It was touch and go for some New Zealanders in Wuhan trying to get through security checks and get last-minute permits to board the evacuation flight home overnight; and a new museum recognising the role Maori played in New Zealand’s armed forces has opened at a dawn service in Waitangi this morning.
1.Residents in low-lying areas of Gore and Mataura have been asked to evacuate after three days of heavy rain put the Mataura River at risk of breaching its banks. Large swathes of farmland are under water and many roads are impassable. At 5.30am the Mataura River was running 4.3m above normal levels at Gore and 6.5m above normal just south of Mataura.
2.The Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks told morning report there will be a lot of activity over the next couple of hours.
3.Flooding in the Clutha District this morning has closed three state highways and almost 50 local roads. The local council says people have been ignoring closure signs and driving through the flood waters.
4.It was touch and go for some New Zealanders in Wuhan trying to get through security checks and get last-minute permits to board the evacuation flight home overnight. But early today, the Government-chartered Air New Zealand flight NZ1942 finally took off from the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, bound for Auckland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to RNZ the flight took off at 6.45am (NZT).
5.Harry Li, whose six-year-old son is on the evacuation flight wants to join him in quarantine at the Whangaparaoa Military Facility where the boy is required to spend 14 days in isolation.
6.A ban on taking water from the Ngaruroro River in Hawke’s Bay could be imposed as soon as today. 200 consent holders have been stopped from taking anymore water from the Tukituki and Waipawa Rivers because of low flows and a ban on the Tutaekuri River near Puketapu is also imminent.
7.First time home buyers competing with investors for limited stock and driving up house prices throughout the country. Figures from quotable value show January has been another month of growth in all major centres but Dunedin saw the biggest increase with prices up 20.8 percent in the past year.
8.The first leg of the US Democratic Presidential race has turned into chaos with a technological issue delaying the results. Party officials have admitted a coding error in the app used to report results was to blame.
9.A new museum recognising the role Maori played in New Zealand’s armed forces has opened at a dawn service in Waitangi this morning. More than 1000 people were there for the occasion, including Government officials, iwi leaders and Robert Gilles one of the last two surviving members of the 28th Māori Battalion.