Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Mueller Glacier, Hooker Glacier Walk, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

A 4 day, circular jaunt, NZ Alpine country:

16.12.20. Day 1.

Drove from Pleasant Point along SH 8 to Lake Tekapo. Attended the opening of rebuilt Lake Tekapo School & school pool. Having taught at the school recently, Leah enjoyed catching up with friends, staff & parents. In the school foyer we admired George Emson's mural photo of stormy Lake Tekapo & surrounding Alps. We often saw George Emson's Alpine pics on TV1 weather reports. We overnighted at Lake Tekapo Campsite in one of the posh new cabins. Sunset over Lake Tekapo & Alps reminded us of all the Alpine walks we'd done by Lake Tekapo over the years, especially at Mt Hay Station & Mt Gerald Station. As it was Covid pandemic time the only tourists were locals. In S Canterbury we hadn't seen a tourist bus for many Covid months.

Day 2.

Drove from Lake Tekapo to Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park. En route, we stopped at the Lake Pukaki lookout to admire distant Aoraki / Mt Cook & Alpine ranges. Coffee bought at the Salmon Farm kiosk was expensive crap! Next door, old hydro-electric historical info boards had been revamped into new Ngai Tahu historical info boards with a window view over Lake Pukaki & Alps.

En route to Mt Cook village, beside Lake Pukaki, we stopped at the biggest lavender farm in the S hemisphere. We sat on wooden chairs among rows of lavender bushes for happy snaps. By the farm carpark, a food caravan & a shipping container shop touted food & lavender wares. Mt Cook village: We booked into Alpine Lodge for 2 nights. The reception man said the hotel was about half full with Kiwi guests during Covid times, better than no guests at all. We wandered Governors Bush Track, about 1 hour walk through native bush. Descriptive signs along the way gave us an idea of Alpine flora we could see in the park, like parsley trees, snowberry bushes... Had fish & chips supper at The Hermitage cafe. Due to Covid, the cafe & restaurant was about quarter full. The cafe & our hotel bedroom had grand window views of Mt Cook & Mt Wakefield below.

Day 3.

Checked out the DOC info centre: Lots of displays & details about Mt Cook wildlife & historical & current climbing in the Mt Cook region. Tourist shop too. The DOC foyer gave daily updates about avalanche dangers & current weather conditions. Wind forecast: 40km/h for our Hooker Valley walk.

Drove to Mt Cook campsite carpark for our Hooker Valley walk. Starting from the campsite saved us an hour or so walking to / from our hotel. Although Mt Sefton peak was cloudy, we had good views of its icefalls. We passed the dead mountaineers' memorial. After crossing the rocky, bushy terminal moraine, from the DOC path near the first suspension bridge (swingbridge) we had a grand view of Mueller Glacier Lake, but no sign of receding Mueller Glacier round a moraine corner, just steep, lateral moraine walls & waterfalls from icy peaks above. The wind whipped up dust devils above Mueller Glacier Lake moraine walls.

Mountain walls both valley sides, the well maintained DOC path continued up windy Hooker Valley, over numerous wooden steps, 2 more swingbridges, a long, winding boardwalk & a small, wooden footbridge near 2 longdrop toilets. Smarter, durable concrete, longdrop toilets were being built nearby. Along the way many Alpine flowers bloomed: Wahlengbergias, celmisias, Mt Cook lilies, bush snowberries.

Snowy Mt Cook loomed over receding Hooker Glacier at the end of its glacier Lake. At the other end of Hooker Glacier Lake, a DOC sign, red & white print, warned:

DANGER

Glacier Lake - Mutiple Hazards Exist.

Unstable Icebergs. - Icebergs can move & spin violently at any moment. Keep a safe distance.

Glacier Terminal Face is very unstable. - Ice can break off from above or rise violently from below. Keep a safe distance.

Extreme Cold. - The water is only 3 degrees Celcius.

Surge Wave. - Ice can calve off the glacier & create a large wave.

Thin Ice. - When the lake is frozen, ice is not safe to walk on.

Your safety is your responsibility.

Lunch at the DOC wooden table beside Hooker Glacier Lake: The wind was so strong we held onto our daypacks to stop them blowing away. Using my binoculars, I checked out Hooker Glacier's terminal face, a high striated ice wall, grey moraine stones on top. No snow on top of the glacier, as it was high summer. A small iceberg was grounded near us in shallow awater near a lateral moraine where the path continued deeper into the Alps below Mt Cook. Despite Covid, we'd encountered many trampers on the Hooker Valley walk, 10 km return, approx 4 hours return including lunch. The walk rose gently from the campsite, only 124 vertical m, 800m - 924m.


Day 4.

Completed our circular trek: Mackenzie Basin, Twizel: Bought honey at the honey farm. Near Lake Ruataniwha: Bought fresh salmon at the Salmon Farm, had sushi lunch there. Past Benmore, down Waitaki River Valley, via Omarama & Otematata, past hydro-electric lakes Benmore, Avimore, Waitaki to Kurow for cafe tea. Over Elephant Hill. Down Waimati Gorge to Waimati. N1 to Timaru, SH8 back to Pleasant Point.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Mt Barossa, Hakatere Conservation Park

Mon 14.12.20. I drove from Pleasant Point to Mt Somers village & Hakatere Conservation Park.

From Ashburton Gorge Rd, I climbed Mt Barossa, 1364 m, Topo50 map ref, BX19 573687, a 7 hour return climb, approx 4 hours up, 3 hours down, incl many catch-breath, pic & lunch stops. Distance: 7 km return, 820 vertical m. A sunny day with grand Alpine views & views of Ashburton lake district, most lakes seen from the top, incl lakes Emma, Roundabout, Camp, Clearwater, Heron...

Many distant peaks were seen, too numerous to list: Some summits seen: Clent Hills incl Mt Barossa; Peters Range, branching off Moorhouse Range; Mt Tripp, slightly higher than Mt Barossa; Trinity Hill, Hakatere Station below; Tara Haoa Range, incl Coal Hill & Mt Peel; High Claytons; Sherwood Range, incl Mt Fox; Two Thumbs Range; Harper Range; Mt Guy; Dogs Range; Brother Range; Black Hill Range; Taylor Range; Winterslow Range; Mt Somers Range, Mt Somers coming into view on the right, about half an hour's tramp to the top of Mt Barossa. Canterbury Plains were hazy due to a high pressure system & brown smog over Timaru & Ashburton districts. As Mt Barossa summit ridge was above smog level, Alpine peaks were easily seen, like The Thumbs & D'Archiac.

The DOC track started at the DOC carpark as an easement off Ashburton Gorge Rd. The track went up a middle ridge, gullies & ridges both sides, was well marked with DOC marker poles & occasional cairns near the top. About a third of the way up there were several tors to negotiate, some the track sidled by, some a rocky scramble with scree underfoot. My aluminium walker poles were handy as a kind of zimmer-frame. High summer, many alpine plants bloomed: Bulbinellas, Hebes, Snowberries, Celmisias, Pentachondra pumila, Wahlenbergias, Coral Broom, Spear Grass...

