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Government sends best wishes to NZ Winter Paralympians

On behalf of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, the Government wishes the New Zealand Paralympian team all the best for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson said.

“The team waving the New Zealand flag on the international stage includes two exceptional Paralympians Adam Hall and Corey Peters, as well as Para athlete Aaron Ewen who will be competing at the Paralympic Games for the first time.

“The Paralympic Winter Games continues to be a proud part of our sporting history, and beyond that, have an important role in challenging common misconceptions about disabled people,” Grant Robertson said.
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Free rapid antigen tests now available for home testing

Ig you are symptomatic or a household contact, you can now order rapid antigen tests (RATs) through the newly launched RAT requester site.

‘It’s one of a range of ways we are make testing more readily available for those who need it,’ says Jo Pugh, Acting Group Manager of COVID-19 Testing and Supply.

‘We have a good supply of RATs to meet demand during Phase Three of our Omicron response.

‘On top of the 15 million that arrived last week, 2.6 million RATs arrived on Tuesday, followed by a delivery of 5.1 million RATs on Wednesday.

‘These new RATs are flowing through the supply chain and into collection sites where they can be accessed by anyone assessed as needing one.’

There are 146 collection sites, 106 testing centres, and 21 providers supporting our priority population groups nationwide. And with the addition of participating pharmacies and GPs, there are now more than 500 access points for RATs, with additional sites continuing to be opened across the motu.

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Self-isolation requirements removed; Step 2 brought forward

Fully vaccinated eligible travellers will no longer self-isolate

Advice from the Strategic COVID-19 Public Health Advisory Group and the Director General of Health is that it is now appropriate to drop the requirement for self-isolation for fully vaccinated travellers after they arrive in New Zealand.

Cabinet has agreed to lift all self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers entering New Zealand from 11:59pm on Wednesday 2 March 2022. That means New Zealand citizens and other eligible travellers entering the country will be able to step off the plane and immediately connect with family and friends and enjoy all New Zealand has to offer.

Caution has served us well during the past 2 years and as we continue to move through the Omicron outbreak and peak, we will continue to remove restrictions when advised it is safe to do so — as we always said we would.

Now that we are 2 years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk has shifted from our border to our community. As the pandemic evolves, we are too. Getting tested is now quicker and easier, requirements for isolation have been simplified to those who share a household, and care in the community is focused towards those most in need of support.

Requirements for travellers

Travellers will still be required to:

  • have a negative pre-departure test, and
  • undertake 2 rapid antigen tests (RATs) on arrival and at day 5/6. If anyone returns a positive result, they will be required to report it and isolate for the same period as a community case.

Returnees are also asked to follow up their positive RAT with a PCR test, so that we can run whole genome sequencing and determine the variant. This will ensure that we can still keep tabs on any emerging variants and isolate cases as needed.
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COVID – Locations of Interest

Check locations of interest and what to do if you have been at one. Locations of interest are places and times where the public may have been exposed to COVID-19


Locations of Interest

Fire Emergency NZ

Fire Season Status

This map shows the fire season status as of 12pm 18 February 2022.
🔴 If your area is in a red zone, there is a total fire ban. No fires are permitted.
🟡 If your area is in a yellow zone, you may need to apply for a permit. Go to to check and apply.
🟢 If your area is in a green zone, you do not need a permit but go to for safety tips before lighting.
Remember, the fire season status can change at any time. Go to for the latest information.
May be an image of map and text that says "FIRE EMERGENCY NEWZEALAND KEY PROHIBITED RESTRICTED OPEN Northland Waitematã Auckland Counties Manukau Bay of Plenty Waikato Taranaki Tairawhiti Manawatü-Whanganui Nelson Marlborough Hawke's Bay West Coast Wellington Canterbury Mid-South Canterbury Otago Southland CHATHAM ISLANDS Updated Friday, February 2022"

Learn about He Oranga Poutama (with live Q&A) 

Are you passionate about growing Māori leadership in play, active recreation and sport? Are you keen to explore Māori approaches that support positive outcomes for Māori through physical activity? 

Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa are extending the He Oranga Poutama programme into three new takiwā across Aotearoa – Te Tairāwhiti, Manawatū and Te Ūpoko o te Ika. Applications are now open from 15 February 2022 for suitable providers. 

To support potential applicants, Sport NZ Ihi Atoearoa is hosting an information webinar on Tuesday 22 February 2022 10:00am. Come along and hear from our Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Rautaki Māori team as they share information about He Oranga Poutama, how it works, Te Whetū Rehua and the He Oranga Poutama outcomes. There will be an opportunity for Q & A with our team at the end of the webinar.  
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Weather Forecast


Locations Of Interest

Check locations of interest and what to do if you have been at one.

Locations of interest are places where someone confirmed with COVID-19 has visited.

You are a contact if you have been at a location of interest at the specified time.

Check the locations of interest and follow the health advice of the Ministry of Health.

Update on COVID-19 cases — 11 February 2022

Read today’s update on COVID-19 cases and Omicron from the Ministry of Health.

  • 446 new community cases
  • 32 new cases identified at the border
  • 23 cases in hospital

The Big Boost continues today, promoting the booster dose to anyone over 18 who has had their second dose more than 3 months ago. Many vaccination centres will be open extended hours over the weekend to encourage people to get their booster.

It is great to see that 43% of children in the 5 to 11 age group have already had their first dose. We want as many children as possible to be protected through vaccination.

Yesterday more than 50,000 booster doses were given, bringing the total so far to 1,772,914.

The most important step you can take to prepare for Omicron is getting your booster dose as soon as it is due. Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick and being hospitalised,

Book your vaccine now, whether it’s your first, second or booster. Every dose counts.

The increase in cases today is a reminder that, as expected, the Omicron variant is spreading in our communities as we have seen in other countries.

The number of cases will continue to fluctuate from day to day, but our expectation is that cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks.

All of us can all play our part to slow the spread of the virus, help protect our most vulnerable people from being infected, and ensure our health system is able to manage extra demand for services.

This means continuing to do the basics well —  staying home if unwell, and wearing a mask, physical distancing and scanning in using the NZ COVID Tracer app when you’re out and about.

Masks are most effective when worn properly —  fitted snug and close to the face.

Anyone with any cold or flu symptoms that could be COVID-19 is asked to get a test and isolate at home until a negative result is returned.

The most common early symptoms of the Omicron variant are a sore or scratchy throat, and a runny nose. Even if you develop a small sniffle, please get a test.







Heaphy Track closure will last months

The severity of the damage to the Heaphy Track will leave part of it closed for months, with three bridges damaged or destroyed after torrential rain .

The worst of the damage to the popular Great Walk is between the Heaphy and James Mackay huts, with the Gunner River suspension bridge damaged, Pitt Creek bridge washed away, and the Heaphy River suspension bridge destroyed beyond repair.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) made an initial aerial assessment of the track on Wednesday, during a break in the weather between Metservice orange alerts for heavy rain in the region. More detailed assessments are planned after the current rainfall eases.

DOC’s Buller operations manager Suvi Van Smit said on Thursday that it was too early to say how long it would take to fix the bridges and other damage to the track, particularly as there had been more heavy rain since the initial assessment on Wednesday.

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Fire and Emergency NZ - Install working smoke alarms to give yourself a warningFire and Emergency NZ - Install working smoke alarms to give yourself a warning

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