As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Thursday, November 11

Six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Taranaki town of Stratford on Thursday night.

It comes after recent positive wastewater detections in the town, the most recent of which was on Tuesday.

Anyone in Stratford, or recent visitors to the area, who have symptoms, regardless of how mild, is urged by the Ministry of Health to get tested.

What you need to know:

  • There are 185 new cases of COVID-19 to report on Thursday - 152 in Auckland, 25 in Waikato and eight in Northland.
  • Eighty-four people are in hospital, 10 of whom are in the ICU or HDU.
  • Ninety percent of New Zealanders aged over 12 years have now had their first dose and 80 percent are fully vaccinated. 
  • Another death has been added to the official tally - the death is under a police investigation.
  • Six new cases in the Taranaki town of Stratford were announced on Thursday night, one of which is in hospital.
  • Students in alert level 3 areas will return to school on November 17 - Years 9 and 10 can return full-time, however Years 1 to 8 will be back in the classroom on a part-time basis. 
  • Retail has officially reopened in Auckland as the region enters its second day of alert level 3, step 2.
  • Cases continue to be detected in Northland ahead of the upper region's return to alert level 2 at 11:59pm - a case was detected in Kaitaia late on Wednesday, with eight officially confirmed on Thursday.
  • The AstraZeneca vaccine will be made available to those who medically cannot get the Pfizer jab and are aged 18 or over from late November.
  • Outgoing Auckland Airport CEO Adrian Littlewood has called on the Government to allow fully vaccinated Kiwis to come home for Christmas, saying MIQ needs to be scrapped.
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest locations of interest here.

These live updates have finished.

9:35pm - As a region, 86 percent of eligible people in Taranaki have had their first dose of the vaccine.

Just over 74,000 people, or 73 percent, are fully vaccinated.

9:25pm - NZ COVID Stats, which takes data from Unite Against COVID-19, says 69.2 percent of Stratford is fully vaccinated.

A total of 82.6 percent of eligible people have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

9:15pm - There are six cases of COVID-19 in the Taranaki town of Stratford, including one in hospital, the Ministry of Health says.

All six cases are clearly linked and there is also a link to the Auckland outbreak which is being further investigated, they say.

All people were tested today and returned positive results this evening. The hospitalised person is in Taranaki Base Hospital and was admitted this evening.

Interviews are underway this evening and contact tracing will begin tomorrow, the ministry says.

The affected people are currently isolating at home.

"Today's results explain the recent wastewater detections in the town - the most recent was reported on Tuesday 9 November.  Any locations of interest will be publicised once determined," the Ministry of Health says.

"Anyone in Stratford, or any recent visitors to the town with COVID-19 related symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested."

Testing details for tomorrow and the weekend:

  • Stratford pop-up clinic at the War Memorial car park, Friday to Sunday from 10 to 2pm daily
  • Taranaki Base Hospital, Friday 9am to 3pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm, Sunday 10am to 3pm (hours can be extended if needed)
  • Hawera Hospital, Friday to Sunday 10am to 1pm
  • The vaccine hubs are open in New Plymouth and Hāwera on Saturday and Sunday and there are several pop-up clinics in the community. For a full list please visit here.

7:45pm - Primary Schools around Auckland are busy preparing to welcome students back for the first time in three months. 

There are countless decisions to be made that vary from school to school, parent to parent and student to student.

But it's not a given that students will be back, with COVID anxieties and simple practicalities at play.

Read and watch the full story from Newshub's Shannon Redstall here.

6:45pm - Pfizer's application for the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5-11 has landed in Medsafe's hands.

It arrived on Friday, meaning those under 12 are one step closer to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

6:25pm - There are three new locations of interest. They are:

  • Fairfield Pharmacy, November 1 from 3:45pm to 4:30pm
  • Thirsty Liquor Otorohanga, November 4 from 6:45pm to 7:15pm
  • Unichem Takanini Pharmacy, November 7 from 12:52pm to 1:10pm.

6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6pm for the latest on the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch online here or on Three.

5:50pm - The combined COVID-19 response by Māori in Dargaville will be increased, following the town's first COVID-19 Delta case.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua says after learning of the Delta case, marae, hapū, iwi and Māori providers in Dargaville met and decided on a Takiwira COVID-19 response initiative.

"When we learned there was a positive case in Dargaville our pandemic planning was initiated. We hold weekly Kaipara COVID Zooms with our Kaipara whānau and have planned for an event such as this," says Antony Thompson from Ngāti Whātua.

It was decided in the hui that Kaipara Māori providers will lead the operational effort for the response group. Te Hā Oranga (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua iwi health services), Tangata Development (Te Uri o Hau services), and Te Roroa services have created a tripartite to front-foot delivery in Dargaville and surrounding districts.

"This is what we do and will do to the best of our combined abilities. I'm extremely proud that Māori have these services to focus on Māori communities," says Jonathan Rishworth, CEO for Te Uri o Hau.

From today, the combined response in Dargaville by Māori will be increased. A vaccination site has been set up at The Warehouse Dargaville by Te Ha Oranga.

COVID-19 testing will be available through the Dargaville medical centre and support services with Tangata Development and Te Roroa are on standby.

5:25pm - A child who was at a North Shore daycare facility last week as tested positive for COVID-19.

Parents were sent an email on Thursday afternoon, the NZ Herald reports, saying the child was considered infectious when they were at Lancaster Learning Centre on Monday, November 1.

All staff and children considered close contacts have been tested and have returned negative results. A second negative test result is required before they can return to the daycare facility.

5:05pm - A 12-year-old Napier boy had his birthday wish come true by getting his COVID-19 vaccine the day he became eligible.

The morning of Harry's 12th birthday on October 21, his mum Anna called Unichem Greenmeadows and booked his first COVID-19 vaccine. Just a few hours later, he'd received his first dose.

Anna and her husband were already fully vaccinated and talked with their two children about whether they would like to get vaccinated too. Their eldest daughter was able to get hers but Harry had to wait until his 12th birthday, saying he felt a bit left out being the only unvaccinated family member.