The summit ridge had many big rocks for wind protection & many geode chips, bluish / grey agate, scattered amongst tussock grasses & Dracophyllum shrubs. Where someone had left hammered geode chips lying about, I took one as a paperweight souvenir. More weight in my backpack for my down-climb. My backpack had my usual safety kit, all weather clothes, food, water, maps. There was no cell phone coverage on top of Mt Barossa. I texted Leah on my return to Mt Somers village.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

NZ Covid-19 Updates, Alert Level 2 - Alert Level 1

NZ SuperSeniors email newsletter from Minister for Seniors, Tracey Martin:

The most important things you can do to stay safe at Alert Level 2 are:

* Keep your distance from other people in public.
* If you're sick, stay home. Don't go to work or school. Don't socialise.
* If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get tested.
* Wash your hands, always sneeze or cough into your elbow and regularly disinfect surfaces.
* Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen.

There is a staggered approach to Alert Level 2. As of Thursday 14 May, you have been able to connect to friends and family that were not in your bubble and have them over to your home, but gatherings are limited to up to 10 people, or the people who usually live in your home.

Other changes include:

* You can go in-store at local businesses.
* You can travel between regions.
* Venues such as museums, cinemas, libraries and markets will be open again.
* You can attend gatherings in controlled settings outside of your home such as weddings, funerals, religious services, birthdays, limited to 10 people, for up to 2 hours. [After complaints to PM Ardern, funeral limit soon changed to 50 people].

The next stages of Alert Level 2 are that from Monday 18 May tertiary education facilities, schools & early learning centres will reopen and from Thursday 18 May bars can reopen.

Thurs 14.05 29. I did our weekly shopping run to Temuka New World, hand sanitiser at door, trolley handle sanitised, shoppers, grocery staff & checkout ladies still kept their Covid-19 infection safety distances. For extra protection I sanitised my hands & wore disposable gloves before I entered New World. Bugger face masks! They reminded me of mediaeval masks against the plague. In fact modern medical science was still at plague level regarding Covid-19 protection against infection & no vaccine! The Lotto counter was open for the first time since NZ national lockdown began 7 week ago. Woohoo!

For the first time since lockdown, I returned my 9 lockdown read, library books to Temuka library. (Timaru library closed still for bldg renovation). A lady sat at a desk outside & took my contact tracing details. Library book shelves were stocked as usual for normal borrowing, but all public tables, chairs, computers, games & newspapers had been removed to stop Covid-19 infection.

I went to Temuka Bakery & bought a slice of takeaway quiche for Leah & an apple tart for me to celebrate lockdown end. Only one Maori lady server at a time behind the counter. Rest of staff hid in the kitchen for social distancing. Customer tables & chairs had been reduced in number & distanced further apart for Covid-19 infection protection. Bt the time I left Temuka  for Pleasant Point, my hands had been sanitised 4 times within an hour: My own sanitiser in my car, Temuka Library, Temuka, Bakery, Temuka New World sanitisers at entrance doors. "It's a strange, strange world we live in, master Jack..."

Leah had used lockdown time to do her UC assignment reading & note making, She had been telephone contacted by UC to see how she was going & had a Zoom conference with her lecturer to ask / answer questions. Leah was pleased to hear her UC assignment completion date was postponed due to Covid-19. Leah was not contacted at all by her school principal during national lockdown! But Leah had stayed in email contact with literacy teacher colleagues. She expected to travel to Fairlie to commence literacy teaching there soon.

Due to regional travel restrictions, we couldn't see our sons & their loved ones in Christchurch during lockdown. During international airways lockdown we knew of FB friends / couples affected by lockdowns: Just before lockdown, an old Durban North, Northlands BH friend was stopped in S America from going on an Antarctic photographic tour. He managed to return to SA timeously. Our sister-in-law & her hubby just managed to return from Australia to SA before lockdown. Another SA couple was stuck in Vancouver, Canada, for 3 months odd due to no flights returning to SA. They eventually caught a repat flight, via Frankfort & Moscow, back to SA. An expat couple after returning to Auckland from Australia had to go into 2 weeks' motel quarantine, before NZ lockdown.

An East London, Selbornian Old Boy I'd taught was stuck in Christchurch NZ during lockdown, apartheid for his SA family, as he couldn't get a return flight to SA. Although he'd secured a job at Napier, NZ, during 2 months' lockdown he couldn't get a work visa during lockdown. Post lockdown, he still awaited confirmation of his work visa so he could emigrate his family to NZ. "The mills of god grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." His NZ work visa would eventuate after lockdown on the first day of Alert Level 1, Tues 09.06.20.

Another expat friend was trapped in Texas, USA during lockdown while his expat wife was trapped in UK lockdown. They could only reunite after lockdown restrictions ended. Ditto an expat friend trapped in SA lockdown while his expat family endured NZ lockdown. They could only reunite after lockdown restrictions ended & international  flights resumed.

Day 1. Thurs 14.05.20. Alert Level 2.

Death toll: 21.
NZ has 1497 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1411  have recovered.
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,346,280 cases globally, 297,181 deaths.

Day 2. Fri 15.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1498 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1421 have recovered (95%).
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,438,807 cases globally, 302,288 deaths.

Day 3. Sat 16.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1498 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1428 have recovered.
3 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,532,767 cases globally, 307,143 deaths.

Went to a Geraldine cafe for tea & cake to celebrate our 25 years' NZ residence, our first outing since Covid-19 lockdown ended. Had to sign in at the cafe for contact tracing. Had a walk in Talbot Forest too. Some locals passed by. Most shops still closed, some doing takeaways.

Day 4. Sun 17.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1499 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.
1433 have recovered (96%).
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,627,448 cases globally, 311,409 deaths.

Day 5. Mon 18.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1499 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1433 have recovered (96%).
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,708,412 cases globally, 315,007 deaths.

NZ schools reopened.

TV1 news: Laughable tourism entrepreneur, scruffy, grey haired, Graeme Murray, whined in front of his Dark Sky Project, about lack of overseas tourists at Lake Tekapo, due to Covid-19 lockdown. Seven years ago, after our arrival at Lake Tekapo for Leah to teach there, we asked Graeme about local accommodation. He said he couldn't help us. We found Lake Tekapo accommodation lacking, or overpriced, despite Lake Tekapo village filled with empty holiday homes most of the year. We also found that Lake Tekapo tourism relied on poorly paid tourist workers who averaged 3 months' stay slaving at Lake Tekapo before moving on. Now tourist operators at Lake Tekapo & other tourist resorts, like Queenstown & Rotorua, wanted NZ taxpayers to subsidise their pre Covid-19 greed, after creaming it from overseas tourists for many years. 

Day 6. Tues 19.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1503 Coronavirus cases. (4 Uruguay tested positive back in NZ).
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1442 have recovered.
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,799,895 cases globally, 318,465 deaths.

Day 7. Wed 20.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1503 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1447 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive cafe.
4,890,412 cases globally, 322,845 deaths.

