Waikato's level 3 boundary is extended as 29 new community cases are announced and the government reveals a map showing a suburb-by-suburb breakdown of vaccination data.
Twenty-nine new community cases were reported today, including five in Waikato. All of the Waikato cases are linked but there are seven in Auckland yet to be linked.
There are now 22 cases in Waikato in the current outbreak, and Waitomo and Waipā districts will move to level 3 from 11.59pm tonight.
- There are a total of 1448 community cases in this outbreak
- Two new cases have been detected in MIQ
- There are 10 active sub-clusters in Auckland, down from 12 yesterday.
- There are 23 people in hospital with Covid-19, with four in ICU
Leading epidemiologists say everyone in New Zealand should plan to encounter Covid-19 before Christmas, and they had better be prepared.
Vaccine maps released
The Ministry of Health has released a suburb-by-suburb breakdown of vaccination data current to 6 October.
Murupara in Bay of Plenty has the lowest vaccination rates, with only 32.6 percent of the eligible population having had their first dose. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited today, hoping to help lift vaccination rates in the area.
The next lowest areas with reliable data were Ōtangarei and Waima Forest in Northland with 45 percent and 45.1 percent respectively.
The data showed about 35 areas with rates over 95 percent, many of them in affluent areas including downtown Auckland, central Wellington and Queenstown.
Concerns about Northland vaccination rates, while visitor tests positive
A case that was under investigation after returning a weak positive result from a test in Whangārei earlier this week has today returned a positive test result in Auckland.
Meanwhile, health authorities say vaccine opposition in Te Tai Tokerau is being driven by misinformation and two of 34 general practices in Te Tai Tokerau do not support Covid-19 vaccination.
Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners medical director Dr Bryan Betty said a "very small number" of GPs opposed vaccinations.
But he said "the fact they have Dr in front of their names gives them undue influence" and it can be "very very hard" for patients to determine fact from falsehood.
Northland DHB chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain said there was capacity for 16,000 vaccinations per week but only 7000 to 8000 people had been coming to get them.
Chamberlain said vaccine opposition was a problem in Te Tai Tokerau before Covid-19 but it was now worse.
PPTA concerned about Auckland schools resuming
Union leaders say Auckland educators are shocked they could be back in school on 18 October while the city remains in level 3.
Post Primary Teachers' Association Auckland region chairperson Michael Cabral-Tarry said it was far too soon for schools to resume and teachers and other staff did not feel safe returning.
"We think a good prerequisite might be 80 percent double-dosed in those communities where Delta is still rampant. We would hope that would mean schools are that much safer."
PPTA Auckland region deputy chairperson Paul Stevens said teachers were as worried about the risk of giving Covid to their students as they were about catching the disease themselves.
He said the government was essentially asking schools to operate at alert level 2 while the rest of the Auckland community was operating at level 3.
Mongrel Mob cluster closed, gang says
A Mongrel Mob spokesperson says its Covid-19 cluster has been resolved.
Two gang leaders, head of the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom Chapter Sonny Fatupaito and Mongrel Mob life member Harry Tam, have exemptions to enter Auckland to help facilitate testing and contact tracing among members.
Louise Hutchinson said as of Monday, the cluster involving the Mongrel Mob Pasifika chapter in South Auckland had resolved because of the intervention of Fatupaito.
The chapter had had four positive cases and more than 20 people in MIQ.
"We had every member tested, every member of their whānau tested and from that, that cluster has now resolved."
Hutchinson denied allegations the gang was distributing methamphetamine across the alert level border in or out of Auckland.
More events cancelled
The Canterbury A&P Show - which 100,000 people usually attend - has been cancelled for the second year in a row.
The event is one of three that make up the Cup and Show Week in November. The A&P show, Addington Cup Week and Riccarton Park Races were projected to bring in more than $4m of visitor spending and 22,275 visitor nights.
Joanna Norris, chief executive of the city's economic development ageny ChristchurchNZ, said it was a massive loss for the city and region.
"The government's health-based approach to Covid-19 is essential and we absolutely support it.
"However, businesses and the major events sector need a clear outline of the pathway to lower alert levels in the South Island."
Meanwhile, the Auckland leg of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival also won't go ahead this year, with organisers saying the current alert level doesn't allow for it.
NSW to ease restrictions
New NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced "major changes" to NSW's roadmap out of Covid-19 lockdowns.
The changes include reopening schools for many year groups early.
From Monday, fully vaccinated adults will be allowed to eat at restaurants and go to the gym, which have been off limits in some areas for more than 100 days.
- Increasing the number of adults allowed to gather in homes from five to 10
- Increasing the number of adults allowed to gather in public spaces from 20 to 30
- Increasing the cap of people at weddings and funerals from 50 to 100
- Reopening indoor pools
- A ban on singing at religious services will also be tweaked, with performers - including choirs of up to 10 people - permitted
Restrictions for fully inoculated people will be eased again the Monday after NSW reaches 80 percent double-dose coverage.
The second wave of relaxations are due to come into effect from 25 October.