As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9

There are 125 new cases of COVID-19 to report on Tuesday, 117 of which have been detected in Auckland ahead of the region's shift to alert level 3, step 2 at 11:59pm - a move that will allow retail to reopen and social gatherings to increase to 25 people.

Two of the new cases are in Waikato and six are in Northland - the region will join the rest of the country, aside from Auckland and parts of Waikato, at alert level 2 from 11:59pm on Thursday. 

Seventy-nine people are currently in hospital with the virus, down from a record 81 hospitalisations on Monday. 

Thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of central Wellington on Tuesday morning in protest of the Government's vaccination mandates and lockdown restrictions. The protesters, many of whom are supporters of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, congregated in Civic Square earlier this morning before marching to the grounds of Parliament, where speakers addressed the hordes and outlined their demands of the Government. They are calling for vaccination mandates to be revoked and for the country to return to alert level 1 by Friday - otherwise, a nationwide "gridlock" of New Zealand's major cities will ensue.

What you need to know

  • There are 125 new cases of COVID-19 to report on Tuesday - 117 in Auckland, two in Waikato and six in Northland.
  • Seventy-nine people are in hospital, down from a record 81 hospitalisations on Monday.
  • Auckland is moving to alert level 3, step 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday - the area of Northland currently in alert level 3 will return to alert level 2 at 11:59pm on Thursday.
  • Waiheke Island has reported its first community case of COVID-19.
  • A resident at another rest home in Auckland has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Air New Zealand is to start requiring domestic passengers to either be fully vaccinated or present proof of a negative test before flying.
  • Auckland will enter the 'Red' setting of the Government's COVID-19 Protection Framework, a three-step 'traffic light' system, once 90 percent of the three DHBs' eligible populations have been vaccinated with their second dose - on Monday, the Prime Minister signalled this target is expected to be achieved by November 29.
  • No anti-lockdown demonstrators were arrested following the protest outside Parliament. The group called on the Government to revoke vaccination mandates, the Auckland boundary and the traffic light system.
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest locations of interest here.

These live updates have finished.

8:45pm - There's been a significant surge in people home isolating with COVID, amid concerns the programme is confusing, delayed, and becoming dangerous.

Whānau Ora manager for The Fono, Europa Kupu, is on the frontline of helping vulnerable people in isolation and says what she's witnessed concerns her.

"We have a few cases of family members in overcrowded homes isolating either in their garage, separate areas of their home and even in their shed," she says.

And by shed, that's a garden shed - not a sleepout.

In one case, she says a man spent days isolating in his car while waiting for a MIQ spot. Her team helped the man with food and a phone.

"He was using public toilets and had to fill his car up and stuff," she says. "Very dangerous and very risky to the public."

Read and watch the full story from Newshub's investigations reporter Michael Morrah here.

8pm - With parts of Waikato still in level 3, step 2, the New Zealand International Film Festival says it has to cancel the Hamilton leg of its programme.

"Unfortunately, with the city remaining in alert level 3 (step 2), with no indication of when restrictions will ease to allow cinemas to open, it's with a heavy heart that we have had to cancel the Hamilton leg of our festival. See you in 2022, Waikato!" NZIFF tweeted.

7:30pm - Japan recorded no daily deaths from COVID-19 for the first time in more than a year on Sunday, local media said.

Prior to Sunday, there had not been a day without a COVID-19 death since August 2, 2020, according to a tally by national broadcaster NHK.

COVID-19 cases and deaths have fallen dramatically throughout Japan as vaccinations have increased to cover more than 70 percent of the population.

New daily infections peaked at more than 25,000 during an August wave driven by the infectious Delta variant. The country has had more than 18,000 deaths from the disease during the course of the pandemic.

- Reuters

6:15pm - There is one new location of interest. It is:

  • Acquisitions The Base Hamilton, November 5 from 11:45am to 1pm.

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

5:40pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is fine with cosmetic botox appointments going ahead in Auckland, but not haircuts because it's "impossible to physically distance". 

ACT leader David Seymour asked Ardern in Parliament on Tuesday why clinics have been approved to provide botox procedures under alert level 3, step 2 settings coming into force in Auckland on Wednesday, but not haircuts. 

"Will she visit any hairdressers tomorrow and explain that to them?" Seymour asked, referring to the Prime Minister's visit to Auckland on Wednesday - her first since the city was locked down more than two months ago. 

"Obviously at this stage, you're right that hairdressers have not been operating because they are what is defined as close personal services," Ardern said. 

"For any service where it's actually impossible to physically distance, the member will obviously appreciate that increases risk.

"Again, I would say the same thing: Auckland has now reached 90 percent first doses. It's our expectation therefore that it's within their sights three weeks from that point to be at 90 percent double doses and we've already said that's the point we'll move into the new COVID Protection Framework which enables those businesses to operate at every level."

Read the full story here.

5:10pm - Police say they've been monitoring a range of protest activity across New Zealand today - and for the most part, it was peaceful.

But they say it was disappointing to see people ignoring alert level restrictions that are designed to keep people safe.

The protest at Parliament was largely peaceful and no arrests were made, they say. Follow-up enforcement action will be considered in the coming days.

In Auckland, police cleared a group of protesters who were blocking a checkpoint operation at the northern boundary this morning. Police staff were forced to "physically intervene" to move them off the road. In the process of this, one police staff member was bitten by a yet-to-be-identified protester.

"Actions like this are totally avoidable and pose unnecessary risk to our staff who are simply trying do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19," police say.

Further enforcement action has not been ruled out.

Also in Auckland, police were monitoring a group of about 100 people outside Government House in Epsom for several hours this morning.

In Invercargill, police were aware of and monitoring a gathering there today. There weren't any significant issues and the group dispersed after a short time.

Police will look to follow up and take any enforcement action if appropriate, they say.