"All I wanted for my birthday was to get vaccinated so I don't get really sick or anything from the virus because children in Auckland have been in hospital with COVID," he says.

"I wanted to protect myself and others from the virus."

Read the full story here.

4:45pm - There are three new locations of interest. They are:

  • Village Green Bakery & Cafe, Otorohanga, October 27 from 12:40pm to 12:45pm
  • Flying Horse Chinese Takeaway and Noodles, Otorohanga, October 27 from 7pm to 7:15pm
  • Supa Choice Bakery, Takanaki, November 3 from 12pm to 12:15pm.

4:15pm - A COVID-19 recovery fund has been approved by Auckland Council's Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, with the balance from this year's Regional Community Development grants programme to fund Rapid Response COVID-19 Recovery grants.

"Auckland Council has allocated more than $63,000 from its Regional Community Development grants programme to support community-led responses to the COVID-19 crisis," says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

"Our Connected Communities team will set up a taskforce to manage the funding and work with communities to ensure that it is allocated to projects and initiatives that help support local communities to manage and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

"It's important that we can support our communities through this tough time and I look forward to seeing the difference these locally led initiatives can make."

Councillor Alf Filipaina, chairperson of the Auckland Council Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, says the new grants complement the approved funding from the Regional Community Development grants programme.

"The Regional Community Development grants programme supports community-led projects that have regional impact," he says.

"These Regional Community Development grants, along with the Rapid Response COVID-19 Recovery grants, will ensure funding goes towards those community groups who need it most."

3:45pm - The Bay of Plenty DHB says it isn't turning away people unvaccinated against COVID-19 from its services, despite misinformation circulating in the community that unvaccinated people can't receive treatment at Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals.

Acting chief operating officer Bronwyn Anstis says this is not correct. She says all 20 DHBs are working hard to comply with the Government's COVID-19 vaccination order and ensure their workers have had their first vaccination by 11:59pm on November 15.

"The recent mandate that healthcare workers are to be vaccinated applies to our internal staff. The Bay of Plenty DHB will not discriminate against patients who are not vaccinated for COVID-19," Anstis says.

"If we ask you about your vaccination status it will be to let you know that we can vaccinate you, if you want it."

She says people can be reassured that all staff involved in care while in the DHB's sites will be fully vaccinated once the healthcare workers' vaccine mandate comes into force.

"Unvaccinated patients will continue to be seen and welcomed into our premises for treatment," Anstis says.

"Screening for COVID-19 symptoms will continue at the entrances to our hospitals and other sites, and as usual we continue to ask you to refrain from attending appointments if  you have any symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, loss of taste or smell."

3:15pm - National's COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop and Māori Development and Whānau Ora spokesperson Harete Hipango say everyone's still waiting after the High Court determined that the Ministry of Health should release critical individual data to the Whānau Ora Commission Agency to improve Māori communities COVID vaccination rates.

"It's not good enough for the Minister of Health to simply criticise his own Ministry for not releasing individual data to the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency to help with the vaccine roll-out, he must actually do something about it," Bishop says.

"This is an unbelievable, almost unheard of situation where the Minister of Health openly says that the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency should have access to the data but won't take steps to actually make it happen.

"The High Court delivered a stinging rebuke to the Ministry of Health but despite the slap down from the High Court, the Director-General still won't take action. It's over to Andrew Little to actually show some leadership and make sure that the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency can get access to the data it needs to improve Māori vaccination rates."

Bishop says Little is the one who can and should make this happen.

"Andrew Little is not some random stranger with no interest in this issue. He is a very well paid senior Minister who is accountable to the New Zealand Parliament and New Zealand people for his actions."

Hipango says is equally astounded. 

"Relevant Ministers and the Director-General can't keep pulling out these bureaucratic stops when, meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is more than happy to hand over similar data to Healthline, a non-Māori provider. The inconsistencies are astonishing," she says.

"For three years the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency has asked health officials to give them access to key Māori data - so the request was with the Ministry of Health before COVID-19 broke out."

Hipango says the agency's request for data was reiterated at the beginning of the rollout in February when it put forward a business case to the Ministry of Health over how to roll out the vaccination programme to Māori - but it was declined.

"We're now nine months into the rollout and Māori vaccination rates are 21 percent below that of the general population. Time is becoming more critical by the day," Hipango says.

"Andrew Little's intervention comes on the heels of Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson saying that the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency should have the data.

"These Ministers need to stop bloviating to media and complaining about their own Government and just sort it out."

2:50pm - A Southern District Health Board (DHB) member who reportedly used her title to oppose a proposed vaccination mandate for Countdown staff has resigned.

According to RNZ, Ilka Beekhuis sent an angry email to the supermarket after the company sought feedback from its employees on possibly requiring its workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The email, obtained by RNZ, reportedly read: "I'm writing, as a publicly elected official of the Southern DHB, to say that it's abhorrent that you would enforce a vaccine mandate on your staff. It's completely amoral, unethical, and medically unnecessary."

Last week, Beekhuis voted against a Southern DHB motion calling for a commitment to at least 90 percent vaccination rates across its communities, citing the "unknowns" around the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Stuff reports

A statement was released by the board on Thursday afternoon announcing Beekhuis' resignation.

Read more here.

2:35pm - Auckland GP Dr Sandhya Ramanathan has shared a video to YouTube about managing risk in a world that is now learning to live with COVID-19. 

2:20pm - There is one new location of interest as of 2pm.

Anyone who visited Countdown in Dargaville, located at the Dargaville Plaza, between 12pm and 12:45pm on Friday, November 5 is asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after the date of exposure. If symptoms develop, get a test and stay at home until a negative result is returned AND for 24 hours after symptoms resolve.

2:10pm - Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a sauna club in Austria is offering free sessions with its sex workers for people who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The FunPalast in Vienna is administering the vaccinations on-site. Every client who chooses to get the jab is offered a 30-minute voucher with a "lady of their choice".

It comes as Austria's cases top 900,000, resulting in more than 11,500 deaths to date. The country has a population of 8.9 million and is currently 66 percent fully vaccinated.

The brothel is relishing the coverage its promotion has generated, saying it suffered a 50 percent decrease in business during the pandemic.