I drove to Lake Tekapo. The lake was the fullest I've seen in 7 years, dam gates open releasing water to Tekapo canal, the first of several canals in Mackenzie Country hydro electric scheme. The Spa & Tahr Bar cafe was closed. Camping ground, few campers. Along the strip, most cafes / restaurants were open for lunch, other businesses closed. I walked out of the Youth Hostel cafe when a lady staff expected me to pay by card. They didn't want my cash. Nuts! I was their only customer. I tore up the ridiculous contact form staff gave me to fill in. In future I would boycott the Youth Hostel cafe, as staff were "friendly" but useless. One didn't even know the current date for their contact form. Much Caucasian female eye-rolling, which I'd also noticed 3 weeks ago at Timaru PostShop, like saving lives via Covid contact forms was too much effort for lazy staff! The Greedy Cow got my lunch custom, with efficient signing in at the door & social distancing at cafe tables by Asian staff. Reflections Restaurant was fire razed & fence cordoned. 4 Square supermarket open. Tekapo School's new bldgs were busy with staff & students back at school. Bldg developments continued in town, incl new flats & housing. Few tourists around. No tourist buses. Lake Tekapo was a microcosm of kaput tourism in NZ due to Coronavirus pandemic.

Day 8. Thurs 21.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1503 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 casses.
1452 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,992,456 cases globally, 328,063 deaths.

Day 9. Fri 22.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1455 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,098,887 cases globally, 332,860 deaths.

Day 10. Sat 23.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1455 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,206,576 cases globally, 338,105 deaths.

Day 11. Sun 24.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1456 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,268,619 cases globally, 340,180 deaths.

Day 12. Mon 25.05.20. Alert Level 2.

No change NZ, Sunday stats, global stats still rising:

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1456 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,402,607 cases globally, 344,981 deaths.

Drove Leah from Pleasant Point Primary to Fairlie for her to teach at St Joseph's School & Fairlie Primary. Bought pies & coffee at Fairlie Bakehouse. Other businesses moving. Fairlie Accessible periodical showed Mackenzie district businesses were trying to attract local tourism. I liked Penny Wilson's ad for a forthcoming Mackenzie Half Marathon & 2 shorter events around Fairlie, a first for locals, max 350 entrants.

Day 13. Tue 26.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
0 new & confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases
1461 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,495,126 cases globally, 346,253 deaths.

Day 14. Wed 27.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
O new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1462 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,585,830 cases globally, 350,401 deaths.

Only 2 known S Island, infectious cases, near Christchurch.

Pre-Covid epidemic, for years I had regularly withdrawn cash from my ANZ bank accounts & personally deposited cash into my sons' ASB & Westpac bank accounts. Routine transactions either by Westpack ATM or ASB desposit by teller. During Covid-19 lockdown Leah had deposited cash into our sons' back accounts by internet banking.

Post lockdown, as usual, I drove to Temuka ANZ, King St, to withdraw cash from my bank account. A security person (seconded Timaru bank teller) intercepted me at the door, advising about hand sanitiser routine & social distancing in the bank. (As if I hadn't done that at supermarkets during lockdown weeks!) As I wanted to withdraw cash, I was told to use an ATM. I told the security person, I didn't use a bank card as I lost them due to my deafness, not hearing the card dropping. As usual, I withdrew cash via the bank teller.

As I had other business in Timaru, I drove to Timaru & deposited cash in Jake's account using a Westpac ATM, Stafford St. Security person at door. No problems.

I crossed Stafford St to do the same cash deposit at ASB for Luke. Pre Covid-19 epidemic, for Luke deposits, I had never used an ASB ATM anywhere in NZ. As I don't have an ASB account, I did my deposits via bank teller as required by ASB. (No deposit box allowed as I didn't have an ASB account). I was obstructed entry at ASB Stafford St door by 2 glowering security persons. Why 2? One security person questioned me outside ASB on the pavement, telling me I could only cash deposit in Luke's ASB account by going to my ANZ bank where my accounts were & transferring cash to Luke's ASB account! Although I was standing at ASB door, ASB didn't want my cash deposit, despite me waving my cash before the security person. ASB lost me as a customer forever.

 I went to ANZ branch Stafford St & on the pavement outside the bank I was confronted by another security person with hand sanitiser & social distancing commands. After hemming & hawing by the security person at the door & a teller inside, I deposited Luke's cash back into my ANZ account & asked the teller to transfer it to Luke's ASB account. What a farce for simple transactions! Due to Covid-19, banks were trying to force customers to do bank transactions by bank card, ATM or internet only. (Since Covid-19, irritating Facebook ads from banks targeted over 60 year olds & pensioners! Never mind facial recognition, card processing which banks were trying to sneak in under Covid-19 fears!) When I left Stafford St ANZ bldg, 3 people were each 2 m social distanced in the queue behind me, 7 people were each 2 m social distanced outside the bank, pavement queue.

Businesses were using Covid-19 fear-factor to do all sorts of annoying social restrictions. Examples: Plethora of Covid-19 inconsistent notices at doors; inconsistent social-contact, sign-in at doors; plethora of coloured circles with instructions, lines & arrows on floors / pavements to guide customers through shops, mostly ignored by customers. Enforced use of only one shop entrance or bank entrance, other entrances blocked. Never mind fire escape routes, filthy door handles & filthy sign-in pens full of bugs from others' pestilential hands. At entrances, there were obstructive security persons, or jobsworths, often wearing masks, impossible to lip read! In future I would boycott those businesses. Banks were the worst. Within a couple of hours, early afternoon in 2 towns, I was obstructed & questioned 3 times at different banks at the door by a jobsworth as to what my business at the bank was: ANZ Kings Street, Temuka; ASB Stafford St, Timaru; ANZ Stafford St, Timaru. What next? Body search at the door before entry? Facial recognition before entry? Those banks have lots to answer for.

Day 15. Thurs 28.05.20. Alert Level 2.

Death toll: 22.
NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1474 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,687,913 cases globally, 355,560 deaths.

S Island allegedly Coronavirus free.

Day 16. Thurs 29.05.20. Alert Level 2.

NZ has 1504 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1481 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
5,800,914 cases globally, 359,775 deaths.

I stopped recording NZ Coronavirus stats after several days of 0 new Covid-19 cases in NZ. But countries like UK, USA, Brazil, SA.... still had a long way to go in quelling Coronavirus infections.

Tues 09.06.20. Alert Level 1 began after no new Covid-19 cases for 18 consecutive days.

Alert Level 1 meant the new normal of Drawbridge NZ, strict border controls to stop Covid-19 re-infection of NZ. Otherwise, Kiwis would continue pre-Covid activities & businesses without overseas tourist hordes polluting NZ with freedom campers & toilet-stop-busloads at tourist-route towns like Geraldine & Lake Tekapo. NZ tourism businesses now sucked up to Kiwi tourists, neglected for decades by overseas tourist pricing at tourist hotspots like Queenstown, Rororua & ski resorts. Overseas tourists were no longer welcome in NZ due to Coronavirus pandemic still claiming thousands of lives beyond NZ borders.

Tues 16.06.20.

After NZ's 24 days' Coronavirus free, 2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases, after 2 women were allowed compassionate entry at Auckland airport, after flying from UK via Brisbane, for a Wellington funeral. They were not tested at their Auckland quarantine hotel before driving to Wellington where they were tested. A border control blunder! TV1 News: PM Jacinda Ardern said compassionate leave to enter NZ would be curtailed. Thence, NZDF would take over Covid-19 border controls & quarantine procedures, which the latest 2 confirmed cases had exposed as wanting.