There were also smaller gatherings in Balclutha, Tauranga, and Whangarei. There also weren't significant issues there and any identified offences will be followed up, where appropriate.

4:55pm - Christchurch's Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, organisers say.

The Auckland concert was cancelled last month, but organisers were optimistic that it could still go ahead in Christchurch. But with uncertainty around travel restrictions and vaccine passports, it's been cancelled.

"We're extremely disappointed that the current uncertainty around COVID restrictions has led to our decision to cancel Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park in Christchurch," says Coca-Cola NZ's Annette Chillingworth.

"There are so many dedicated, talented people working hard behind the scenes year after year to bring our brilliant show to the big stage. We can only hope that we get back to some sort of normality in the coming months so our much-loved event can return in 2022."

4:30pm - There is one new location of interest. It is:

  • Wash n Save Laundromat Pukekohe, November 3 from 1pm to 3pm.

4:10pm - Porirua City Council is consulting with staff on a proposal to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory across the organisation.

Chief executive Wendy Walker says with plans to transition to the new traffic light system, it was time to consider how to best protect staff and the community.

"We are facing new challenges in the coming days, weeks and months as COVID-19 inevitably travels around New Zealand," she says.

"COVID-19 presents a significant health and safety risk to our workforce and the communities we serve, and the Delta variant has increased this risk.

"We have a number of staff working in public-facing roles which increase their chances of catching COVID-19 or spreading it to the vulnerable communities we work with, so there's a strong case to require people in these roles to be fully vaccinated.

"But Council doesn’t operate in a vacuum - we're an interconnected organisation."

Walker says given the infectious nature of the Delta variant, the virus could easily spread from people in public facing roles to those who worked in other parts of the council.

"For this reason, I’m considering mandatory vaccination for all roles, as a high level of vaccination across the organisation is the best practical step we can take in response to the challenge we collectively face."

The proposal has been circulated to staff and their feedback is encouraged. Consultation is open until November 19 and all responses will be considered before decisions are made, Walker says.

3:50pm - As the crowds dispersed at the protest, some people left their signs behind on the grounds of Parliament.

3:35pm - National's COVID-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop says more than 230,000 people have never secured a MIQ voucher.

It comes after the latest MIQ lottery opened earlier on Tuesday.

"Answers to written questions reveal that, as at 23 September 2021, there were 394,918 users registered with the Managed Isolation Allocation System. On the same date, 232,045 users had not secured a MIQ voucher," Bishop says.

"These figures are astonishing. They indicate that more than 230,000 people are keen to come to New Zealand but have never been able to. Every MIQ lottery for the last few weeks has had tens of thousands of people participating in it but the suspicion has always been that demand is much higher than that, with many people not participating on the basis they have no chance of success."

Bishop says it's time to "end the lottery of human misery" that is MIQ.

"The Government is now overseeing a situation where fully vaccinated travellers with no COVID are shut out from their own country, while more than 2000 people with COVID (and their close contacts) self-isolate at home in Auckland," he says.

"As public health experts said yesterday, 'If you’re at the supermarket in Auckland, a fully-vaccinated person randomly teleported from Canada is less likely to infect you than an average resident Aucklander in the aisles'.

"The MIQ lottery is cruel, callous, and legally dubious. More than 80,000 people have now signed National's petition to 'End MIQ Now' and, in less than a week, it is already the most popular petition National has ever launched."

3:15pm - Associate Minister for Health Dr Ayesha Verrall says watching the protest from the Beehive gave her a realisation about vaccination numbers.

"We will vaccinate more people today - in just one day - than turned up to that protest," she says.

"Thanks to all who have been vaccinated."

2:50pm - A resident of a second rest home in west Auckland has tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in its 1pm update.

The woman is in her mid-80s, according to Stuff. She is a resident at the Rosaria Rest Home in the west Auckland suburb of Avondale.

A worker at the rest home told Stuff the woman is fully vaccinated.

"She's staying here at the facility, isolated from our other residents as she needs rest home level care," he said.

Further testing has been carried out at the facility following the woman's positive result - so far, all results are negative, with four further tests results expected later on Tuesday.

Auckland public health officials are assisting the privately-owned facility to support residents and staff and reduce any further risk of transmission, the ministry said. How the woman contracted the virus has yet to be established.

Meanwhile, 20 residents and four staff members at Edmonton Meadows Care Home in Henderson have tested positive for COVID-19. Seven of the COVID-positive residents remain in appropriate ward-level care at Auckland hospitals.

2:30pm - Here's a statement from Auckland Council abou the reopening of public facilities on Wednesday:

Auckland Council's 56 libraries will open from tomorrow (Wednesday, November 10), offering limited library services.

All 56 libraries across Tāmaki Makaurau will offer a contactless click and collect service, 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.   

Some community centres and art galleries will open. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland Zoo and New Zealand Maritime Museum will have a phased reopening – see their websites for details.

MOTAT will open. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum will open from Monday, November 15. Further details can be found on the Museum website.  

All community recycling centres and recovery shops will open.  

All service centres will open, with the exception of integrated centres at Takapuna, Pukekohe, Papakura, Westgate Te Manawa, Kumeū and Helensville libraries, which will remain closed.  

Chamberlain Park Golf Course shop will open, as will the Auckland Botanic Gardens Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre and the Arataki Visitor Centre, which will open with reduced hours (9:30am to 4pm) to enable regular cleaning.  

Gates at Auckland's three main cemeteries, Waikumete, North Shore Memorial Park and Manukau Memorial Gardens, will remain closed. Cemetery offices will open by appointment only and with reduced services. See the Auckland Council website for detailed information on cemetery services. 

Early childhood education programmes can increase to a maximum of 20 children in each bubble. 

All public toilets will open, however pools, gyms and leisure centres will remain closed. Venues for hire will remain closed, as will holiday parks, campgrounds, SCC parking areas (motorhomes) and council baches.

Team sport cannot proceed. 

For more information, visit OurAuckland.