Read more here.

2pm - The professional firefighters' union is warning there will not be enough crews left for callouts when the vaccination mandate kicks in next week.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is requiring 13,000 staff or volunteers to be vaccinated to do their jobs after the November 15 deadline.

The union estimates this may keep 10 percent off the frontline, from car crashes as well as fires.

"This is the crisis as of midnight on the 15th," the union's national secretary, Wattie Watson, told RNZ.

"FENZ, in our view, will not be able to maintain the current level of response due to the number of firefighters, both career and volunteer, that are either unvaccinated or their vaccination status is not known."

Crews would be hobbled if they lose one or two key staff. They have already been struggling to fill rosters, especially in Auckland and Wellington, Watson said.

The Government is being asked for a temporary exception to the mandate in order to avoid possibly crippling staff shortages.

Read more here.

1:45pm - Here's the latest data on vaccinations across Waikato:


1st doses 

2nd doses 

1st doses as a pct of eligible population 

Fully vaccinated as a pct of eligible population 


Hamilton City 



91.3 pct 

80.4 pct 


Hauraki District 



80.8 pct 

69.0 pct 


Matamata-Piako District 



85.9 pct 

73.9 pct 


Ōtorohanga District 



79.4 pct 

65.5 pct 


Ruapehu District 



79.9 pct 

65.0 pct 


South Waikato District 



81.8 pct 

65.8 pct 


Thames-Coromandel District 



85.4 pct 

76.0 pct 


Waikato District 



86.6 pct 

74.7 pct 


Waipa District 



91.7 pct 

80.9 pct 


Waitomo District 



88.5 pct 

72.4 pct 


Waikato region 



88.2 pct 

76.6 pct 

Reporting on vaccination rates at TLA level is provided by the Ministry of Health. This data is accurate as of 11:59pm on November 9, 2021 and is the latest available at TLA level. Data at SA2 level (approximately equivalent to suburb) is available via the Ministry of Health.  

And here's an update on where the active cases are in the community:


Number of active cases  





Te Awamutu/Kihikihi  












Te Kūiti  



1:30pm - Here's a breakdown of the key points in Thursday's update:

  • Ninety percent of New Zealanders aged over 12 years have now had their first dose of the vaccine and 80 percent are fully vaccinated. 
  • There are 84 people in hospital with COVID-19 - 83 are in hospitalised in Auckland and one is in Whangārei - with 10 people in intensive care or high dependency units.
  • There are 185 new cases - 152 in Auckland, 25 in Waikato and eight in Northland - 81 of the cases have yet to be epidemiologically linked to existing infections.
  • One of the eight new cases in Northland is under investigation. Of the seven others, three are in Dargaville, two are in the Far North, one is in Whangārei and one is in Kaitaia - all are linked to existing cases and are in isolation.
  • There were 1517 people vaccinated in Northland on Wednesday, a "great" turnout - about 60 percent of those vaccinated were in the Far North. More than half of everyone vaccinated in Northland on Wednesday were Māori. 
  • Of the 25 new cases in Waikato, 20 are in Hamilton, four are in Ōtorohanga and one is in Cambridge. Fifteen are known close contacts from a single household in Hamilton, where an earlier case had been confirmed and is already in isolation. Eighteen were already isolating.
  • Aucklanders in the suburbs of Ranui, Sunnyvale, Kelston, Birkdale, Manurewa and Māngere are asked to be particularly vigilant and get tested if they are presenting symptoms.  
  • An additional death in Auckland has been added to the national figures. This person's death is subject to a police investigation and the ministry will not be commenting further on it at this stage.
  • A wastewater sample collected from Stratford in Taranaki on November 9 tested positive for COVID-19. A further sample was collected on Wednesday and is currently being analysed.
  • Public health staff are supporting 2835 people to isolate at home across Auckland - this includes 1255 cases across 885 households. Staff are also supporting 166 people to isolate at home in Waikato.

1:14pm - There are 185 new cases of COVID-19 to report today. Here is the full statement from the Ministry of Health:

More than 22,000 vaccine doses given yesterday; 84 cases in hospital; 185 community cases

There were 22,007 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered yesterday, made up of 6,045 first doses and 15,962 second doses.

Today’s vaccination figures show 90 percent of New Zealanders aged over 12 years have now had their first dose and 80 percent are fully vaccinated. These are rounded percentages, and we expect to officially pass the 90% mark in the coming days – with just 15,083 additional doses required to reach this milestone.

COVID-19 vaccine update


Total first and second vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people)

7,123,172: 3,773,068 first doses (90 pct); 3,350,104 second doses (80 pct)

Total first and second vaccines administered yesterday

22,007: 6,045 first doses; 15,962 second doses

Māori (percentage of eligible people)

764,891: 429,932 first doses (75 pct); 334,959 second doses (59 pct)

Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people)

462,071: 250,091 first doses (87 pct); 211,980 second doses (74 pct)

Total first and second vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday

5,381: 1,424 first doses; 3,957 second doses

Vaccination rates by DHB (with active cases)


Northland DHB (percentage of eligible people

243,990: 131,587 first doses (82 pct); 112,403 second doses (70 pct)

Auckland metro DHBs (percentage of eligible people

2,532,532: 1,323,607 first doses (92 pct); 1,208,925 second doses (84 pct)

Waikato DHB (percentage of eligible people

590,346: 315,368 first doses (88 pct); 274,978 second doses (77 pct)

Canterbury DHB (percentage of eligible people

835,145: 448,726 first doses (93 pct); 386,419 second doses (80 pct)



Cases in hospital

84 inpatients (up from 81 yesterday): North Shore (24); Waitakere (1); Middlemore (28); Auckland (30); Whangarei (1)

Vaccination status of current hospitalised cases

Unvaccinated or not eligible (46 cases / 56 pct); partially vaccinated<14 days (10 cases / 12 pct) partially vaccinated >14 days (14 cases / 17  pct); fully vaccinated <14 days (2 cases / 2 pct) fully vaccinated >14 days (8 cases / 10 pct); unknown (3 cases / 4 pct)