Thurs 18.06.20.

1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case (Pakistani repat). NZDF had better pull finger & stop the border rot where Covid-19 cases have sneaked into NZ without proper quarantine testing. Otherwise, sacrifices NZ citizens had made over lockdown months would be in vain. As for all those smug, medical management faces seen in the media, incl health minister David Clark & director general Dr Ashley Bloomfield, they'd better pull finger too!

Sat 20.06.20

Death toll: 22.
NZ has 1509 Coronavirus cases (5 new cases this week brought in by slack border controls & slacker hotel quarantines & testing!)
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases (Indian repats).
1482 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
8,518,814 cases globally, 459,383 deaths.

Sun 21.06.20.

Belatedly drove to Christchurch to celebrate our son's April (lockdown) & June birthdays. Had lunch at Lotus Heart vegetarian restaurant, St Asaph St, then drove back to Pleasant Point. Beaut sunset over snowy Alps.

Mon 22.06.20.

NZ has 1513 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases (2 new cases yesterday Sun too). 9 new cases in 5 days from repats / compassionate entries to NZ!
1482 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
8,808,248 cases globally, 467,660 deaths.

NZ slack border contrrols: The 2 week hotel quarantines & inadequate test procedures for repats after flying into NZ from Coronavirus plagued countries were the weak links in PM Jacinda Ardern's team of 5 million Kiwis. Slack bloody medical bureaucrats!

Tues 23.06.20.

NZ has 1515 Coronavirus cases
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1483 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
8,951,528 cases globally, 471,538 deaths.

Extract from an email I sent to my brother's Durban lawyer:

Yes, chaos was created by Covid-19 in NZ, mild compared to SA, but nevertheless causing strife during lockdown & new cases now arriving at NZ borders due to repats arriving from plagued countries, after successful NZ lockdown - 24 days no new Covid-19 cases in NZ, but in the last few days 11 new cases. NZDF has now taken over border controls, as NZ hotel quarantines & testing were slack. NZ overseas tourism & hospitality have been hit hard, Chinese tourism stopped completely, pilots out of work, businesses closed...

Visited our 2 sons last Sunday in Christchurch after our Covid-19 holiday, er lockdown & they are now still working in Christchurch hospitality & joinery... Leah is back teaching, travelling around S Canterbury dealing with learning difficulties, teaching kids & teaching schools' staff & teacher aides how to deal with dyslexia & other learning difficulties...

Wed 24.06.20.

NZ has 1516 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable case.
1483 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
9,116,109 cases globally, 476,895 deaths.

Thurs 25.06.20.

1519 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1484 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
9,283,079 cases globally, 482,088 deaths.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Fri 26.06.20.

1520 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case
1484 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
9,491,913 cases globally, 490,124 deaths.

Sat 27.06.20.

1522 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1484 have recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
9,653,150 cases globally, 493,592 deaths.

Sun 28.06.20.

1526 Coronavirus cases.
4 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1484 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
9,825,601 cases globally, 498,083 deaths.

Mon 29.06.20.

1528 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1484 have recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
9,990,031 cases globally, 501,189 deaths.

Tue 30.06.20.

1528 Coronavirus cases.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1484 recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
10,149,569 cases globally, 504,826 deaths.

Wed 01.07.20.

0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.

Thurs 02.07.20.

David Clark resigned as Minister of Health, due to his lockdown failings, like a bike ride & beach walk & blaming Dr Ashley Bloomfield for post lockdown botch ups, like poor hotel quarantines & slack testing for repats.
Education Minister, Christ Hipkins would become Minister of Health till the next election.

1530 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1490 recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
10,537,653 cases globally, 515,487 deaths.

First week, school holidays, I visited Christchurch for business & to see our sons.

Wed 08.07.20. Meanwhile, 7 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases evolved via repats' testing in quarantine hotels. Distinction Hotel (former Millennium Hotel) Cathedral Sq, Christchurch, would become another quarantine hotel. Near Christchurch Airport, Commodore Hotel would continue to be a quarantine hotel.

TV1 news reported NZ National party functionary, Michelle Boag had disgraced herself by releasing Covid-19 details about patients to a S Island, National Party MP who would resign his post at the next election.

Resumption of Covid-19 stats:

Thurs 09.07.20.

1540 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.
1494 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
11,582,690 cases globally, 537,412 deaths.

Fri 10.07.20.

1542 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1497 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
Global cases moot, same stats as yesterday. NZ Herald stats daft!

Sat 11.07.20.

1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.

Sun 12.07.20.

1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.

Mon 13.07.20.

0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.

Tues 14.07.20.

1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.

Wed 15.07.20.

1547 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1498 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
13,279,992 cases globally, 577,826 deaths.

Due to the continuing Coronavirus pandemic & border dangers, PM Jacinda Ardern announced regional lockdowns, incl apartments, suburbs, cities.

Several deportees from Australia were in Auckland quarantine.

Yesterday Todd Muller, National Party leader (53 day tenure, shortest in NZ history) resigned as National Party leader, for health & family reasons. (Never mind National Party functionary, Michelle Boag, recently resigning due to Covid-19 patient leaks to her lackey, National Party MP, Hamish Walker). Judith (Crusher) Collins became the newest National Party leader. Gerry Brownlee (CERA notoriety) became the newest National Party deputy. The following week sleazy, local National MP, Andrew Falloon, who lived at Pleasant Point, resigned as he was caught sexting young women. Couple of days later, PM Jacinda Ardern sacked a Labour minister, Iain Lees-Galloway for an affair with a staff  member. Irony: PM Jacinda Ardern had a child out of wedlock & lived, unmarried with her partner. NZ sure had screwed up morals. What a farce!

Thurs 16.07.20.

1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.

As so few cases were coming into NZ via borders, only weekly stats follow:

Sun 19.07.20.

1553 Coronavirus cases.
1506 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
14,233,062 cases globally, 600,932 deaths.

Mon 27.07.20.

1556 Coronavirus cases.
1513 recovered.
16,193,011 cases globally, 647,810 deaths.

Mon 03.08.20.

1567 Coronavirus cases.
1518 recovered.
17,962,420 cases globally, 687,036 deaths.

Wed 05.08.20.

Drove from Pleasant Point to Fairlie & Lake Tekapo with a neighbour to climb Mt John. No overseas tourists, just locals. Fairlie & Lake Tekapo quiet. Mt John observatories closed for visitors, hilltop carpark empty, cafe closed, first time I'd seen it closed in 7 years living / travelling in Mackenzie Country. Alps still snowy, Round Hill & Mt Dobson ski fields going OK with Kiwi skiers. Ski Shack open at Fairlie. Brashear Telescope bldg & cafe still closed at Lake Tekapo. Funny, locals not complaining about freedom campers anymore.

Mon 10.08.20.

1569 Coronavirus cases.
1526 recovered.
19,770,142 cases globally, 729,357 deaths.

Drove from Pleasant Point to Fairlie as usual for Leah's teaching work. Flavour of the week: Kiwis must now wear masks as a Coronavirus precaution. An about-turn by Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who also had his phot op, Covid-19 test done - negative.

Tues 11.08.20.