2:18pm - A reporter has asked Ardern if she saw vaccination mandates as a short-term measure, or part of a long-term future for New Zealand.

"They're obviously something that we've seen the need to do in the here and now. And we've applied very carefully processes where we've looked at the risk profile of different workplaces and made judgements based on that," she said.

"It's hard for us to know how long we'll have to use provisions like that - of course, we all want this to be a period in our history we don't repeat, but it is so hard to know what the future holds."

2:13pm - Ardern says the previous restrictions on travel had prevented her from visiting Auckland, but her planned upcoming visit will be a chance to "see things for herself".

"I have been staying in touch with business leaders and representatives. I am on regular calls with our health workers. But it is something to see for yourself as well," she said.

It was reported last week that the Prime Minister intended to visit Auckland after Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, eased his stringent restrictions for MPs. Since October, Mallard - who has authority over Parliament - made it mandatory for MPs travelling from alert level 3 areas to test negative and self-isolate for five days in Wellington before returning to the Parliament precinct.

2:10pm - Ardern says Parliament is a place where people can "freely protest" and demonstrations should be valued in a democracy. 

"Parliament has seen, of course, protest in its time. It is of course a place where people are able to freely protest and we value that about our democracy," she said.

"That does not mean what we saw here today was in any way representative of the vast majority of New Zealanders."

2:08pm - Ardern says it has been "a tough journey" but she believes the majority of New Zealanders can see the country is "on the road" to reopening.

"We're at over 89 percent of eligible New Zealanders having had their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and I think they know and appreciate that we're on a road to be able to open up more, to having a bit more normality back," she told reporters.

"And yes, it's been a tough journey but I think they can see that what we've done has been on behalf of everyone."

2:05pm - When asked if she'd seen an increase in threats against her, Ardern said, "I haven't necessarily".

"But nor necessarily would I see all of that. Yes, I do run my own social media so of course I get a slice of that = but I'm very clear that's not indicative of the vast bulk of New Zealanders."

2pm - The Prime Minister is now addressing the protest in Wellington as she speaks to reporters at the Beehive.

"What we saw today was not representative of the vast bulk of New Zealanders, so actually my message would be to them and I would say thank you - thank you for being vaccinated, thank you for doing what it takes to look after one another," Ardern said.

"What we saw today wasn't reflective of you and of New Zealand."

Ardern said she hadn't considered going outside to view the protest.

1:45pm - The first quarantine-free arrivals from Tonga in 20 months will touch down at Auckland Airport this evening.

In the coming weeks, flights from Tonga will be joined by arrivals from Samoa, Vanuatu and Tokelau - travelling quarantine-free for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

"Given the one-way nature of the arrangement, passenger volumes will be low, but for the families reconnecting it will be a wonderful first step towards two-way travel," Anna Cassels-Brown, the general manager of operations at Auckland Airport, said on Tuesday.

Under the current alert level 3 settings, access is restricted at Auckland Airport terminal buildings to those who are travelling.

"Unfortunately, this means we won't be able to allow people meeting their family and friends to enter the terminal. We know this will be disappointing to those who enjoy the excitement of the airport welcome – I know as staff these emotional homecomings are special too. But to protect everyone's health we ask that people only send along those necessary to transport their loved ones from the airport and instead celebrate their welcome safely at home," she said.

Arriving passengers will use Zone A: the safe travel zone, the main pier of the terminal which is used exclusively by arrivals from countries with quarantine-free travel arrangements with New Zealand. International passengers arriving into MIQ use a fully separated processing area on Pier B, before being transported directly from the terminal pier to management isolation.

"We hope we'll be able to restart these operations soon and welcome everyone into our terminals, but for now we ask people to plan carefully when coming to the airport to pick-up arriving passengers."

1:35pm - Just one new location of interest has been added to the official list so far on Tuesday - Countdown in the Waikato town of Ōtorohanga. Click here for the relevant date, times and public health advice.

1:25pm - Newshub political reporter Zane Small says the protest is becoming more "intense" outside of Parliament. 

Other journalists have reported a shift in the mood after the demonstration wrapped up shortly before 1pm.

Remaining protesters have started chucking tennis balls on the forecourt, some branded with disturbing messages. Other reporters have said the protesters are becoming increasingly hostile towards media.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub

1:20pm - Meanwhile, protesters are gathering outside Government House in the Auckland suburb of Epsom.

A Newshub reporter at the scene says roughly 100 people have arrived, the majority of whom are not wearing masks. They are currently standing in groups and talking.

Some have turned up in their cars and are honking, which is causing other protesters to get frustrated, he says.

Protesters outside Government House in Epsom.
Protesters outside Government House in Epsom. Photo credit: Newshub

1:08pm - There are 125 new cases of COVID-19 to report on Tuesday. Here's the full statement from the Ministry of Health:

More than 21,000 vaccine doses given yesterday; 79 cases in hospital; 125 community cases

There were 21,192 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses administered yesterday, made up of 5,103 first doses and 16,089 second doses. To date, 89 percent of New Zealanders have had their first dose and 79 percent are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccine update


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

7,078,006: 3,760,824 first doses (89 pct); 3,317,182 second doses (79 pct)

Total first and second vaccines administered yesterday

21,192: 5,103 first doses; 16,089 second doses

Mâori (percentage of eligible people)

754,271: 425,891 first doses (75 pct); 328,380 second doses (58 pct)

Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people)

458,698: 249,022 first doses (87 pct); 209,676 second doses (73 pct)

Total first and second vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday

6337: 1428 first doses; 4909 second doses

Vaccination rates by DHB (with active cases)


Northland DHB (percentage of eligible people

241,152: 130,622 first doses (81 pct); 110,530 second doses (69 pct)

Auckland metro DHBs (percentage of eligible people

2,522,292: 1,321,195 first doses (92 pct); 1,201,097 second doses (84 pct)