Average age of current hospitalisations


Cases in ICU or HDU




Seven day rolling average of community cases


Number of new community cases


Number of new cases identified at the border


Location of new community cases

Auckland (152), Waikato (25) Northland (8)*

Location of community cases (total)

Auckland 4,737 (1,834 of whom have recovered); Waikato 203 (76 of whom have recovered); Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered); Northland 36 (6 of whom have recovered); Nelson/Marlborough 1 (who has recovered); Canterbury 4 (all active)

Number of community cases (total)

4,998 (in current community outbreak)

Confirmed cases (total)


Historical cases

191 out of 5,993 cases since 1 January

Cases infectious in the community

43 cases reported yesterday have exposure events

Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious

97 cases reported yesterday have no exposure events

Cases epidemiologically linked

104 of today's cases

Cases to be epidemiologically linked

81 of today's cases

Cases epidemiologically linked (total)

3,960 (in the current cluster) (713 unlinked from the past 14 days)



Number of active contacts being managed (total):


Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements)

74 pct

Percentage who have returned at least one result

70 pct

Locations of interest


Locations of interest (total)

136 (as at 8am 11 November)



Number of tests (total)


Number of tests total (last 24 hours)


Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours)


Tests rolling average (last 7 days)


Testing centres in Auckland




Wastewater detections  

See below



Registered users (total)


Poster scans (total)


Manual diary entries (total)


Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday


Northland update

There are seven new cases in Northland to report on Thursday. They are all linked to existing cases.

Of the seven new cases, three are in Dargaville, two are in the Far North, one is in Whangarei and one is in Kaitaia. All are in isolation.

* Another person, who initially returned a positive result, remains under investigation.

There continues to be a good turnout for testing with 910 swabs taken throughout Northland on Wednesday.

Anyone with symptoms, even if they are mild and they are vaccinated, is urged to get tested. Testing locations in Northland can be found on the Northland DHB website.

There were also 1517 people vaccinated in Northland on Wednesday, with about 60 percent of those in the Far North. More than half of those vaccinated in Northland were Maori. The 1517 vaccinations included 508 first doses, 985 second doses and 24 third doses.

This is a great result and the ministry thanks everyone who came forward to be vaccinated. Vaccination centres open in Northland on Thursday can be found on the Northland DHB website.

Waikato update

There are 25 new cases in Waikato to report on Thursday - 20 from Hamilton, four from Ōtorohanga, and one from Cambridge.

Importantly, of these new cases, 15 are known close contacts from a single household in Hamilton where an earlier case had been confirmed and is already in isolation.

Of the total cases, 18 are known contacts to previous contacts who are already isolating, and public health staff are investigating any links for the remaining seven cases.

There are seven pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating across Waikato on Thursday in Hamilton, Ngāruawāhia, Huntly, Ōtorohanga, Te Awamutu and Te Kuiti.

There were 1879 swabs processed in Waikato on Thursday and 1855 doses of the vaccine were administered.

Public health staff are now supporting 166 people to isolate at home in Waikato.

Auckland update

There are 18 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland on Thursday.

Public health staff are renewing their calls to anyone in Auckland who is displaying any symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested. People in the suburbs of Ranui, Sunnyvale, Kelston, Birkdale, Manurewa and Māngere, especially, are asked to be vigilant and get tested if they are symptomatic.  

Public health staff are now supporting 2835 people to isolate at home around Auckland - this includes 1255 cases, across 885 households.

Data reconciliation is currently underway to explain the discrepancy in the DHB and Ministry numbers which are expected to largely be due to timing of reporting.

Additional death formally reported

An additional death in Auckland has been added to the national COVID-19 figures on Thursday. This person's death is subject to a police investigation and the ministry will not be commenting further on it at this stage.


A sample collected from Stratford on November 9 detected COVID-19. A further sample was collected on Wednesday and is currently being analysed.

A positive wastewater test can sometimes result from an historical case who may continue to shed fragments of the virus for some weeks after their illness, even if they are not infectious.

Anyone in the area, who may have symptoms, is encouraged to seek a test. For all testing locations in the area, visit the Healthpoint website.

12:50pm - Data leaked from midwives shows hundreds of pregnant people in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.

The latest numbers circulated among Northland District Health Board (DHB) staff, including senior managers, show more than half (57 percent) of the region's 847 people registered to birth services had not had a single dose, as of the end of October. In Kaitāia and Dargaville, it was two-thirds.

Overall, only a quarter were fully vaccinated, despite being in Group 2 - first eligible for vaccination in March.

The numbers were leaked to RNZ after the DHB and Ministry of Health communications staff said this week they were unsure of the vaccination rates among pregnant people as they didn't collect the data.

"Just being pregnant alone is a risk factor for having moderate to severe COVID infection, to be hospitalised, to be admitted to intensive care, and this is what we've seen everywhere," University of Auckland obstetrics and gynaecology professor, Michelle Wise, told RNZ.

"The most recent study that came out was from the United Kingdom, where they reviewed all the patients that were admitted to intensive care during the Delta outbreak, and in fact, one out of five of them was a pregnant, unvaccinated person."

Read more here.

12:30pm - There is no press conference today. Instead, the Ministry of Health will release a statement with the latest updates at 1pm.

12:10pm - Investor confidence has hit a five-year high, with Aucklanders leading the optimism despite the ongoing lockdown.

The ASB Investor Confidence Survey shows net confidence lifting from a net 14 percent to 25 percent for the three months to October.

Confidence in Auckland reached a seven-year high, lifting from a net 18 percent to 31 percent, compared with 23 percent for the rest of New Zealand.

ASB Bank senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said there has been an uptick in a number of areas.

"People are a little bit more upbeat about term deposits, for example, the returns there have been good or will have been lifting from about one percent to three percent. Confidence in KiwiSaver has ticked up a little bit. And that old favourite, confidence in housing, is still strong."

Tennent-Brown said the results were at odds with the general malaise of lockdown.

"It has been a very interesting quarter with the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in August and the subsequent lockdown of the country. We would have expected this to have more of an impact on confidence, but the results have shown the opposite."

Meanwhile, rental property confidence dipped, particularly in Auckland, where confidence fell from 23 percent to 15 percent.

