New Zealand

AP Photo/Mark Baker

Some of the restrictions put in place to deal with the coronavirus pandemic are gradually loosening in many countries and in a majority of states — including Hawaii. One place that’s been relatively successful in controlling the spread of the virus is New Zealand. And tomorrow, the country moves to a new phase.

Nel_Botha-NZ from Pixabay

Some states and countries are starting to loosen a few of the restrictions put in place to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. But travel and tourism remain locked down when it comes to Hawaii, and most other locations. But that may shift in one region of the Asia Pacific.

AP Photo/Mark Baker

Stay at home orders are becoming challenging for many during this pandemic. Two government officials in Malaysia have been fined this week for violating rules, and they are far from alone.

Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay

Hawaii shares many cultural ties with New Zealand. But the two island groups also share some challenges. And one of them is a consistent shortage of teachers.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Semi-automatic weapons are now illegal in New Zealand. The national ban on assault rifles and other firearms went into effect at the end of the week – a little more than nine months after the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.

landed / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

250 years ago today British explorer James Cook went ashore onto the land of what it is now called New Zealand. The anniversary is being marked with some ceremonies, but not everyone is calling it a celebration.

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Recycling remains a challenge for both policymakers and consumers — not only here in Hawaii, but all around the world. In New Zealand, the government is trying a different approach when it comes to plastic bottles.

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It’s been more than a year since a Chicago restaurant sparked a local outrage here by trademarking the phrase “Aloha Poke.” Some legal issues related to that action are still pending, but this week there was a bit of an echo of that case in New Zealand.

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Electric scooters are gaining popularity around the world, but wherever they go they seem to bring controversy as well. That was true when LimeBike tried to break into Honolulu, and it’s true this week in New Zealand.

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Near Aukland airport, on the Northern Island of New Zealand, Maori protesters are blocking access to a construction site to protect what they regard as sacred land. The stand-off bears some similarities to the confrontation at Mauna Kea.

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Single use plastic bags are banned in Hawaiʻi — or at least they require an additional cash payment. Dozens of locations around the world now restrict the use of plastic bags, and one of the latest is New Zealand.

DJ Mermaid comes back to us from a week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) full of mahalo for the tangata whenua (peope of the land) that hosted her so well. Tonight's episode of Bridging The Gap honors the people, places, and language of Aotearoa through the waiata (songs) that the whanau (family) shared with her, along with other music she heard during her time there.

Governor - General of New Zealand / CC BY 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Government figures out this week show the U.S. economy grew a little faster than 3% in the first quarter of this year. For the United States and most other countries, Gross Domestic Product is the accepted way to measure economic health. But one country in the Asia Pacific is taking a different approach.

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Teachers across New Zealand went on strike today. It’s the latest development in a long-running dispute between the nation’s two teachers’ unions and the federal government.

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Hawaii is not the only set of islands dealing with changing expectations for the tourism industry. This week, New Zealand has recalibrated its goals for visitors, and their impact on the economy and the environment.

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According to the latest figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hawaii and New York share the highest rate of homelessness in the country. 46 of every 10,000 residents of Hawaii experienced homelessness at some point last year. The issue is also a point of growing concern in the capital city of New Zealand.

Associated Press/Nick Perry

WASHINGTON — Earth's glaciers are melting much faster than scientists thought. A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year, more than half of that in North America.

 

Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon / U.S. Air Force

A small piece of forgotten history is being remembered today in the Asia Pacific. It’s a story that involves New Zealanders, Australians, and the Vietnam War.

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Both Australia and New Zealand have revamped their Pacific policies this past year, partly to counteract China’s growing influence, and partly to address the inevitable effects of climate change. New Zealand’s foreign minister and a former Australian prime minister offered proposals for low-lying island countries recently.

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Several shootings involving officers from the Honolulu Police Department and the Department of Public Safety have taken place in the last few weeks. While internal investigations are continuing, recent violence elsewhere in the Asia Pacific is drawing attention to a significant difference when it comes to police departments.

landed / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Canada’s relations with China have sunk to a new low following the arrest of a senior executive of the telecom giant Huawei. Two Canadians have been arrested in China and another sentenced to death. Now, New Zealand is worried about its relations with China, though the signals are not entirely clear.

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There are a number of labor strikes this week in different parts of the world. Los Angeles is in the midst of a teachers’ strike, while airport workers in Germany staged a walkout yesterday. And in New Zealand, a strike of a different kind is making news.

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Hawai‘i’s population has declined for two years in a row. According to Census figures released late last month, that’s mostly because of people moving to other states. But when it comes to other population centers in the Asia Pacific, one is likely to pass a milestone later this year.

landed / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

A Samoan man has been arrested in New Zealand on charges of slavery and people trafficking. While there have been a few prosecutions over the last few years for exploitation of migrant workers, an immigration official described this case as “A new low for New Zealand.”

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The list of places banning single-use plastic bags is growing. This week, Charleston, South Carolina joined 10 other state coastal communities in stopping their use. Next month, Boston will join the list. And in the Asia Pacific, recent developments about plastic in two countries are getting broader attention.

Wokandapix / Pixabay

Recruiting and retaining public school teachers remains a challenge in Hawaiʻi. But for another location in the Asia Pacific, a recruitment drive is turning some other issues.

craigsyd / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Authorities in New Zealand are trying a new tactic to better understand patterns of drug use in the country. They’re testing the water — waste water from sewers. It’s been done elsewhere, but for New Zealand this is a different approach.

sanjitbakshi / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

As you’ve heard on NPR this week, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued dire warnings of extreme weather, rising sea levels, food shortages and climate migration unless urgent and unprecedented economic measures hold the average temperature rise under 1.5℃ – a goal many scientists believe is already out of reach. 

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been almost two months since Oahu joined the rest of the state in outlawing single-use plastic bags. In the Asia Pacific, the latest country to ban the use of those plastic bags is New Zealand.

DXR / Wikimedia Commons

The rapid rise of housing prices is a concern in many places around the country---including Hawai‘i. Different communities are taking various approaches to deal with that trend. And one of the most distinctive is coming from New Zealand.

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