Waikato DHB (percentage of eligible people

586,564; 314,434 first doses (88 pct); 272,130 second doses (76 pct)

Canterbury DHB (percentage of eligible people

828,679: 447,432 first doses (93 pct); 381,247 second doses (79 pct)



Cases in hospital

79 inpatients (down from 81 yesterday): North Shore (25); Waitakere (1); Middlemore (25); Auckland (28)

Vaccination status of current hospitalised cases

Unvaccinated or not eligible (40 cases / 51 pct); partially vaccinated <14 days (10 cases / 13 pct) partially vaccinated >14 days (15 cases / 19  pct); fully vaccinated <14 days (2 cases / 2 pct) fully vaccinated >14 days (8 cases /10 pct); unknown (4 cases / 5 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 (117), Waikato (2) Northland (6)

Location of community cases (total) *

Auckland 4452 (1776 of whom have recovered); Waikato 165 (72 of whom have recovered); Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered); Northland 27 (6 of whom have recovered); Nelson/Marlborough 1 (who has recovered); Canterbury 4 (all active)

Number of community cases (total)

4666 (in current community outbreak)

Confirmed cases (total)


Historical cases

189 out of 5,601 cases since 1 January

Cases infectious in the community**

49 of 185 cases reported yesterday have exposure events

Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious**

136 of 185 cases reported yesterday have no exposure events

Cases epidemiologically linked

66 of today's cases

Cases to be epidemiologically linked

59 of today's cases

Cases epidemiologically linked (total)

3702 (in the current cluster) (695 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)

76 pct

Percentage who have returned at least one result

71 pct

Locations of interest


Locations of interest (total)

155 (as at 8am 9 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

No unexpected detections



Registered users (total)


Poster scans (total)


Manual diary entries (total)


Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday


Today's cases

* Two previously reported community cases in Auckland have been re-allocated to Northland DHB. Two of yesterday's border-related cases on board a vessel which recently arrived in Bluff have been classified as historical. There is therefore no risk to other crew or port workers.

** The number of cases here may sometimes differ from the total reported the previous day due to a difference in reporting timeframes and reclassifications.

Northland update

There are six new cases to report in Northland today. Of these, five were announced on Monday afternoon and have now officially been added to the tally. The additional case is a contact of a previous case. All cases are isolating at home.

The six-week-old baby reported on Monday as being hospitalised has now been discharged.

A person with COVID-19 was hospitalised at Whangarei Hospital for observation overnight. This is a previously reported COVID-19 case that has been isolating at home. They have since been discharged to their home and will continue to self-isolate.

We are continuing to encourage those who live in or around Taipa, Kaingaroa, Awanui, Kaitaia and Kaikohe and have had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last two weeks, to get tested as soon as possible. Testing centre locations can be found on the Northland DHB website.

Upper Northland will move to alert level 2 from 11:59 pm on Thursday.

Auckland update

There are 19 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland today.

On Monday, 13,543 tests for COVID-19 were processed across the region. We're continuing to encourage everyone in Auckland to please get a test if they have any symptoms, no matter how mild. Even if people are fully vaccinated, and have been isolating at home, please seek out a test if you feel the need.

Suburbs of particular concern, where the risk of unidentified cases is higher, include Ranui, Sunnyvale, Kelston, Birkdale, Manurewa and Mangere.

In metro Auckland, public health staff are now supporting 2353 individuals to safely isolate at home; this includes 1199 cases across 934 households.     

Auckland rest and care homes

Testing has been carried out for residents and staff of the Rosaria Rest Home in the suburb of Avondale after one resident tested positive for COVID-19. All results received for other residents and staff are currently negative, with four further tests results expected later today.

Auckland public health officials are assisting the privately-owned facility to support residents and staff and reduce any further risk of transmission. The transmission route has yet to be established.

Meanwhile, as reported on Monday, 20 residents and four staff members of Edmonton Meadows Care Home of Henderson have tested positive for COVID-19. Seven of the COVID-19 positive residents remain in appropriate ward-level care at Auckland hospitals.

Waikato update

There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in Waikato today, both in Hamilton.

One case was a known contact already in isolation, and public health officials are today investigating links for the remaining case.

There remains one case in Waikato Hospital for a non-COVID-related condition.

There are five pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating across Waikato today in Hamilton, Ôtorohanga, Te Awamutu, and Te Kuiti.

Two locations of interest were identified in Hamilton on Monday, and locals are urged to continue to regularly check the Ministry's locations of interest webpage.

There were 1906 tests processed in Waikato yesterday and around 1712 vaccinations given - of these, 413 were first doses and 1299 were second doses.

1pm - Protesters in Wellington are now hurling tennis balls at the Beehive and at reporters stationed on the grounds, says Newstalk ZB's chief political reporter, Jason Walls.

"Then asked for us to throw them back."

Stuff reporter Henry Cooke says the mood of the initially peaceful protest has changed.

12:55pm - The protest has finished with a haka. The speaker is thanking people for turning up and is urging protesters to leave in an orderly manner.

Meanwhile, a sizeable crowd of protesters is forming outside Government House in the Auckland suburb of Epsom. 

We are now standing by for the latest update from the Ministry of Health.

12:52pm - Staff and children at a childcare centre in Auckland's Te Atatu are isolating after a teacher and her child tested positive for COVID-19, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Best Start Te Atatu was reportedly notified of the case on Monday morning and immediately informed parents.

One of the buildings at the centre is now closed and six staff and seven children are isolating, deputy chief executive Fiona Hughes told the Herald.

It's understood the staff member has been isolating at home since Friday - prior to testing positive - as her husband had contracted the virus.

12:50pm - The speaker is now stating the Freedoms and Rights Coalition's list of demands for the Government.

Their demands include revoking vaccination mandates for workplaces, revoking the "discriminatory" COVID-19 Protection Framework, moving all of New Zealand back to alert level 1 and removing Auckland's regional boundary.