Tennent-Brown said it was partly due to rule changes, and also because rental properties were the most hands-on to manage.

"The very high levels of confidence we're seeing are encouraging, particularly given the day-to-day frustrations about lockdown. We expect that people are focusing on the longer term and, importantly, are more confident that lockdown is not going to have a big impact on their investments," Tennent-Brown said.

"In comparison to the net 25 percent recorded this quarter, investor confidence dropped to negative 25 percent in the second quarter of 2020 at the peak of the first level four lockdown."


11:55am - COVID-19 data modeller Professor Michael Plank says getting children back to school should be an urgent priority for New Zealand, but a comprehensive regular testing and contact management strategy is also needed alongside the Government's other public health measures.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Professor Plank cited a report by the Doherty Institute on their recent modelling for the Australian government. The report found that twice-weekly screening of students and a "test to stay" strategy for contacts reduced the number of infections and therefore, the number of lost days of face-to-face learning.

"Test to stay means classroom contacts of diagnosed cases can remain in school provided they return a negative rapid antigen test each day. In the model, this approach had similar effect on infection rates as quarantining contacts for seven days, but reduced the number of school days lost," Plank wrote.

"Getting kids back to school and minimising the health and educational impact of COVID should be an urgent priority for New Zealand. Vaccination, ventilation and controlling rate of community transmission are key parts of this. But we also need a comprehensive regular testing and contact management strategy for schools in areas with significant community transmission."

Speaking to The AM Show on Thursday morning, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti dodged questions about why students will not be required to undertake regular testing.

"We know we're getting our adults going into those workforces tested and that's the big issue here, we're going to have a vaccinated population that's going to be working with our young people, and we're expecting them to have a test within five days of them starting back," she said.

"That's the big issue - adults being tested and keeping our young people safe."

11:40am - According to the University of Otago's student magazine Critic, the university's graduation cermonies in December have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

11:30am - Support for Labour has dropped in a new political poll.

The Taxpayers' Union Curia Poll was conducted from Monday, November 1 to Monday, November 8 by contacting 1000 people on landlines and mobile phones.

The poll found support for Labour is sitting at 39.3 percent - down 5.5 points.

Support for the National Party has increased by 4 percentage points to 26 percent. Support for the Greens is also up, increasing by 2 points to 9 percent.

The poll found Jacinda Ardern has also taken a hit in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, dropping 13 points to 34 percent - however, she is still well ahead of National leader Judith Collins, who is sitting on 6.3 percent.

11:15am - In case you missed it, Auckland Airport's outgoing chief executive, Adrian Littlewood, says there is no longer any logic in forcing fully vaccinated New Zealanders with negative pre-departure tests into quarantine facilities.

He has called on the Government to make a decision on the matter now and give the aviation industry time to prepare. He says double-jabbed Kiwis stranded overseas should be able to come home for Christmas and isolate at home.

"The Government has stated that vaccinations are our ticket to an unrestricted summer holiday, yet fully vaccinated and tested Kiwis remain stuck offshore, kept apart from family and friends over Christmas," Littlewood said on Thursday.

"Some of our most prominent scientific experts have come out and said this week that the risk they present is low and better use could be made of our scarce MIQ facilities. And we've also seen Air New Zealand announce new domestic safety protections this week, meaning only fully vaccinated or COVID-19-negative people will be able to fly from mid-December.

"The time has come for the grief and inequity caused by these restrictions to end, allowing Kiwis to return, reunite with their families and isolate at home if they are fully vaccinated with pre-departure testing. The Government needs to make this a priority now."

Read more here.

11am - It's an anxious wait for parents ahead of primary schools re-opening in Auckland and Waikato next week.

Auckland's Viscount School principal Shirley Hardcastle says there is apprehension, with parents wanting to know their children are safe.

But while the Auckland Principals' Association agrees it's a time of uncertainty, president Stephen Lethbridge says it's time to get back to normal.

Hardcastle and Lethbridge spoke to The AM Show.

Watch the interviews here.

10:45am - Students under alert level 3 restrictions can return to the classroom on November 17. 

Years 1 to 8 will be returning on a part-time basis, while Years 9 and 10 can get back to full-time, face-to-face learning.

Here's some more information about the transition.

10:30am - The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) is returning to court as vaccination rates among Māori stall.

The agency has been in a back-and-forth legal scrap with the Ministry of Health over information regarding unvaccinated Māori. The ministry has refused to release the data, which Whānau Ora says is crucial to finding and targeting unvaccinated individuals and boosting uptake.

The ministry has withheld the information due to privacy considerations, but a High Court judge ruled on Monday last week that the ministry had erred in its interpretation of the privacy code and did not give regard to Te Tiriti o Waitangi or tikanga obligations. The ministry was ordered to urgently rethink its decision, but the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, has still refused to release the data.

During the post-Cabinet media briefing on Monday, Bloomfield said that instead of providing data on all Māori in the North Island, the ministry has decided to work with WOCA and its providers to release data where it was helpful at a local level.

But WOCA chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says vaccination rates for Māori have gone backwards amid the scrap.

"On Monday WOCA dispatched a team of four mobile clinics, staffed by 74 trained WOCA kaimahi to support Te Tai Tokerau deal with the low number of Māori vaccinations in Northand," she said on Thursday. "Days after Bloomfield's decision, Northland reported more COVID cases in Kaitaia and whānau also being hospitalised."

Raukawa-Tait said wasting more resource on further legal proceedings was not in anyones interests.

"This is a waste of taxpayer money," Raukawa-Tait said. "Māori need to be vaccinated and Dr Bloomfield's ill advised decision does not help us achieve that. Our team in Northland are up against the odds and racing against time. WOCA, through our 88 North Island providers, work together to get our people vaccinated and keep them safe.”

Legal papers appealing Bloomfield's decision will shortly be filed in the Wellington High Court, she said.

10:15am - A number of new locations of interest have been identified as of 10am, all of which are in Northland and Waikato.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Thursday, November 11
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Thursday, November 11

10am - National's Defence spokesperson has joined the chorus of Opposition MPs calling for the managed isolation and quarantine system (MIQ) to be scrapped.