9.15 pm Emergency Press Conference: PM Jacinda Ardern announced after 102 days Coronavirus free, there were 4 confirmed Covid-19 cases in 1 Auckland family, acquired from an unknown source. The cases were not in managed facilities like hotels.

Auckland to go into Alert Level 3 restrictions from noon tomorrow, Wednesday, until midnight Friday.

Rest of NZ to Alert Level 2.

Wed 12.08.20.

4 pm Press Conference, PM Jacinda Ardern & Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield:

Auckland now at Alert Level 3.
Rest of NZ at Alert Level 2.
1 new Covid-19 case in managed isolation facility.
4 probable cases linked to yesterday's Auckland family. 4 family members had travelled to Rotorua. A woman in her 20s had travelled to Rotorua in the weekend, while symptomatic.
Testing stations at Auckland & Rotorua. Aucklanders encouraged to wear masks.
200 close contacts identified, 100 spoken to by contact staff. Contacts must remain isolated at home until contacted by tracing staff.
Police established Auckland exit checkpoints: 5 N of Auckland, 4 to S.
Anyone connected to Auckland businesses Americold or Finance Now must isolate at home for 14 days (Ordered by Dr Ashley Bloomfield).
Mandatory for businesses to display Covid Tracer or codes.

1579 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
20,219,534 cases globally, 740,240 deaths.

Thurs 13.08.20.

I drove to Temuka Library & had a pie & coffee lunch at Temuka Bakery. Both places were in hand sanitiser, sign-in-sign-out, keep your distance mode. Library allowed only 15 mins access, no jigsaw puzzle play, no newspaper reading, no computer use. Leah went to Timaru teaching work as usual.

1589 Coronavirus cases.
10 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases (Daily numbers varied, more or less, depending on media sources. I stuck to NZ Herald source for consistency. e.g TV1 news trumpeted 13 new cases).
1531 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
20,466,960 cases globally, 745,887 deaths.

Fri 14.08.20.

Auckland to remain at Alert Level 3 for 12 days.
The rest of NZ remains at Alert Level 2.
Alert Levels to remain till 26 August midnight.
PM: "Nothing suggests we need to move to Alert Level 4."
Wage subsidy scheme will be extended.

1602 Coronavirus cases.
13 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
20,751,490 cases globally, 752,189 deaths.

Timaru, Bank St / Stafford St: Bank St pub, fish & chips lunch. Timaru Library, exchanged books. Both places had hand sanitisers & sign in / out paperwork to be done. I lost my prescription dark glasses en route. Retracked, glasses not found. Bugger!

Sat 15.08.20.

1609 Coronavirus cases.
7 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
1 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
21,056,857 cases globally, 762,293 deaths.

Sun 16.08.20.

Had lunch at Geraldine's Q Food Cafe, revamped Central Cafe, Talbot St. Although at Alert Level 2, Q Food Cafe had no hand sanitising & no in / out signing for contact checking. There was just a Covid Tracer app notice on the front door, now compulsory for NZ businesses during the pandemic. They lost me as a customer for good. Q Food Cafe was on the main Christchurch - Queenstown tourist route. In contrast, the Running Duck cafe up the road had hand sanitiser & signing in routine at the door. And Q Food Cafe was opp the local cop shop. I watched 2 female cops, impress a mom & her 2 boys at the cop shop with flashing cop car lights & the boys trying on cop caps & the boys clambering into the cop car. Precious for mom & boys. But the 2 female cops must be the 2 most unobservant cops in the universe!

1622 Coronavirus cases.
13 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
3 in hospital.

Mon 17.08.20.

PM: Due to Coronavirus pandemic disruptions, NZ Election date postponed to 17.10.20.

1631 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
5 in hospital.
21,598,902 cases globally, 773,934 deaths.

Tues 18.08.20.

1644 Coronavirus cases.
13 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
6 in hospital.
21,809,182 cases globally, 772,479 deaths. [NZ Herald death stats don't tally last few days!]

Wed 19.08.20.

1649 Coronavirus cases
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
5 in hospital.
22,046,141 cases globally, 778,557 deaths.

Thurs 20.08.20.

1654 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1531 recovered.
6 in hospital.
22,262,951 cases globally, 784,107 deaths.

Fri 21.08.20.

1665 Coronavirus cases.
11 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1538 recovered.
8 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
22,539,986 cases globally, 790,515 deaths.

Sat 22.08.20.

1671 Coronavirus cases.
6 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1538 recovered.
9 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
22,858,348 cases globally, 797,248 deaths.

Sun 23.08.20.

1674 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1538 recovered.
9 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
23,130,348 cases globally, 803,397 deaths.

Mon 24.08.20.

PM: Auckland to continue at Alert Level 3 till midnight, Sunday 30.08.20. Alert Level 2 may phase in next week.
Rest of NZ to continue at Alert Level 2.
Masks must be worn on all public transport.

1683 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1538 recovered.
10 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
23,342,807 cases globally, 807,134 deaths.

Tues 25.08.20.

1690 Coronavirus cases.
7 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1539 recovered.
8 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
23,571,091 cases globally, 811,748 deaths.

Wed 26.08.20.

1695 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1539 recovered.
10 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
23,811,268 cases globally, 817,310 deaths.

Thurs 27.08.20.

1702 Coronavirus cases.
7 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1554 recovered.
10 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
24,032,135 cases globally, 822,480 deaths.

Christchurch Al Noor Mosque & Linwood Mosque terrorist, killer of 51 Muslims at Friday prayers, 15 March 2019, Australian, Brenton Tarrant, sentenced to life without parole, Christchurch High Court, Tuam St.

PM Jacinda Ardern exclaimed that Brenton Tarrant deserved a "lifetime of complete & utter silence." Oh dear Jacinda! Deaf people live in silence!

Fri 28.08.20.

1714 Coronavirus cases.
12 new confirmed & probable C-19 cases.
1561 recovered.
11 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
24,350,238 cases globally, 829,338 deaths.

Sat 29.08.20.

1727 Coronavirus cases.
13 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1568 recovered.
11 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
24,637,488 cases globally, 835,092 deaths.

Mon 31 August: Alert Level 2, whole of NZ. Masks mandatory on all public transport.

Sun 30.08.20.

1729 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.

Mon 31.08.20.

1738 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1585 recovered.
11 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
25,127,306 cases globally, 844,695 deaths.

NZ Labour govt stats creeping up daily with dazzling jargon like "epidemiologically" & "genomically," camouflaging rotten border controls, keeping testers & hotel quarantine security busy!

Face masks compulsory on public transport from today.

Tues 01.09.20.

1752 Coronavirus cases.
14 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1598 recovered.
10 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
25,398,633 cases globally, 849,031 deaths.

First day of spring, big snowfall over S Canterbury, incl about 2 cm at Pleasant Point.

Wed 02.09.20.

1757 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1606 recovered.
7 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
25,650,806 cases globally, 854,596 deaths.

Thurs 03.09.20.

1759 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
7 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.

Fri 04.09.20.

1764 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1630 recovered.
6 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
26,201,287 cases globally, 866,671 deaths.