He says the Government has until 2pm on Friday, November 12 to meet their demands. If their demands are not met, the group is threatening to "gridlock" New Zealand's major cities and towns. The gridlock was initially planned for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, but the speaker says it will be expanded nationwide so all the supporters have a chance to participate.

He says the gridlock will be a "visual representation of the chaos and the carnage you [the Government] have inflicted on the lives of New Zealanders".

12:40pm - Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health will release the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in a statement at 1pm. There is no press conference today.

12:35pm - The speaker said he feels as though the Prime Minister has a foot on his neck, "choking" him.

"When last I checked this was a democratic nation," he announced. The speakers have accused the Prime Minister of violating the Bill of Rights and trying to create a Communist nation. The crowd is booing, cheering and chanting.

The speaker has referred to Auckland as "the largest concentration camp in the world".

12:30pm - A speaker addressing the crowd has called today "our 9/11".

"This is our 9/11 in New Zealand... people have come to signal the collapse of the Government," he announced.

He has branded the Government a "dictatorship", calling the Prime Minister "power-hungry". The speaker also branded the mainstream media as "terrorists".

12:25pm - A speaker addressing the crowd has announced they are going to "roll" the Beehive.

"We are here today to stand as a people to tell the Government that your time is up. If you don't ship up, we are going to ship you out. We are not standing here waiting for another three years when the next election rolls down," he announced.

"We will roll this place and take them out with a revolution of the people."

Another speaker has announced, "You can try to hide us, but you will not silence us", with the crowd erupting in cheers. He says the country has been "segregated", calling vaccination mandates a "modern-day apartheid". 

12:15pm - The speaker is now making statements about "freedom of choice" and the right to refuse the vaccine. 

"We the people will no longer be bullied anymore," he announced. He also paid tribute to the founder of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, Brian Tamaki.

Signs behind the speakers are emblazoned with messages including, "Let's get NZ back again". Another chant of "Freedom, now!" has begun. 

The protesters are now singing the national anthem.

12:06pm - The protesters have now arrived at the grounds of Parliament. 

The individual livestreaming the event noted the stickers on the steps encouraging vaccination, which he called "a waste".

The footage shows hordes of people congregating on the grounds, waving flags and placards.

Protesters are chanting, "No more control!" and applauding their actions. A speaker representing the Freedoms and Rights Coalition is speaking, saying the protesters are ordinary Kiwis who are standing up against the Government.

11:55am - "Significantly more people" have arrived at Parliament now, says Newshub reporter Zane Small, but the gathering "still seems peaceful". Some are waving pro-Trump signs.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub

11:50am - A protester is now leading a chant of, "Shove your vaccine mandate up your ass". Others are now bellowing, "Freedom!"

The demonstrators are continuing to march up Lambton Quay towards Parliament. 

11:35am - The march is continuing through the streets of central Wellington, with protesters chanting, "No more control", "No more lockdown", "Freedom" and "Free NZ". 

Newshub reporter Zane Small says more people are arriving at the grounds of Parliament, but the congregation has not reached "huge numbers yet" as the march from Civic Square continues. The group is still very peaceful, he says, with women dancing. 

Some of the signs outside Parliament are emblazoned with anti-vaccination messages, including, "Our rights, not yours to take" and, "No vax pass apartheid".

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub

11:23am - Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters are now parading through the streets of central Wellington. The demonstrators are marching to Parliament, which is guarded by a heavy police presence. National leader Judith Collins says she has never seen the Beehive "locked up like this" in her years as a politician.

One protester has called out, "You can be pro-vax, but anti-mandate", while the vast majority of others chant, "Freedom!" 

Many of the protesters, who are brandishing flags, signs and placards emblazoned with anti-lockdown messaging, are not wearing masks.

One sign reads, "Where is the love?" while another reads, "Fear is not freedom".

11:13am - The protesters are now preparing to leave Civic Square to march to the grounds of Parliament.

A small group of counter protesters have arrived outside the square, urging people to "get vaccinated".

11:08am - Summer festivals get government backing

  • Big summer festivals get financial certainty to proceed in face of COVID-19 threat
  • Government takes lion's share of risk for upfront costs that can't be recovered
  • Open to paid, ticketed events with audiences over 5000 requiring vaccination certificates.

New financial support will give organisers of large summer festivals greater certainty to proceed.

Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has announced an Events Transition Support Scheme designed to give festival organisers greater confidence to plan and incur costs, in the face of public health risks from COVID-19.

"Organisers of large-scale summer festivals have to make decisions now about whether to proceed as their risk window is closing. There aren't insurance options in the market to cover this so the government is stepping up as a type of underwriter," Nash said on Tuesday.

"Under the scheme the Government will cover 90 percent of unrecoverable costs for paid, ticketed events with audiences of more than 5000 vaccinated people, if organisers are forced to cancel or postpone due to COVID-19 public health measures.

"Events typically only generate revenue on the day or weekend they take place, yet incur significant costs in advance. A quick shift in public health measures could see an event cancelled with no opportunity to recoup costs or generate revenue.

"Organisers of these festivals are great entrepreneurs who give back to our communities. They take a lot of risk to deliver fantastic experiences that are part of the cultural fabric of a Kiwi summer and create lasting memories. COVID-19 has made their job even harder and these grants recognise they need our support if summer events are to go ahead.

"Big summer events are crucial for our economic and social wellbeing. We are in a unique period of transition from the Alert Level system to the new Protection Framework which relies on 90 percent vaccination rates. An immediate solution is needed this summer.

"The scheme will go live this week and event organisers will be able to apply via the MBIE website to check their eligibility. This will give them greater confidence and allow them to continue to plan and deliver events over the summer."

The eligibility criteria for an event are summarised below, while definitive terms and conditions will shortly be on the MBIE website.