In a statement on Thursday morning, Chris Penk said it's time to wind down 'Operation Protect' - the work by the Defence Force to guard and secure MIQ facilities - and allow personnel to resume their normal duties. 

He says the ongoing operation is a "burden" for New Zealand's military and the time has come for it to be removed.

"Removing the current burden of Operation Protect from the New Zealand Defence Force is hugely important too. The operation has required the Defence Force to man hotel accommodation converted for MIQ purposes for more than a year," Penk said.

"While all Kiwis are grateful to Defence Force personnel who have secured the frontline in our fight against COVID-19, it's time they got back to their normal duties.

"Defence Force resources have continued to be stretched very, very thin, and the burden of Operation Protect has weighed heavily for months and months, with no end in sight."

As at November 5, 861 Defence Force personnel were acting as either staff or security at MIQ facilities. In total, 1194 personnel are committed to the response, including personnel preparing to be deployed, Penk said.

"The stress and strain on our military has been considerable. Significant costs have been incurred when it comes to the training of troops, maintenance of military assets and operational readiness generally," he continued.

"As glorified security guard duties wear very thin, attrition rates are mounting.  We are losing highly trained sailors, soldiers and air personnel, who didn't sign on to watch hotel doors for weeks on end."

He is calling for the Minister of Defence, Peeni Henare, to set a date for when Operation Project can end.

Chris Penk.
Chris Penk. Photo credit: RNZ

9:45am - Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo, the administrative body representing Ngāti Hikairo iwi, is calling on Brian Tamaki to take a "whānau first" approach to COVID-19.

In a statement on Thursday morning, the administrative body for Ngāti Hikairo - an independent iwi based in Kāwhia, Ōpārau and Waipā in the King Country and Waikato region - said it was concerned by the anti-lockdown protest held in central Wellington earlier this week.

On Tuesday, a march organised by the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, an anti-lockdown group founded by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki, took place throughout the streets of Wellington. Protesters congregated on the grounds of Parliament and called on the Government to revoke vaccination mandates, remove Auckland's regional boundary and return the country to alert level 1. Many were weilding signs and placards emblazoned with anti-vaccine messaging, pro-Trump slogans and Nazi imagery. 

In its statement, the Rūnanganui said it supports vaccines and vaccine passports. It said it's concerned that Tamaki, who is from Ngāti Hikairo, is putting Māori at risk by asking communities to undermine the science.

"The homeland of Ngāti Hikairo around Kāwhia and Te Awamutu is on the verge of a major outbreak, which worries the Rūnanga," Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo chair Susan Turner said.

"The 'fight for freedom' is not about freedom at all, as freedom comes with obligations. We all have the right to safety, and the right to life. If they object to measures that protect other people's lives, in our view they are not fighting for justice or freedom.

"The Rūnanganui is concerned about the recent marches run by Tamaki and the Destiny Church. As a member of Ngāti Hikairo, the Rūnanganui wants Mr Tamaki to call on his supporters to do everything they can to stem the pandemic.

"We have a responsibility to ask our people to do everything we can to protect one another."

9:30am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for political and business leaders to unite and collaborate on building a strong, equitable and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Delivering the keynote address to a global audience at the APEC CEO Summit, the largest business conference in the Asia-Pacific region that runs adjacent to APEC's Leaders' Week meetings, Ardern acknowledged the scale of the pandemic's impacts, from the inequitable effects on people to the varied challenges economies have faced.

"As we prepare for the post-pandemic era, we need to continue to strengthen the partnership between government and business. Together, we need to set the stage for an equitable, inclusive and sustainable recovery that invests in our people and our planet through innovative ideas and renewed resolve," Ardern said.

She outlined three areas where leaders could work together to achieve an economic recovery capable of weathering future shocks.

"We must unlock efficiency and productivity gains that digital innovation offers. After years of talking about the digital transformation, COVID-19 has accelerated progress by years," Ardern said.

"Workplaces and businesses must be inclusive of everyone across our communities, particularly women and indigenous peoples. They have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic's effects but are an engaged and productive labour force that have much to contribute. In New Zealand alone, the Māori economy is now worth NZD$70 billion."

Environmental sustainability was the third area for increased political and business cooperation, she said.

"I'm proud of the progress APEC has made this year, including in beginning to turn the tide on the adoption of fossil fuel subsidies which have created devastating environmental degradation by masking the true cost of fossil fuels and inhibiting the transition to adoption of renewable alternatives."

Ardern acknowledged that addressing such systemic issues would demand increased political and business cooperation.

"We have been dealt an opportunity to strike an economic reset on a scale we haven't seen since World War II. Implementing this level of change during such challenging times will require real courage from all of us, political leaders and business leaders alike. APEC Leaders stand with the business community to ensure everyone has the opportunity to pull through the pandemic stronger than they were before."

9:20am - New Zealanders against vaccines and vaccination mandates - including a board member of the Southern District Health Board (DHB) - are using a leaked email address to abuse Countdown staff.

The email was established to seek feedback from staff regarding a proposal that all employees should be vaccinated by mid-January, RNZ reports.

One angry message to the supermarket came from Southern DHB board member, Ilka Beekhuis. In her email, obtained by RNZ, Beekhuis made it clear she did not support mandatory vaccination.

"I'm writing, as a publicly-elected official of the Southern DHB, to say that it's abhorrent that you would enforce a vaccine mandate on your staff. It's completely amoral, unethical, and medically unnecessary," she wrote.

Beekhuis said the decision on whether or not to get vaccinated should stay between a person and their doctor.

"As an employer, you have ZERO [sic] right to interfere in someone's personal medical decisions.

"These were the same people who were essential workers during lockdown, and now you are treating them with the ultimate disrespect."

Despite pointedly using her job title in the email, Beekhuis told RNZ she thought she "made it clear" she was speaking in a personal capacity.

"It was my mistake," she said. "I should have written down that that was my opinion alone and not that of the DHB."

She confirmed she did not agree with vaccine mandates, calling them coercive - before hanging up.

Read more here.

9:10am - Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti is confident there's little risk in sending Auckland's students back to school and believes public health measures will protect our young people. 

