What are the Kiwis up to now? An explainer of what's going on in New Zealand for our Aussie 'friends' after dramatic 60 Minutes ad

"Just what are the Kiwis up to now?"

It's the question posed in the uber-dramatic 60 Minutes Australia commercial released this week with its sinister sounding voiceover and background music you'd expect to hear in the trailer of a new Christopher Nolan film.

The video promotes the television show's upcoming investigation into New Zealand's relationship with China and position within the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, issues which have been widely canvassed in recent months and the subject of some erroneous and confused overseas commentary.

It questions if New Zealand is turning into 'New Xi-land' as it's accused of cosying up to China by being mum on the Asian nation's human rights abuses to protect our massive two-way trade. 

"We thought they were our best friends, but it looks like they've ditched us for a fast Chinese buck," the advert's voiceover says. 

Those behind Sunday's 60 Minutes episode say it is impartial and will include both sides of the debate.

But in the meantime, Newshub has compiled some of the key news in New Zealand this week  and what's coming up in the weekend to show our Aussie friends just what we are up to.

Responding to Victoria's COVID outbreak

As New Zealand marks three months since its last community case, it's had to pause its travel bubble with Victoria in light of the new outbreak there.

With a total of 30 cases recorded as of Friday morning, Victoria has been thrown into a seven-day circuit-breaker lockdown similar to New Zealand's alert level 3.

There's a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.
There's a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria. Photo credit: Getty Images.

We are getting a new Governor-General!

Dame Cindy Kiro was announced this week as New Zealand's next Governor-General. A former Children's Commissioner, Dame Cindy will take on the role for five years from October when Dame Patsy Reddy's tenure comes to an end. She will be the first wāhine Māori to hold the role.

Dame Cindy Kiro will be our next Governor-General.
Dame Cindy Kiro will be our next Governor-General. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Gang makes a petition to get an MP sacked

Not a fan of National's Simeon Brown, the Waikato Mongrel Mob this week set up a petition calling for him to be stripped of his portfolios. On Tuesday, Brown said it was "unbelievable" gang members had taken over a Hawke's Bay road following a funeral. The Waikato Mongrel Mob's PR rep has accused him of inciting racial division, but National isn't backing down.

The Mongrel Mob wants Brown gone.
The Mongrel Mob wants Brown gone. Photo credit: Getty / Newshub.

Monster waves wipe out beaches

A massive weather system brought large waves and strong winds to the North Island's east coast, including the Coromandel Peninsula, at the start of the week. Kiwis were out on the frontline capturing photos and videos of roads underwater and banks being eroded.

There was wild weather on the Coromandel Peninsula.
There was wild weather on the Coromandel Peninsula. Photo credit: Supplied / Andrew Dunning.

Gumboot Day

To fundraise money for childrens' mental health, Kiwis were asked to wear their gumboots on Friday and donate a gold coin. Campaigner Mike King on Thursday announced he was handing back his New Zealand Order of Merit because he doesn't believe our mental health system is improving. A group of University of Canterbury students will also be running a marathon while playing a game of cricket on Saturday to raise money.

Mike King.
Mike King. Photo credit: Getty Images.

TV hosts get annoyed with the moon

People around the Pacific were this week treated to a super blood moon lunar eclipse. Kiwis were among them, but The AM Show's sports reader Mark Richardson wasn't impressed. He described it as like a "half-such Oddfellow in the sky" while host Duncan Garner said he just saw "sort of an orangery thing going across the moon". 

Mark Richardson wasn't a fan.
Mark Richardson wasn't a fan. Photo credit: Getty Images / The AM Show.

Jacinda and Scott

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is scheduled to touch down in Queenstown on Sunday for a two-day meeting with Jacinda Ardern. But with a COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne, where ScoMo has been in the last ten days, his visit may come with a few implications.

Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern.
Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Capital in the 21st Century

And if you happen to find yourself in Paekākāriki on the Kapiti Coast on Sunday, the town is holding its film festival showing the 2019 film Capital in the 21st Century from Kiwi director Justin Pemberton. It's described as a "sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future".