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New Zealand PM unruffled as quake hits mid-interview

Wellington - A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

New Zealand opposition changes leader as PM support soars

Wellington - New Zealand's conservative opposition switched leaders Friday in a last-gasp bid to counter the record support Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is enjoying for containing the coronavirus.

Kiwis eye shorter working week in post-lockdown economy

Wellington - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday raised the prospect of Kiwis enjoying extra public holidays and a shorter working week to help kickstart New Zealand's post-lockdown economy.

Jacinda Ardern surges in polls on Kiwi virus success

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's success containing coronavirus has driven an extraordinary popularity surge that has put the youthful leader on course for a landslide win in September's national election.

'Kiss and go': Back to school for New Zealand kids

Wellington - Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand children returned to school Monday after two months of home education as part of a COVID-19 lockdown.

Crewcuts and catch-ups as New Zealand lockdown ends

Wellington - New Zealanders mingled with friends and hit the shopping malls for the first time in seven weeks Thursday as a national lockdown ended and businesses faced a "new normal" minimising the constant threat of coronavirus.

New Zealand says virus will not stop September election

Wellington - New Zealand's Electoral Commission unveiled safety measures Tuesday designed to allow a national election to proceed as planned in September despite the coronavirus threat.

New Zealand to end coronavirus lockdown

Wellington - New Zealand will phase out its coronavirus lockdown over the next 10 days after successfully containing the virus, although some restrictions will remain, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday.

Fragile paradise: Pacific isles weigh risk of returning tourists

Suva - South Pacific island nations have dodged the worst ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, but now face a stark choice between a risky reopening to tourists and economic collapse.

Australia, New Zealand weigh trans-Tasman virus 'bubble'

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will join an Australian leaders' meeting on Tuesday to discuss establishing a "trans-Tasman bubble" that allows the neighbours to lift bilateral coronavirus travel bans.

Optimism, with a side of fries, as Kiwi lockdown eases

Wellington - New Zealanders satisfied their cravings for hamburgers and coffee as a five-week lockdown eased on Tuesday, as hopes swelled that the country's coronavirus outbreak was under control.

New Zealand volcano disaster victims to sue cruise ship firm

Sydney - Survivors of last year's New Zealand volcano eruption are planning to sue cruise ship company Royal Caribbean for failing to warn of the risks involved in touring the area, lawyers said Monday.

New Zealand has won a battle against virus transmission: PM

Wellington - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday claimed New Zealand had scored a significant victory against the spread of the coronavirus, as the country began a phased exit from lockdown.

New Zealand to ease virus lockdown next week

Wellington - New Zealand will ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown next week after claiming success in stopping "an uncontrolled explosion" of the disease, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.

New Zealand PM takes pay cut as virus hits economy

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Wednesday she will take a 20 percent pay cut in a symbolic act of solidarity with people struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia, New Zealand flatten virus curve but keep lockdowns intact

Sydney - Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday brushed aside calls for an easing of tough restrictions on travel and public gatherings despite their success in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

'Idiot' Kiwi health minister breaks lockdown, keeps job

Wellington - New Zealand's health minister described himself as "an idiot" Tuesday for breaking lockdown restrictions, but kept his job coordinating the South Pacific nation's COVID-19 response.

Kiwis cheesed off at surging cauliflower costs

Wellington - The coronavirus pandemic has upended life for billions, but New Zealanders tolerating strict lockdown laws have drawn the line at surging cauliflower prices and are demanding the government act.

New Zealand mosque shooter changes plea to guilty

Wellington - An Australian far-right extremist charged with murdering 51 Muslim worshippers in last year's mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques unexpectedly flipped his plea to guilty on Thursday.

New Zealand mosque shooter pleads guilty to all charges

Wellington - The Australian accused of murdering 51 Muslim worshippers in last year's mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques pleaded guilty to all charges Thursday in an unexpected reversal.

Virus-hit Air New Zealand offered US$515 mn bailout

Wellington - Air New Zealand has been offered a NZ$900 million (US$515 million) loan to help the flag carrier survive the coronavirus crisis, the government said Friday.

New Zealand unveils huge stimulus package to ease pandemic shock

Wellington - New Zealand unveiled a NZ$12.1 billion (US$7.3 billion) stimulus package Tuesday as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raided the nation's "rainy day" fund to soften the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand tells overseas arrivals to self-isolate

Wellington - International visitors to New Zealand must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday.

Muslims still feel unsafe a year after New Zealand massacre

Christchurch - Aliya Danzeisen rises before dawn every day to hear the news so she can prepare her school-age daughters for any harassment they may face for being Muslim.

Australian medical mercy dash for American in Antarctica

Christchurch - An American requiring emergency medical treatment has been flown from Antarctica to New Zealand in a mercy dash in "challenging" winter conditions, the Australian Antarctic Division said Saturday.

Ardern says racist threat lingers after New Zealand mosque attacks

Christchurch - New Zealand's leader Jacinda Ardern admitted Friday there was "much more" her country could do to tackle white supremacists a year after the Christchurch mosque massacres.

New Zealand scraps big Pacific festival over virus fears

Wellington - New Zealand cancelled one of the Pacific's largest cultural festivals on Friday, saying there was too much risk of attendees contracting coronavirus then spreading it throughout vulnerable island nations.

Ardern faces election struggle, despite global praise

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won global acclaim for her response to the Christchurch mosque shootings -- but 12 months on, her political future hangs in the balance and there are signs "Jacinda-mania" has peaked.

Virus looms as election issue for New Zealand's Ardern

Wellington - The global coronavirus outbreak is emerging as a potential stumbling block for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's re-election plans, with a poll Thursday showing unease over her government's handling of the crisis.

New Zealand teen arrested after threat to mosque

Wellington - New Zealand police arrested a 19-year-old man over an "abhorrent" threat made this week against one of the Christchurch mosques targeted in a mass shooting last year.
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