocation.

Role Funding details  

All roles are funded for two years unless otherwise stated.

Stuff, 20 x Community and Pou Tiaki roles for Stuff publications, up to $2,789,240

RNZ, 20 x Local Democracy Reporting roles for 26 publications/platforms, up to $3,554,000

NZME, 15 x roles for Open Justice – Te Pātiti scheme for 11 publications, up to $2,995,702

Māori Television, 7 x roles for Māori Television, up to $1,593,000

School Road Publishing, 1 x role for Woman magazine, up to $189,660  

SunPix, 2 x roles for TP+, up to $273,600

Times Media, 1 x role for Local Matters, up to $150,148

Crux Publishing, 1 x role for Crux, up to $151,200

The Spinoff, 2 x roles for The Spinoff, up to $427,800

Ashburton Guardian, 1 x role for the Ashburton Guardian, up to $150,000

Central App, 1 x role for Central App, for one year, up to $31,200

North & South, 1 x role for North & South Media, up to $230,000

Newsroom, 4 x roles for Newsroom and 1 x shared role Newsroom and North & South, up to $528,316

Allied Press, 4 x roles for Otago Daily Times and other Allied Press properties, up to $711,797

Valley Media, 1 x role for The Valley Profile, up to $127,096

The Gisborne Herald, 1 x role for The Gisborne Herald, up to $183,240

Metro Media Group, 1 x part-time role for Metro Magazine, up to $47,600  

Mana Trust, 4 x roles for E-Tangata, up to $650,000  

Kiwi Media Publishing, 4 x roles for The Indian Weekender, up to $705,000

National Pacific Radio Trust, 4 x roles for Pacific Media Network, for one year, up to $275,000

Television New Zealand, 2 x roles for TVNZ News, for one year, up to $206,000  

Te Reo Irirangi O Te Hiku O Te Ika, 1 x role for Te Reo Irirangi O Te Hiku O Te Ika, up to $176,200  

Very Nice Productions, 1 x role for Local Focus, for one year, up to $105,000  

UMA Broadcasting, 6.5 x roles for Radio Waatea, for one year, up to $774,000  

Discovery New Zealand, 3 x roles for Newshub, up to $695,560.

Culture and Heritage – Applications open for Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund

Source: Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage is now accepting applications for the 2022 Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund, and communities across the motu are encouraged to apply for funding to support their local events.
“Waitangi Day commemorations are important to the growth of our national identity, and for bringing people together in acknowledgement of our shared histories,” said Tamsin Evans, Deputy Chief Executive, Te Hua Delivery at Manatū Taonga.
“This year, the fund will offer between $300,000 to $500,000 in total grants, depending on demand, for events that commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and promote nation and community building.
“We know this is an exceptionally difficult time for event organisers throughout the country due to the uncertainty that COVID brings, and that many traditional sources of funding for local Waitangi Day events may not be available this year.
“With this fund, we hope to bring as much certainty as possible to community groups wanting to organise Waitangi Day celebrations, so that more New Zealanders can take part in activities that deepen and broaden our understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”
From Northland to Southland, last year’s fund supported events held in marae, parks, museums and community centres and included kai festivals, marae open days, scavenger hunts and re-enactments, wānanga, workshops, and public performances.
Projects run in partnership between local authorities, community groups and tangata whenua are especially encouraged to apply.
With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the fund decision panel will want to know how applicants are preparing to hold their events in accordance to Ministry of Health guidelines under different Alert Levels.
Applications for funding grants are open until Friday 22 October 2021.
For more information and to apply, visit Manatū Taonga’s website. 


Source: Ringa Hora Services

Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council is excited to introduce both their new name and their inaugural Chief Executive.

After earlier committing to the development of a te reo Māori name for the Council, the interim Establishment Board sought the advice of Renata Hakiwai (co-chair of Hanga Aro Rau WDC) and his uncle, Dr Joseph Te Rito, a distinguished Māori language specialist and academic. The WDC serves the needs of a broad range of industries, including aviation, hospitality, retail, travel, tourism, cleaning and caretaking, security, contact centres, real estate and financial services. The interim board developed a statement about the importance of service and the exchange between customers and suppliers of that service.

A name that could fully exemplify these qualities was sought. Dr Te Rito suggested ‘ringa hora’ which is a favourite and often quoted aphorism on marae in Ngāti Kahungunu – Hawke’s Bay, in particular the Heretaunga (Hastings) area. Dr Te Rito states ‘ringa’ are ‘hands’, and ‘hora’ means ‘spread out’ and in this case, facing upwards. ‘Ringa hora’, the upturned, outspread hands symbolises ‘manaakitanga’,’ hospitality’,’ service’. This wonderful value is fundamental to and pervades the whole Services industry”.

Council Chair, Hinerangi Edwards added:  “We acknowledge Dr Te Rito, Ngāti Kahungunu and all those who exemplify these qualities every day. We will work hard to live up to this name and the concepts behind it. We know that many of our service industries are hurting and need many arms outspread towards them. Our team, led by our CEO, will focus on serving businesses, learners and their communities through supporting the development of meaningful qualifications and standards.”

“We are pleased to welcome Kari Scrimshaw as Chief Executive for Ringa Hora. In Kari we have found a leader who is committed to our kaupapa and has a track record of successful start-ups in both public and private sectors. Kari has the personal and professional grit that we believe will support Ringa Hora to contribute to a capable, productive and healthy workforce through vocational education transformation and industry leadership.”

Kari is currently a Director at professional services firm PwC and has spent the last year working alongside the six interim Establishment Boards, Transitional ITO CEs and industry partners with RoVE/TEC as the Workforce Development Council Lead.  Kari started off her working life in tourism and hospitality operations in the UK and the US. More recently she led the set up and establishment of the Climate Change Commission and has held other leadership roles across the public service.

Kari said “I am thrilled to be joining Ringa Hora and to be able to work alongside the team from October 4th as we support the Council and our industries on the realisation of this reform.  Our sector depends on our people – ‘He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’.  I’m looking forward to building strong relationships with our industries.  These relationships will inform our advice to the Tertiary Education Commission on developing a talented and high performing workforce that will enable our sectors to build strong futures – a future where our people and our businesses thrive through good skills, meaningful qualifications and equitable opportunities for all.”

“Many of the sectors represented by Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council have been severely impacted by COVID-19.  I am committed to working alongside these industries to understand the talent and skills they will require to rebuild and re-establish their businesses and their huge contribution to New Zealand’s GDP.”

Industries represented by Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council include advisory services, aviation, cleaning services, business services, contact centres, financial services, hospitality, local government, real estate, retail, security services, state sector, tourism and travel.


Dr Joseph (Joe) Te Rito is Rongomaiwahine/Ngāti Kahungunu. He is currently Deputy-Director/Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori with Ako AOTEAROA (National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence).  He was previously Kaihautū Tikanga and Reo at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (Māori Centre for Research Excellence) based at the University of Auckland until December 2015. Joe headed Māori Studies at EIT for 17 years before that and he is founding and current Chair of Radio Kahungunu. He is an active te reo Māori researcher. When he was a student at Victoria University, he joined the Te Reo Māori Society which co-presented the Te Reo Māori Petition to Parliament in 1972. He holds a Māori Interpreters Licence.

Workforce Development Councils are being established through the Reform of Vocational Education and will come into effect on 4 October 2021. They will set standards, develop qualifications and shape the curriculum of vocational education to ensure it meets their industries’ needs.


See the TEC website for further information on Workforce Development Councils and Ringa Hora.