  • The event must require the use of COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates
  • It must be a live, in-person event at a single location between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 2022 with expected ticket sales of at least 5000
  • The event must have been actively 'in the market' through promotion or ticket sales prior to the announcement of this scheme
  • The event must be open to the public and run by a New Zealand organisation
  • The event cannot be funded by other government sources such as the Major Events Fund or the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, nor have underwriting from another source such as local government or an insurer
  • Costs incurred by local government organisations are not eligible for recovery.

The payment will cover actual direct costs associated with the event that cannot be recovered, and will not cover lost profits or shareholder salaries;

The event organiser will be the primary applicant and must agree to honour the eligible costs incurred by their suppliers.

The Events Transition Support Payment will be made if a cancellation or postponement occurs due to one of the following:

  • The event is in an area operating under Alert Level restrictions which prohibit the event from occurring (Alert Level 2 or higher); or
  • The event is in an area that is operating under the COVID-19 Protection Framework and is at RED LEVEL or a localised lockdown; or
  • At least 50 percent of tickets/paid registrations have been sold to attendees located within an Alert Level 3 or higher boundary or within a RED LEVEL or localised lockdown area (if regional boundary restrictions are in effect).

11:03pm - "Hundreds" of bikies have arrived at the gathering in central Wellington, revving their engines and joining the protest. 

A bikie posted to Facebook earlier this morning that the "riders" are "making thunder" and "uniting here in Wellington".

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub

10:58am - Newshub's Zane Small is in Parliament where protesters are starting to arrive. 

He says it appears roughly 80 to 90 people have gathered outside the entrance of Parliament so far - the larger gathering at Civic Square has yet to make its way over. 

"There's little sign of what the protest is about. There are some signs saying 'United for Freedom', some displaying anti-Three Waters sentiment, and others holding flags including Tino Rangatiratanga and United Tribes," Small said.

"Reggae music is blasting across Parliament Grounds, and one woman has been dancing. It's looking peaceful so far, but that could change when bigger crowds start arriving. 

"Security at Parliament is tight, with the main entrance to the Beehive blocked off. The area around the steps to Parliament is cordoned off."

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub

10:56am - National Party leader Judith Collins is concerned about the anti-lockdown protest at Parliament on Tuesday, saying the precinct has never been so tightly locked up in her nearly 20 years working there.

"I have been in Parliament for a few years. I have never seen anything like the security arrangements here today. I expect that Parliament won't have been undertaking those unless they are concerned about what might or might not occur. I hope there will be a peaceful protest."

While she feels safe, Collins told reporters she was "very concerned" about "what might be planned".

"I hope that the protest will be peaceful and our concerns will be basically not needed. I am obviously concerned. I have never seen Parliament locked up like this."

Her message to protesters was to be peaceful and "not to do anything for which they will be ashamed". 

"My view is that [National MPs] are best to stay within the parliamentary precinct but I also believe too is that it is important for them to understand that this is a very unusual situation, that parliamentary security staff are there to protect them… they would not be taking these steps that I have seen today if they did not believe they had very good reason to do so."

Collins says she has made it clear to her MPs that she doesn't think it is the right thing for them to go and meet the protesters. She says it appears the protest is mostly against vaccinations and "we don't want to really be seen with it".

10:53am - Lawyer, NZ Outdoors Party co-leader and well-known anti-vaccination activist Sue Grey has addressed the protesters. 

Speakers have so far spouted anti-vaccination diatribes, discussing freedom of choice and bodily autonomy. The group is staunchly against the Government's vaccine mandates for key industries, including the border workforce. 

Dr Matthew Shelton is now speaking. The Wellington-based doctor had his contract terminated and is under investigation by the Medical Council after he texted his patients about his anti-vaccination views.

According to Stuff, Shelton sent a text to some of his patients on August 19 stating he did not support the vaccination of children, and pregnant and fertile women.

10:45am - The group of protesters who were blocking the Te Hana checkpoint at Auckland's northern border this morning have been cleared, says Superintendent Naila Hassan, Waitematā District Commander.

Around 50 protesters arrived from the northern side of the boundary on State Highway 1 at Te Hana, blocking traffic in both directions for more than an hour with their vehicles.

"Overall it has caused more than three hours of disruption to members of the public going about their lawful business. While the road was blocked Police have attempted to engage with this group and a number of vehicles were towed in order to clear the roadway," Hassan said.

"The actions of protestors required our staff to physically intervene to move them off the road."

One of the officers was bitten by an unidentified protester, Hassan said.

"Actions like this are totally avoidable and poses unnecessary risk to our staff who are simply trying do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. All protesters have dispersed from the checkpoint and we will continue to monitor for any further activity today.

"Our priority today was to ensure this vital border checkpoint could continue to operate so that members of the public with border exemptions could go about their lawful business. Police would like to thank those people who were impacted by today’s disruptions for their patience and understanding."

10:40am - Hannah Tamaki, the wife of Destiny Church and Freedoms and Rights Coalition founder Brian Tamaki, is sharing her support for the anti-lockdown rally in Wellington.

"A tsunami of people there will be, wave after wave of passionate people at the Beehive steps," she posted to Facebook. "We are one."

Earlier this morning, she shared a post from the Tauranga faction of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, which showed protesters on-board a bus from Whanganui to Wellington.

"Three buses loaded and leaving now... we're going to stand for us all and our freedom," the person wrote.

10:35am - Police say they are monitoring the protest and will respond "to any issues as they arise".

"Police is aware of and is monitoring a gathering and march planned for central Wellington today," a spokesperson told Newshub.

"Police, together with our civic and community partners, will respond to any issues as they arise.

"Police have the ability to take enforcement action against anyone in breach of alert level restrictions - this could include an infringement notice or a court summons."

10:33am - A livestream on Facebook shows throngs of protesters gathered at Civic Square. Many are holding placards, one reading "God Defend Our Freeland" and another "House of Lawlessness". Others are holding the New Zealand flag and Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

A speaker is now addressing the crowd, leading a chant of "Freedom!" She has encouraged the protesters to wear their masks. 

