Watch live: Government reveals more about Covid-19 cases in Taranaki


The government has provided more information at today’s media conference on how Covid-19 has spread to Taranaki.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay are holding today’s media conference on the government’s latest pandemic response.

Watch the Covid-19 update here:

Earlier today, Taranaki DHB medical officer of health Dr Jonathan Jarman told RNZ six people – including three adults and three children – who tested positive for Covid-19 in Taranaki had been reluctant to get tested and had not used the tracer app.

At this afternoon’s briefing – where it was revealed there were 201 new community cases – Robertson revealed that one person travelled to Auckland to pick up another family member and took them back to Taranaki to live with them.

He said one of the six positive cases was vaccinated.

Robertson said he did not have specific information about why they were reluctant to get tested, but he was aware they were asked to get tested during the week they were sick and declined, but as a member of the family became more unwell, resistance dropped away.

None of them were scanning in, he said.

Dr McElnay said five locations of interest including pharmacies, a hardware shop and a supermarket have been added to the list so far.

“We want to remind anyone in Stratford or recent visitors to the town with Covid-19 related symptoms no matter how mild should get tested.”

Robertson said the advice at this time was not to put Taranaki in lockdown.

“We know how the virus came to be in Stratford. We know that it is currently confined to one family and one household. But as the day goes on more interviews are undertaken, more investigations are done and the public health team would update their information.”

He said it was similar to the situation in Christchurch at the beginning of October.

“For now we’re working on that basis, but we continue to listen to the advice that we get.”

Vaccine milestones and mandates

Robertson said six DHBs have now hit the 90 percent mark for first doses and some others – like South Canterbury and Hutt Valley – are very close. He said people in those areas could get vaccinated this weekend to push their DHB past that milestone.

He said the vaccine requirement for health and education workers starts next week and he wanted to thank the “vast bulk” who have already been vaccinated.

He says Cabinet had only chosen to make vaccination mandatory in the highest-risk settings. In education, under-12s cannot get vaccinated but they can get Covid-19.

“In fact about 20 percent of the cases in the Delta outbreak have been children aged under 12, including babies.”

He said this was part of the reason to get vaccinated – to protect those who could not. The same applied to healthcare workers.

“Vaccine requirements have been commonly used overseas. They work. And they’re a key part of the vaccination drive in those countries with high rates of vaccination that we’re trying to match.”

He said vaccine certificates are in the very near future and so far 700,000 New Zealanders have created an account on My Covid Record. He encouraged anyone who has not done so to create a record today.

“This is where that vaccine certificate will land shortly,” he said.

Robertson also said the new resurgence support payment was now open for applications. It is now a double payment calculated weekly, paid fortnightly, at a rate of $3000 and $800 per FTE, up to a maximum of $43,000 per business. The wage subsidy also continues to be available.

Some $5.5bn has been paid out in economic support since the current outbreak began, he said.

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