On Wednesday, Education and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced all students in alert level 3 will be able to return to school on November 17. Years 9 and 10 can get back to the classroom as normal, however Years 1 to 8 will return to on-site learning on a part-time basis. Social distancing will be enforced and Years 4 and up will be required to wear masks.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Opposition called for schools to be opened immediately. The National Party's Education spokesperson, Paul Goldsmith, said children's learning had been compromised by lockdown and called for at least a month of on-site schooling before the summer holiday.

Speaking to The AM Show on Thursday morning, Tinetti acknowledged that young people need to get back to some form of normality.

"This is about more than just getting our kids back to school," she said. "This is about helping them get back to a sense of normality as well… over the last few weeks, we've had Public Health working with [the Ministry of] Education and have put in multiple layers of protection for our kids.

"Of course, the biggest protection that we've got is from next Monday, our education workforce is going to have their first vaccine as well - so we've got a way more vaccinated population than we've had in the past."

Read more here.

9am - The Government is in "panic mode", claims Opposition leader Judith Collins, who says Kiwis would have felt "alarmed and blindsided" by Wednesday's developments.

In an exclusive report, Health Minister Andrew Little admitted to Newshub on Wednesday that the home isolation system "wasn't ready" to cope with the current number of cases, with people waiting up to two days to be contacted by a public health staffer after testing positive. 

Earlier, during the regular press conference at 1pm, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that COVID-19 will spread throughout New Zealand, signalling the urgency for Kiwis to get vaccinated. 

"COVID is coming," he said. 

In a statement on Thursday, Collins said Wednesday's admissions will have "alarmed and blindsided" New Zealanders.

"First we had Minister Hipkins finally voicing what many of us had long realised - that COVID-19 will spread across New Zealand and cases numbers will rise," she said.

"Then Minister Little... acknowledged our health system has been neglected by the Government and is not able to cope with the Delta outbreak.

"No one would blame New Zealanders for feeling alarmed and blindsided by the deluge of news yesterday."

Collins then slammed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her "bizarre" and "fleeting" visit to Auckland, her first trip to the Super City since the outbreak began in mid-August. 

Opposition parties have criticised the Prime Minister for the lack of public engagements during her short visit, with ACT leader David Seymour on Wednesday likening Ardern's trip to her "wearing an invisibility cloak". Both he and Collins have expressed disappointment that the Prime Minister did not choose to visit struggling hospitality businesses during her trip to see first-hand the impacts of lockdown.

"The Prime Minister did not even visit a single hospitality business... Instead she visited JMP Engineering which operated throughout the lockdown. It may have been better if she hadn't visited at all rather than the cagey and stage-managed few hours she squeezed in," Collins said.

The National Party is calling on the Government to provide certainty for Aucklanders who are desperate to leave the region for Christmas to reunite with friends and family. The party is also echoing calls to put an end to managed isolation and quarantine and allow Kiwis to return home from overseas. 

Opposition leader Judith Collins claims the Government is in "panic mode".
Opposition leader Judith Collins claims the Government is in "panic mode". Photo credit: Getty Images

8:45am - It was a big day of developments on Wednesday - the Prime Minister paid a short visit to Auckland, retail reopened in the Super City, and it was announced that schools in alert level 3 areas will reopen next week.

If you need a refresher, here's a wrap of what happened on Wednesday.

8:25am - Staff working in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) hotels are being told not to walk alone - and are being escorted by security to visit certain guests - due to an increased risk of violence from guests.

Their unions say staff are being abused through the hotel phones and are the victims of aggressive outbursts.

A health and safety report presented to the board of Counties Manukau District Health Board on Wednesday noted the hotels were housing a higher rate of people with substance dependence and other social issues.

Workers at the facilities have reported being shouted at, sworn at, spat at, kicked, punched, grabbed aggressively or targeted with abusive comments. Some have also reported being the victim of racist comments.

"Some of the requests are not reasonable, or it's not possible to help the guest with that particular issue - then, unfortunately, the guests can become quite abusive towards the staff members," Shanna Reeder from Unite Union, which represents MIQ hospitality workers, told RNZ.

"It's worth bearing in mind that these are hospitality workers, hotel workers. They're used to dealing with people who might be difficult. But this is a whole other level where people are actually feeling frightened and quite intimidated by some of these guests."

Read more here.

8:15am - British researchers have identified proteins in the coronavirus that are recognised by T-cells of people who are exposed to the virus but resist infection, possibly providing a new target for vaccine developers, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Immunity against COVID-19 is a complex picture, and while there is evidence of waning antibody levels six months after vaccination, T-cells are also believed to play a vital role in providing protection.

The University College London (UCL) researchers examined 731 health workers in two London hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and found many had not tested positive despite likely exposure to the original coronavirus.

While a subset of the workers did not generate antibodies or test positive with PCR tests, the researchers found that the workers had still generated a large and broad T-cell response following possible exposure.

The findings suggests that rather than the workers avoiding exposure to the coronavirus altogether, the T-cells had cleared the virus before there were any symptoms or positive test result - a so-called "abortive infection", the researchers said.

"We know that some individuals remain uninfected despite having likely exposure to the virus," said Leo Swadling, lead author of the study, which was published in science journal Nature.

"What is really informative is that the T-cells detected in these individuals, where the virus failed to establish a successful infection, preferentially target different regions of the virus to those seen after infection."

Read more here.

8:05am - The US Food and Drug Administration has classified the recall of Ellume's over-the-counter COVID-19 home test as Class 1, the most serious type of recall, after the Australian diagnostic test maker removed some of its tests from the market last month.

Ellume had cited higher-than-acceptable false positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 as the reason for the recall.

Meanwhile, Russia on Wednesday reported a record 1239 deaths from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, two days after the majority of its regions emerged from a week-long workplace shutdown designed to curb the spread of the virus.

In the Ukraine, a country with widespread mistrust in vaccination, 92 percent of hospitalised COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said on Wednesday. If its vaccination rate matched the European average, the Ukraine could have a third fewer deaths each day.

Here's the latest on the pandemic from around the world overnight.