10 year anniversary of the 7.1 mag Darfield quake which caused so much damage in Christchurch & nearby towns. Some EQC cases & Fletcher botched repair cases still incomplete. Christchurch rebuild still a long way to go. RC, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St, beginning to be demolished after years of dereliction.

Sat 05.09.20.

Death toll 24. 
2 deaths.
1767 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1631 recovered.
2 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
26,510,883 cases globally, 872,570 deaths.

Sun 06.09.20.

1772 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
4 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.

Mon 07.09.20.

1776 Coronavirus cases.
4 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1634 recovered.
4 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
26,981,759 cases globally, 881,325 deaths.

Tue 08.09.20.

1782 Coronavirus cases.
6 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1635 recovered.
4 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
27,249,314 cases globally, 890,971 deaths.

Wed 09.09.20.

1788 Coronavirus cases.
6 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1639 recovered.
4 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
27,454,719 cases globally, 894,830 deaths.

Thurs 10.09.20.

1792 Coronavirus cases.
4 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1648 recovered.
3 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
27,719,956 cases globally, 901,050 deaths.

Sun 13.09.20.

1797 Coronavirus cases.
1676 recovered.
3 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
28,643,104 cases globally, 918,352 deaths.

Mon 14.09.20.

1798 Coronavirus cases.
1 confirmed / probable Covid-19 case.
1678 recovered.
3 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
28,884,554 cases globally, 922,212 deaths.

Tues 15.09.20.

1801 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1694 recovered.
3 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
29,190,588 cases globally, 927,245 deaths.

Wed 16.09.20.

Death toll 25.
1802 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed / probable Covid-19 case.
1698 recovered.
3 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
29,425,573 cases globally, 931,455 deaths.

Wed 17.09.20.

1809 Coronavirus cases.
7 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1707 recovered.
4 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
29,743,413 cases globally, 938,820 deaths.

Weekend in Christchurch: Son Luke, first in our family to have a Covid-19 test, as he had a common cold. He said it was impossible to stop tears flowing due to the swab thrust deep up his nose. Eina!

Mon 21.09.20.

1815 Coronavirus cases.
1728 recovered.
3 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
30,911,999 cases globally, 959,059 deaths.

Auckland to go into Alert Level 2. Rest of NZ, Alert level 1.

Wed 23.09.20.

1824 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1737 recovered.
3 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
31,478,396 cases globally, 968,600 deaths.

Thurs 24.09.20.

1827 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1737 recovered.
3 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
31,783,110 cases globally, 975,038 deaths.

Fri 25.09.20.

1829 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1744 recovered.
3 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
32,096,092 cases globally, 980,339 deaths.

Sat 26.09.20.

1831 Coronavirus cases.
2 new & probable Covid-19 cases.
1745 recovered.
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
32,457,328 cases globally, 987,036 deaths.

Mon 05.10.20.

25 deaths.
1855 Coronavirus cases.
1790 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
35,058,283 cases globally, 1,035,452 deaths.

2 days ago, USA president Trump, positive for Covid-19.
Next Wed, Auckland, Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1, same as the rest of NZ.

Tues 13.10.20.

1871 Coronavirus cases.
1801 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

17 days since the last Community Covid-19 case in NZ.

Mon 19.10.20.

1886 Coronavirus cases.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
39,671,447 cases globally, 1,109,838 deaths.

Covid 19 election: Jacinda Ardern's Labour party: Landslide victory over National & other parties, majority "red tide" Labour MPs to govern NZ without any coalition parties. National's Gerry Brownlee booted out of Christchurch Ilam constituency which he'd hogged since 1996.

Tues 27.10.20.

1941 Coronavirus cases. (Numbers increased due to many Russian fishermen arriving on flights to NZ, then quarantined in hotels like Sudima Hotel, Christchurch).
1848 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

Mon 02.11.20.

1963 Coronavirus cases.
1857 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

www.covid19.govt.nz

Mon 09.11.20.

1986 Coronavirus cases.
1901 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

Mon 16.11.20.

2001 Coronavirus cases.
1918 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

Tue 24.11.20.

2032 Coronavirus cases.
1954 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

Wed 09.12.20.

2089 Coronavirus cases.
2009 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
68,131,044 cases globally, 1,554,768 deaths.

Fri 18.12.20.

2110 Coronavirus cases.
2034 recovered.
0 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.

Sun 14.02.21. Valentine's Day.

PM Jacinda Ardern announced a 3 day return to Auckland, Alert Level 3, due to an Auckland family of 3 testing positive for Covid-19. Before testing positive the family had moved around N Island a lot from Auckland. The rest of the country would go to Alert Level 2 for 3 days. Dr Ashley Bloomfield did not know to date how the family was infected, possibly when one family member worked at an airline catering firm.

Tues 16.02.21.

26 deaths.
46 confirmed & probable cases.
3 community cases.
2337 cases.
2265 recovered.

Wed 17.02.21.

69 [?] confirmed & probable cases.
6 community cases.
2340 total cases.
2265 recovered.
0 in hospital.

Fri 19.02.21.

50 confirmed & probable cases.
7 community cases.
2348 total cases.
2272 recovered.
0 in hospital.

Covid-19 vaccinations to begin: Border, isolation, quarantine staff & associates to be vaccinated first, a long process... Public were brainwashed by NZ national TV news over the last month showing daily media releases by govt officials & many pics of nurses vaccinating people, sharp needle into the upper arm. Never mind those allergic to vaccinations. A grand international experiment, billions of guinea pigs, hoping international vaccinations would succeed. No knowledge of side effects nor long term effects of vaccinations yet.

Tues 23.02.21.

60 confirmed & probable cases.
9 community cases.
2363 total cases.
2277 recovered.
0 in hospital.

Thurs 25.02.21.

65 confirmed & probable cases.
11 community cases.
2368 total cases.
2277 recovered.
0 in hospital.

Sat 27.02.21.

PM Jacinda Ardern announced an increase of Alert Levels with effect from 6am, Sun 28.02.21: Auckland to Alert Level 3, the rest of NZ to Alert Level 2 for 7 days. Reason: An older sibling of a Papatoetoe High School student was infected, a new community case who had started symptoms on Tuesday, 23.02.21, potentially infectious from 21.02.21 & had wandered Auckland businesses like Burger King & Pak 'n Save, potentially infecting others. Grant Robertson, Deputy PM announced that the wage subsidy would exist during increased Alert Levels.

Mon 01.03.21.

65 confirmed & probable cases.
12 community cases.
2378 total cases.
2285 recovered.
0 in hospital.

Fri 05.03.21.

3 big quakes, Kermadec Islands region: M7.1, M7.4, M8.1. Tsunami warnings. (See GeoNet)

68 confirmed & probable cases.
9 community cases.
2389 total cases.
2295 recovered.
0 in hospital.

PM Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland would go down to Alert Level 2 on Sunday 07.03.21 at 6am. The rest of NZ to Alert Level 1.

