14 Sep 2021

Covid-19 outbreak day 28: PM leads vaccine charge as firm offers cash incentive

7:51 pm on 14 September 2021

Mr Whippy-type vans will be used for Auckland's vaccine drive, cases dropped sharply, a major company is paying staff to get vaccinated and record number came together for a te reo moment.

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From top left: cases halved from yesterday; a million people took part in Te Reo Māori; some workers can net $150 to be vaccinated and vaccine vans are hitting the streets. Photo: AFP, RNZ, 123RF.

By the numbers

  • 15 new cases announced - down from 33 yesterday
  • 970 cases in current outbreak
  • 22 cases in hospital, 4 of whom are in ICU or HDU
  • 2 new cases at border
  • 54,877 vaccinations administered yesterday
  • 102,075 vehicles stopped at 10 checkpoints so far this month
  • 1267 vehicles turned back for non-essential travel

220,000 doses available for Aucklanders

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says from Thursday six vaccination buses will be out on the roads in areas where vaccination rates have been low.

It is planned to add another six Mr-Whippy style vans in the coming weeks, she says.

She also says now is the ideal time for those in Tāmaki Makaurau to get vaccinated, with 220,000 doses able to be dispensed over the next few days.

Ardern says there are about 90,000 spaces in the city's booking schedule this week to get a vaccine.

Testing in targeted suburbs

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there is a focus for testing in several suburbs in Auckland - Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Ōtara.

There was also a positive wastewater result from a wastewater sample taken last week in Pukekohe, he announced at the daily briefing.

There are no other "unexpected detections" in wastewater samples in Auckland or around the country that have returned positive results.

Arrests after assault on security guard

Two people were arrested and charged after a security guard at Takanini Pak 'n Save was assaulted today.

In a statement, police said a woman had refused to wear a mask and became aggressive, then left the store.

She returned with two men, then punched the guard, and the men chased the guard with weapons, police said.

A woman, 26, was arrested and charged with failing to wear a face covering, and a patched Black Power member - a man, 33 - was charged with assault with a weapon.

"Police have no tolerance for this behaviour, particularly towards essential workers going about their work who should not have to tolerate this kind of act," a spokesperson said.

Countdown supermarkets have also reported an increase in assaults on staff across the country, saying it was around the rules to wear masks.

Incentive for workers

One of the country's largest steel building product providers is paying a bonus to workers if they get fully vaccinated.

Workers will get $150 in cash, KiwiSaver contributions or company shares if they get both doses of the vaccine by mid-November.

Steel and Tube chief executive Mark Malpass told Checkpoint the company believed a fully vaccinated workforce would be safer for employees, customers and suppliers.

"We've got a real interest in getting the vaccination rates up as quickly as we can to play our part in accelerating the uptake," Malpass said.

"We'd much rather create an incentive to encourage that uptake ... we felt $150 is a reasonably significant amount and it was enough to encourage people."

Te reo record despite outbreak's challenges

More than a million people came together today to share a moment in Te Reo Māori.

The moment is one of the pinnacle events of Māori Language Week, where individuals, schools and organisations register to take part in a celebration of te reo.

Te Taura Whiri, the Māori Language Commission, says 1.1 million people have so far registered as taking part in today's celebrations.

Chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui says to exceed last year's record number is remarkable considering Auckland is in lockdown and level 2 restrictions make events difficult.

Apanui says the final tally will be known by the end of the week.

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