7:55am - There are concerns that sending students back to school next week could result in widespread transmission among our young people, but Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says public health measures will prevent an influx in infections.

Speaking to The AM Show on Thursday, Tinetti, a former educator, said Years 1 to 8 returning on a part-time basis will be particularly helpful in preventing a possible surge in cases.

Citing overseas examples such as Canada and Germany, Tinetti said countries that have staggered students' return to the classroom "haven't had the big outbreaks that people might imagine".

One of the public health measures to be enforced is that Years 4 and above will be required to wear masks. Tinetti acknowledged this might be hard for some of the younger students, but said children will be more likely to adhere to the rule if they're informed about the risks. 

"We know this is possible for them when they know why they are doing this," she said.

She said officials are relying on the workforce being highly vaccinated and the onus will be on the adults to get tested.

"We do know from what we've seen overseas that across schools and young people there is less risk of spread than there is among the adult population, and that young people haven't been suffering as greatly with COVID. This is about keeping our young people safe and we've got many public health measures in place to keep them as safe as we can."

7:40am - Stranded Kiwis overseas should be able to return home for Christmas and self-isolate from mid-December if they are fully vaccinated and tested, says Auckland Airport's outgoing chief executive.

There is no longer any logic in forcing fully vaccinated New Zealanders with negative pre-departure tests into quarantine facilities, Adrian Littlewood, who steps down from his role at Auckland Airport this week, said on Thursday morning.

He is calling on the Government to make a decision on the matter now in order to give the aviation industry time to prepare.

"The Government has stated that vaccinations are our ticket to an unrestricted summer holiday, yet fully vaccinated and tested Kiwis remain stuck offshore, kept apart from family and friends over Christmas," Littlewood said.

"Some of our most prominent scientific experts have come out and said this week that the risk they present is low and better use could be made of our scarce MIQ facilities. We've also seen Air New Zealand announce new domestic safety protections this week, meaning only fully vaccinated or COVID-19-negative people will be able to fly from mid-December.

"The time has come for the grief and inequity caused by these restrictions to end, allowing Kiwis to return, reunite with their families and isolate at home if they are fully vaccinated with pre-departure testing. The Government needs to make this a priority now."

Littlewood said New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the developed world with its ongoing restrictions for citizens and residents who are desperate to return home.

"Citizens in countries like Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom are now travelling more freely yet our country remains shut off with no certainty. Australians are going to be able to return home for Christmas in most states with either no isolation or home isolation. Why can't New Zealanders do the same?"

Littlewood said the time has come for the Government to announce when the border will open up in the new year.

"We understand the Government does plan to relax the border restrictions in the new year. They need to provide clarity and say so officially now. If the Government can't make this commitment now as New Zealand approaches 90 percent fully vaccinated, then when will this be possible? 

"You can't just flick a switch and turn back on an international air network. Our airline contacts have told us that recommissioning a plane and preparing its supporting crew from hibernation could take three months. Airlines lock in their flight schedules a long way in advance and planning for late 2022 and early 2023 is happening now right across the industry. Major foreign airlines have told us they need more certainty in order to confirm the timing of their return to New Zealand.

"This could have significant implications for our trading nation and the high-value imports and exports we rely upon. It may also create the ongoing need for taxpayer-funded cargo subsidies, which ultimately won't be enough to keep airlines flying here. 

"Our vaccination rates are high and they will continue to climb. We are urging the Government to make a commitment now to when the border will open up to fully vaccinated travellers with pre-departure testing."

7:30am - New information is now available to reassure wāhine who are concerned about getting the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), He Hono Wāhine, Māori Fellows and the Aotearoa New Zealand office have joined together to produce a series of videos targeting wāhine Māori who are hapū, promoting safe vaccination for hapū māmā.

In the video, south Auckland obstetrician Dr Sarah Corbett says the data indicates that COVID-19 is severely affecting pregnant women - up to a third of women who get sick with the virus in their pregnancy need to come to hospital.

"Of those women, a quarter will give birth early and about one in seven will need to go to intensive care," Dr Corbett says.

"The most important tool we have is vaccination, and this really helps prevent pregnant women getting sick. In the UK, what the data is showing is that all the pregnant women admitted with COVID-19 to their hospital, there were none who had two doses of the vaccine."

The video also features Māori obstetrician Dr Kasey Tawhara and Māori doctors Dr Erena Browne and Dr Sarah Te Whaiti, who discuss their own experiences and why pregnant wāhine should get vaccinated. 

The new resource can now be found on the KidsHealth website.

7:25am - The Health Minister admitted on Wednesday that the home isolation system "wasn't ready" to cope with the current number of cases.

Andrew Little told Newshub new cases of COVID-19 are waiting up to two days before someone from public health makes contact.

"What I've been told is it's delays of up to two days. If it's longer, it's longer," Little said. "Any delays are not acceptable."

The minister said new cases should be getting contacted by public health within hours. He says the delays are due to the system struggling to cope with the surge in infections. 

"The system wasn't ready for the rapid escalation in the number of daily cases. Whereas the system was preparing for 100 to 120 cases a day, we're seeing 150 to 200 cases a day and it just did not expect to be responding to that volume of cases."

Otago University epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker told Newshub he is "very concerned" if the system is struggling with 120 cases per day.

"I'm very surprised with the suggestion that the system cannot cope with more than 120 cases a day, because when it was being discussed last year, the intent was that it could manage up to a 1000 cases a day."

Read Newshub's exclusive report here.

7:20am - Kaitaia recorded a new case of COVID-19 late on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in Northland to 29.

Northland District Health Board said they were advised of the new case earlier that evening and interviews are underway.

"We will provide more information in the morning."

Two new cases were officially recorded in Northland on Wednesday, both from the same household in Dargaville. One is a child under the age of one.

People in Dargaville are urged to get tested if they are presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 

In Kaitaia, testing is available on Thursday at Kaitaia Hospital from 9am to 4pm, and Awanui Rugby Club from 10am to 3pm.

Upper Northland, which is currently under alert level 3, will return to alert level 2 at 11:59pm.

7:15am - Kia ora, good morning, and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak for November 11, 2021.