Monday, April 27, 2020

NZ Covid-19 Updates, Alert Level 3, NZ National State of Emergency

NZ SuperSeniors email newsletter from NZ Minister for Seniors, Tracey Martin:

Alert Level 3 means that:

* Public venues such as libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds, markets will still be closed.
* Children should learn at home if possible, but schools (years 1 to 10) and Early Childhood Education centres can safely open.
* Businesses can open for delivery and contactless pre-ordered pickup, but customers will not be able to enter stores.
* People must still work from home unless that is impossible.
* Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. [Maori ceremony for mourning]. Physical distancing and public health measures must be maintained.
* Healthcare services will be virtual, non-contact consultations where possible.
* Inter-regional travel will still be highly limited (e.g. for essential workers with limited exemptions for others).

For more information on Covid-19 go to www.covid19.govt.nz

Alert Level 3. (Sources: TV1 news, NZ Herald.)

Day 1. Tue 28.04.20. Alert Level 3.

Death toll: 19. [Stats carried over from Alert Level 4].
NZ has 1472 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1214 have recovered (82%).
9 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
3,094,095 cases globally, 215,445 deaths.

Dr. Bloomfield: "Elimination is not a point in time." [Hasn't a clue how long the Covid-19 pandemic will last. Hopefully ends when a Covid-19 vaccine eventuates.]

PM Ardern: "At Alert Level 3 we are not out of the woods." [Ditto. Clueless.]
"Any bubble extension must be small."
"Around 1 million Kiwis working."
"Real need for jobs in the community."
Govt commits more resources to help jobless.

Social Development Minister Sepuloni: "Unemployment will rise before it improves." [Eina!]

Day 2. Wed 29.04.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1474 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1229 have recovered.
6 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,113,927 cases globally, 216,973 deaths.

Day 3. Thurs 30.04.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1476 Coronavirus cases. [Stat adjusted].
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1241 have recovered.
7 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,190,011 cases globally, 227,352 deaths.

PM Ardern: Tax changes fast tracked through parliament.
Any bubble extension must be small.
New Zealanders urged to continue work & learning from home if possible.

Day 4. Fri 01.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1479 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1252 have recovered. (85%).
6 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,253,996 cases globally, 233,241 deaths.

NZ Finance minister, Grant Robertson: Interest free loans now available to small businesses.
Don't be an idiot, stick to your bubble! [Referring to party organizers].

Day 5. Sat 02.05.20. Alert Level 3.

Death toll: 20.
NZ has 1485 Coronavirus cases.
6 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1263 have recovered.
5 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,340,582 cases globally, 238,365 deaths.

Day 6. Sun 03.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1487 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1266 have recovered.
8 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,423,521 cases globally, 243,658 deaths.

Day 7. Mon 04.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1487 Coronavirus cases.
O new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases. [Woohoo!]
1276 have recovered (86%).
4 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,506,189 cases globally, 247,457 deaths.

Dr Bloomfield: We need to maintain discipline & be vigilant.
PM Ardern: Stay the course.
Alert Level 2 decisions to be made next Monday
Will speak to Australia's cabinet tomorrow.
Discussions to focus on 'Trans Tasman Bubble."

Day 8. Tue 05.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1486 Coronavirus cases. (Stat adjusted).
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases. [2nd day clear].
1302 have recovered (88%).
4 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,579,512 cases globally, 251,349 deaths.

Dr Bloomfield: We must stick to the plan.

Day 9. Wed 06.05.20. Alert Level 3

Death toll: 21.
NZ has 1488 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1316 have recovered (88%).
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,659,026 cases globally, 256,913 deaths.

Dr Bloomfield: Stick to the rules around Alert Level 3.

Day 10. Thurs 07.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1489 Coronavirus cases.
1 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 case.
1332 have recovered (89%).
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,750,335 cases globally, 263,330 deaths.

PM Ardern's advice about Alert Level 2 to come:

Play it safe
If you are sick please stay at home.
Public Health measures remain unchanged.
Keep 2 m distance from strangers. Keep physical distancing.
Businesses can restart for staff & customers.
Hairdressers can re-open.
Cafes, restaurants can re-open with strict safety measures.
3 S's: Seated, separate & single server. Covid-19 loves crowds.
Indoor, outdoor restaurants limited to 100 people max.
Professional sport can resume without crowds.
You no longer need to stick to your bubble. Can see family & friends again. No parties.
You will be allowed to move around the country again.
Education: Distance learning available.
Schools will re-open at beginning of a week, not midweek.

Day 11. Fri 08.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1490 Coronavirus cases. (Stat adjusted).
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1347 have recovered (90%).
3 in hospital, 0 intensive care.
3,841,997 cases globally, 269,251 deaths.

Day 12. Sat 09.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ Has 1492 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1368 have recovered (92%).
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
3,935,095 cases globally, 274,639 deaths.

Day 13. Sun 10.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1494 Coronavirus cases.
2 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1371 have recovered.
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,022,804 cases globally, 279,291 deaths.

Day 14. Mon 11.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1497 Coronavirus cases.
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1386 have recovered.
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,100,328 cases globally, 282,678 deaths.

PM Ardern:

NZ will move to Alert Level 2 from Thursday.
It will be a staggered approach.
Retail, cinemas, playgrounds & gyms can reopen.
Schools to reopen Monday 18th May.
Bars can reopen Thursday 21st May.
Social gatherings limited to 10 people.
People can begin to move around New Zealand.
Please be vigilant at Level 2.
Keep it small, keep your distance & be kind.

Day 15. Tue 12.05.20. Alert Level 3.

NZ has 1497 Coronavirus cases.
O new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1398 have recovered (93%)
2 in hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,173,916 cases globally, 285,929 deaths.

Day 16. Wed 13.05.20. Alert Level 3 (Last day).

Death toll: 21. Unhanged for a week.
NZ Has 1497 Coronavirus cases. Unchanged for 3 days.
0 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases. Unchanged for 2 days.
1402 have recovered (94%).
2 hospital, 0 in intensive care.
4,258,520 cases globally, 291 827 deaths.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Epidemic Stats.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

NZ Covid-19 Updates, Alert Level 4, NZ National State of Emergency

Day 1. Thurs 26.03.20. Start of NZ National State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus, Covid-19. Alert Level 4.

NZ National State of Emergency, Coronavirus updates from One News & NZ Herald. Updates mostly by NZ Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, 1 pm media releases: 

Day 2. Fri 27.03.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 368 cases Coronavirus cases.
85 new Covid-19 cases.
8 in hospital, 1 in intensive care

Day 3. Sat 28.03.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 451 Coronavirus cases.
83 new Covid-19 cases.
12 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.

Day 4. Sun 29.03.20. Alert Level 4.

1st fatality to Covid-19.
NZ has 514 Coronavirus cases.
63 new Covid-19 cases.
56 people have recovered.
9 hospital with Covid-19.

Day 5. Mon 30.03.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 589 Coronavirus cases.
75 new Covid-19 cases.
63 people have recovered.
7 Covid-19 Clusters nationwide.
NZ Police Commissioner, Mike Bush said that a new dobbing in form was available online for public to dob in level 4 restriction breaches.

Day 6. Tue 31.03.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 647 Coronavirus cases.
58 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
74 people have recovered.
14 in hospital with Covid-19.
Modelling Forecast, Worst Case Scenario:
28000 Kiwis could die of Covid-19.
36000 could be in intensive care.
Best Case Scenario:
100 people could die, 80-90% deaths in 60-70+ age group.
So far, the lockdown meant a national state of emergency for a month with cops monitored dobbing in; home detention (self isolation); cops, Civil Defence, doctors & jobsworths ordering others around!
855,000 cases globally, 42,000 deaths.