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub

10:15am - Pictures of the anti-lockdown rally in central Wellington are circulating on social media.

Photos show protesters gathered at Civic Square, many brandishing New Zealand flags and placards with anti-lockdown messaging. Many are not wearing masks. 

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 9
Photo credit: Steve Verhoeven / Facebook

10:08am - An anti-lockdown rally in Wellington's CBD is preparing to march to Parliament in protest of the Government’s vaccination mandates and ongoing restrictions.

A livestream on Facebook shows hundreds gathering outside the Michael Fowler Centre near Civic Square, the meeting point for supporters of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition. Protesters can be seen waving pro-Trump flags, the The Tino Rangatiratanga flag, and the United Tribes flag. Few appear to be wearing face masks.

Many of the protesters can be seen holding "pro-choice" placards, with one reading "stick your mandate up your ass".

10am - Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard says Parliament has "never locked down this heavily" in response to a protest throughout his tenure as a politician, Stuff's chief political reporter Henry Cooke has tweeted.

"Almost every non-main gate to the grounds shut," Cooke said.

"Parliament is more prepped for this anti-vax protest than any other I've seen in my time here."

9:55am - Minister and broadcaster Reverend Frank Ritchie has implored people to stay away from the anti-lockdown protests on Tuesday, warning New Zealanders "this is not who we are".

"People of faith - stay away from today's protests. There has been chatter about violence, storming Parliament, arresting the Prime Minister and worse. This is not something we should be associated with or enable by bolstering their numbers. This is not who we are," he tweeted.

His words offer a starkly different perspective to fellow religious leader Brian Tamaki, who founded the anti-lockdown group at the centre of Tuesday's protests, the Freedoms and Rights Coalition.

9:45am - The capital is already "pumping" with self-proclaimed "freedom fighters" as anti-lockdown protesters prepare to march to Parliament on Tuesday morning.

A supporter of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition posted to its Facebook page that "freedom fighters" are already convening in the capital. It's understood the protesters will gather in Civic Square at 10:30am before marching to Parliament, where they intend to present their demands - which include putting an end to lockdowns and public health measures, "shutting down testing stations" and learning "to live with the virus".

Police have already responded to protesters affiliated with the group at Auckland's northern border this morning after demonstrators blocked the Te Hana checkpoint with their vehicles.

9:30am - Health Minister Andrew Little says he's unsure what an "unsustainable" level of hospitalisations would look like once Auckland has reopened. 

Auckland is on track to move to the 'traffic light' system on November 29, bringing an end to the era of lockdowns. The region will begin on the 'Red' setting, which will allow businesses and public facilities to reopen - if vaccine certificates are used, up to 100 customers or visitors are permitted at a time. 

If vaccine certificates are not used at venues, restrictions will still apply - for example, hospitality businesses will only be able to open for contactless trading and takeaways.

According to the Government's COVID-19 Protection Framework, under the Red setting, "action will need to be taken to protect both at-risk people and protect our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations".

However, the Health Minister is unsure what an "unsustainable" number of hospitalisations would look like.

"Look, I can't give you a precise number," he told The AM Show on Tuesday morning. "We're at sort of, roughly kind of, the late 70s, 80, 81 yesterday in hospital but you've got three big hospitals in Auckland who can accommodate 4000 patients between them, but of course they're not 4000 beds just for COVID patients."

Read more here.

9:20am - A former Labour Party president has described the terrifying moment he was tailgated and berated by a "red in the face" anti-vaxxer.

Mike Williams, who ran the party during Helen Clark's time as Prime Minister, told The AM Show on Tuesday that he had been on the way to his office recently when a Mercedes Benz started following him "very, very close, I think less than a metre".

"As I turned the final corner… the driver started blasting his horn and flashing his lights and behaving in a very strange fashion. I thought there was something wrong with my vehicle - it wasn't obvious to me - and he was trying to warn me.

"Then he pulled beside me and got very close, to the point where I was almost forced off the road. I put my window down and he started screaming incoherently - but what I did understand is that he recognised me as a former Labour Party president because the first thing he told me was he's never voting Labour again. 

"The reason was we're 'forcing people to jab themselves with poisons'. It was really very frightening, he was very exercised and red in the face."

Read more here.

9:05am - An end to lockdown is in sight after the Prime Minister signalled on Monday that November 29 will likely mark 'Freedom Day' for stricken Aucklanders, who are enduring their twelfth week of lockdown.

By November 29, it's expected that 90 percent of the eligible populations under Auckland's three District Health Boards (DHBs) will be fully vaccinated, a significant milestone marking the end of lockdowns and a transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework, a three-stage 'traffic light' system based on different levels of risk.

Under the first phase of the framework, the 'Red' setting, Auckland will be allowed to reopen with public health measures in place, such as masks, social distancing and caps on customers or visitors. Vaccine certificates will also be required for businesses to operate. 

Speaking to The AM Show on Tuesday morning, Health Minister Andrew Little said November 29 will be "the big check-in by Cabinet".

"It is a check-in. We need to make sure all the conditions are right for us," he said. "We've got 20 days to go. We are making every last push to get those vaccination levels up."

He reiterated that November 29 is the date Cabinet "expects" Auckland will be ready to move to the 'traffic light' system.

8:45am - Southbound traffic is being diverted at the Te Hana checkpoint on Auckland's northern border as protesters continue to block the main highway with their vehicles.

The protesters, understood to predominantly be supporters of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, are "intent on causing disruption", Antony Thompson of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua said.

Supporters of the anti-lockdown movement, founded by Brian Tamaki, will congregate outside Parliament on Tuesday morning to protest against the ongoing restrictions and vaccination mandates. 

