New Zealand

Masakatsu Ukon / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Tourism is slowly returning to some parts of the world, and so is the concept of “travel bubbles.” That’s the ability to visit certain countries without quarantine, and a new one’s about to get underway in the Asia Pacific.

AP Photo/Mark Baker

Life is back to normal for residents of coastal New Zealand this week. Late last week, a series of powerful earthquakes struck the South Pacific — leading to tsunami warnings around the region. And while the waves were not as high as feared, for some they were a wake-up call.

Wikimedia Commons

Updated 3/4/21, 3:27 p.m.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — One of the biggest earthquakes to hit the South Pacific in modern history forced thousands of people in New Zealand to evacuate and triggered tsunami warnings across the world Friday, but it did not appear to cause injuries or major damage because it struck in remote ocean.

AP Photo/Mark Baker

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — A day after winning a second term in a landside victory, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Sunday she sees the election result as an endorsement of her government’s efforts to stamp out the coronavirus and reboot the economy.

AP Photo/Mark Baker

As Oahu starts to slowly re-open businesses on the island, many areas around the world are gradually easing some restrictions put in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19. That includes the Asia-Pacific — where it’s already been a week of change.

Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald via AP

New Zealand has been one of the most successful countries in the world in dealing with COVID-19. But for the first time in more than a hundred days, the country has what government officials call “evidence of domestic transmission” of the virus. And the reaction has been swift.

Ken Yatomi via Bishop Museum

A royal Hawaiian feather cloak and helmet given to Captain James Cook in 1779 are being permanently returned to Hawaiʻi. The items were temporarily on loan to the Bishop Museum with plans to return them to New Zealand, where they have been housed for more than a century.

AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti

This week the state lifted quarantine restrictions on inter-island travel. Government officials are still looking at what will be needed to resume limited trans-Pacific travel. But the timing of travel from at least one Asia Pacific destination may be delayed.

Paige Okamura

It's been a little over a year since my trip to Aotearoa, which happened to be the trip I'd been dreaming of my whole life thus far. It was beautiful, enlightening, culturally enriching, and full of dairy that didn't make me sick! 

Tonight's show is volume two of Māori waiata - including a few new songs that have come out within the past year. Nau mai, haere mai, ki te pae.

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.

jeepersmedia / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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.

Masakatsu Ukon / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

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.

Anthony Quintano / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

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.

Charlie Brewer / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

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.

Charles Edward Miller / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

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.

Lawrence Murray / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

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.

Phillip Capper / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

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.

Christian Haugen / Creative Commons / Flickr

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.

111 Emergency / Creative Commons / Flickr

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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