Thompson said the group are blocking the checkpoint, delaying trucks - some carrying food and medical supplies - from entering Northland 

"Whilst these individuals are using this as an opportunity to grandstand their issue, Te Taitokerau lost over an hour and 15 minutes of thoroughfare which may prove disastrous for our region," Thompson said.

"There are already a range of pressing issues taking place which is causing hardship, including the rising daily cases of COVID-19 in the North. Thoughtless moves like [these are] putting whānau in danger."

He is urging protesters to "think about the impact they are having on those they believe they are trying to protect".

A number of the ofending vehicles have been towed and traffic is now moving, although motorists are warned to expect significant delays.

8:30am - The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide surpassed 250 million on Monday as some European nations battle record outbreaks.

The virus is infecting about 50 million people across the world every 90 days due to the nature of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Comparatively, it took almost a year to record the first 50 million cases.

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

8:20am - The co-owner of an Auckland restaurant is devastated that hospitality is not included under step 2 of the Government's phased 'roadmap' for the region.

Auckland will shift to alert level 3, step 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday, allowing retail to reopen and social gatherings to increase to 25 people in outdoor settings - however, hospitality venues can only continue to operate via contactless trading.

The sector will not be able to open its doors to customers until alert level 3, step 3, or when 90 percent of the eligible populations under Auckland's three district health boards are fully vaccinated, triggering the first phase of the Government's three-step COVID-19 Protection Framework - whatever comes first.

Some struggling business owners have suggested that venues should be able to serve up to 25, physically distanced customers outdoors, in line with the social gathering restrictions - but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern dismissed the idea on Monday, saying it wouldn't be "particularly viable".

Speaking to The AM Show on Tuesday, Auckland's Va Bene restaurant co-owner, Paul Patterson, said his business was ready to cater for outdoor dining two months ago.

"I think it'd be easier to control than retail so I don't really understand why we're not able to open at the same time," he said. 

Patterson said he's losing sleep as he struggles to make ends meet, weighing up the future of his business.

"[It's] basically week to week at the moment. We're not covering rent in takeaway sales. We are fortunate enough that we are getting some help from the Government in the country that we live in but it's… not going all the way."  

Va Bene has lost $300,000 in revenue so far - Patterson said many restaurant owners have been forced to re-mortgage their homes or take out extra loans in a bid to survive the now 12-week lockdown.

If the lockdown persists into January, Va Bene would have no choice but to close its doors, he said.

Read more here.

8:05am - Supporters of the Freedoms and Rights Coalition will congregate outside Parliament on Tuesday to protest against lockdowns and vaccination mandates. 

Police warned protesters on Monday that they will face prosecution if they fail to stick to the law.

It's understood supporters of the anti-lockdown movement will gather at Civic Square in Wellington's CBD at 10:30am before marching to Parliament. 

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Freedoms and Rights Coalition said the group will present its "realistic demands" on the steps of Parliament. It's calling for an end to lockdowns and public health measures, saying it's "time to learn to live with COVID-19", "shut down testing stations", and treat the deadly virus like "the flu".

"This government will have until this Friday 12th November 2021 at 2pm to take affirmative steps. If 'No-One' from within our House of Representatives is prepared to make moves for us, it will be time for 'we the people' to take matters into our hands as we undertake THE GREAT GRIDLOCK across many parts of this nation, unlike anything ever seen before," the group said.

Wellington City Council says traffic is expected to be disrupted in the city centre and people should expect delays after 10:30am.

Police are also preparing for possible blockades at Auckland's borders and say there will be a "heightened presence" at locations such as Government House and MPs' electorate offices.

Protesters and police at the Te Hana checkpoint on Auckland's northern border.
Protesters and police at the Te Hana checkpoint on Auckland's northern border. Photo credit: Te Runanga O Ngati Whatua / Facebook

7:55am - Protesters congregating at Auckland's northern border have been blocking the main checkpoint at Te Hana for a "considerable period of time" on Tuesday morning, police say.

In a statement, a police spokesperson confirmed that officers are responding to the protest at Auckland's northern border.

"A large group of protestors have gathered around the northern side of the border. As a result, the main northern border checkpoint located on State Highway 1 was blocked for a considerable period of time this morning," the spokesperson said.

"Police are working to respond to this incident and to ensure lanes are open at the checkpoint so that members of the public undertaking lawful travel across the boundary can do so safely. Police will provide a further update in due course."

7:40am - Trucks attempting to travel into Northland are reportedly being diverted as protesters congregate at the Te Hana checkpoint. 

"Protesters at Te Hana checkpoint cause disruption by cutting off supplies to the North," Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua, the representative body for Ngāti Whātua iwi, said on Tuesday morning.

"This only comes as a hinderance to the pressure that Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau are already under with COVID-19."

7:30am - Protesters are gathered at Auckland's northern border, with police officers standing guard.

The officers are stationed at the Te Hana checkpoint, north of Warkworth, as protesters - understood to be affiliated with the Freedom and Rights Coalition - threaten to pass through. The demonstrators are hoping to travel to Wellington on Tuesday to protest at Parliament against lockdowns and vaccination mandates.

A witness at the border told the New Zealand Herald the protesters arrived at around 6am and were met by a heavy police presence.

Protesters are reportedly planning to block main roads and motorways around the country on Tuesday, including in Auckland.

Posts shared to the group's Facebook page warn of a "heavy police presence" at Te Hana while another urged others to "support" their efforts at the border.

7:20am - Air New Zealand has announced it will soon require customers travelling domestically to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present proof of a negative test before departure.

The new rule will be introduced from the middle of next month, applying to all passengers aged 12 and over.

"Delta has really upped the stakes. What once kept us safe is no longer enough and we need an extra layer of protection," Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran said in a statement.

"That's why we're taking a step further to keep our customers safe while allowing all Kiwis to fly."

Read more here.

7:15am - Kia ora, good morning, and welcome to Newshub's live updates for Tuesday, November 9.