Day 7. Wed 01.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 708 Coronavirus cases.
61 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
82 people have recovered.
14 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.

Day 8. Thurs 02.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 797 Coronavirus cases.
89 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
92 people have recovered.
13 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
932,694 cases globally, 46,809 deaths.

Day 9. Fri 03.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 868 Coronavirus cases.
71 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
103 people have recovered.
13 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
1,026,240 cases globally, 53,921 deaths.

Why were NZ GPs not doing Coronavirus testing?
Why were NZ GPs not doing tests to see if people had recovered from Coronavirus infections?

NZ daily news gave tallies of how many Covid-19 tests were done daily, but those tests were referred by GPs to testing stations with people getting the run around: Hello, goodbye, come back, voetsak!

Day 10. Sat 04.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 950 Coronavirus cases.
82 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
127 people have recovered.
10 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
1,095,265 cases globally, 58,773 deaths.

Day 11. Sun 05.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1039 Coronavirus cases.
89 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
156 people have recovered.
15 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
1,196,760 cases globally, 64,592 deaths.

Day 12. Mon 06.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1106 Coronavirus cases.
67 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
176 people have recovered.
13 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
1,273,127 cases globally, 69,405 deaths.

Day 13. Tue 07.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1160 Coronavirus cases.
54 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
241 people have recovered.
12 hospital, 4 in intensive care.
1,347,894 cases globally, 74,820 deaths.

Day 14. Wed 08.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1210 Coronavirus cases.
50 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases .
282 people have recovered.
12 in hospital, 4 in intensive care.
1,427,744 cases globally, 82,006 deaths.

Day 15. Thurs 09.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1239 Coronavirus cases.
29 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
317 people have recovered.
14 in hospital, 4 in intensive care.
1,484,077 cases globally, 88,524 deaths.

Day 16. Fri 10.04.20. Alert Level 4.

2nd fatality to Covid-19.
NZ has 1283 Coronavirus cases.
44 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
373 people have recovered.
16 in hospital, 4 in intensive care.
1,611,912 cases globally, 96,773 deaths.

Day 17. Sat 11.04.20. Alert Level 4.

2 more fatalities to Covid-19. Death toll: 4.
NZ has 1312 Coronavirus cases.
29 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
422 people have recovered.
15 in hospital, 5 in intensive care.
13 significant virus clusters across NZ.
1,708,280 cases globally, 103,522 deaths.

Day 18. Sun 12.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1330 Coronavirus cases.
18 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
471 people have recovered.
14 in hospital, 5 in intensive care.
If lockdown ends on 29 April, some students will be allowed back to reopened schools then.
1,772,642 cases globally, 108,688 deaths.

Day 19. Mon 13.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 5.
NZ has 1349 Coronavirus cases.
19 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
546 people have recovered.
15 in hospital, 4 in intensive care.
15 clusters above a threshold of 10 cases, incl a wedding, a school, several rest homes.
1,859,277 cases globally, 114,970 deaths.

Day 20. Tue 14.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 9.
NZ has 1366 Coronavirus cases.
17 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
628 people have recovered.
15 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
1,919,179 cases globally, 119,652 deaths.

Day 21. Wed 15.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1386 Coronavirus cases.
20 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
728 people have recovered.
13 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
16 significant clusters.
NZ Chief Ombudsman to review Aged Care sector.
1,979,269 cases globally, 126,543 deaths.

Day 22. Thurs 16.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1401 Coronavirus cases.
15 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
770 have recovered.
12 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
2,061,751 cases globally, 136,894 deaths.

PM Ardern's advice about incipient Alert level 3, date / timing to be announced next Monday, 20.04.20:

* Alert Level 3, "Stay Home. Save Lives."
* At Level 3 you can extend your Bubble group.
* Business moves from Essential Services only to Safe Services.
* Continue to work from home if you can.
* Bars, restaurants, cafes will remain closed. [Son Jake will lose his wage subsided job. Again! He'd lost his hospitality job during the 2011 Christchurch quakes].
* Early Childhood Centres and schools open for students up to year 10. [Students' option: Stay at home for home schooling, or go to school. Incipient chaos! As Resource Teacher Literacy, Leah who daily travels to primary schools in South Canterbury, a vast area, would be especially vulnerable to Covid-19 infection! Primary school teachers on the front line again, deja vu Canterbury quakes' states of emergencies].

Day 23. Fri 17.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 11.
NZ has 1409 Coronavirus cases.
8 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
816 have recovered.
14 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
2,171,297 cases globally, 146,186 deaths.

Day 24. Sat 18.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1422 Coronavirus cases.
13 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
867 have recovered.
20 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
2,242,147 cases globally, 154,127 deaths.

Day 25. Sun 19.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 12.
NZ has 1431 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
912 have recovered.
18 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
2,317,034 cases globally, 159,496 deaths.

Day 26. Mon 20.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1440 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
974 have recovered.
14 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
86,305 tests have been processed
2,402,064 cases globally, 165,139 deaths.

Nationwide State of  Emergency continues.
Alert Level 4 to end in 1 week.
Thereafter Alert Level 3 to last 2 weeks.
Alert Level 3 to be reviewed after 2 weeks.
Businesses can prepare for Level 3 this week.
In Level 3, continue to work & learn from home if you can.
Schools to reopen April 29.
Police will remain highly visible in Level 3.

Day 27. Tue 21.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 13.
NZ has 1445 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1006 have recovered.
12 in hospital, 3 in intensive care.
2,539,819 cases globally, 175,432 deaths.

* Schools reopen for Teacher Day only 28 April. [Schools will become child minders while parents go to work & schools will be incubators of Covid-19. Impossible for infants to stay in their bubbles at school, so teachers will have to pick up kids to separate them. Schools will be experimental death traps, like cruise ships & rest homes].
* Distance learning for at least another 3 weeks.

Day 28. Wed 22.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 14.
NZ has 1451 Coronavirus cases.
6 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1036 have recovered.
11 in hospital, 2 in intensive care.
2,613,306 cases globally, 181,969 deaths.

Day 29. Thurs 23.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 16.
NZ has 1451 Coronavirus cases. [Adjusted total, same as yesterday due to 3 Kiwis returned from overseas being on overseas Covid-19 positive test lists].
3 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1065 have recovered.
8 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
2,626,909 cases globally, 183,322 deaths.

Some hunting allowed at Alert Level 3.
PM calls for Kiwis to "Stand at Dawn" [6 am] on Anzac Day [Jake's birthday. We were unable to drive to Christchurch to celebrate with Jake, due to lockdown, regional travel restrictions! Despite NZ govt wage subsidies during lockdown, both our sons' jobs (in hospitality & joinery) were in jeopardy, due to Alert Level 4 & Alert Level 3 lockdown restrictions. While in lockdown, Leah got on with her UC Literacy studies & kept in touch with Resource Teacher Literacy colleagues via email.]

Day 30. Fri 24.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 17. [Problem with death stats: Drs disguise death stats with "underlying health conditions." What kills the person, Covid-19 or "underlying health conditions?"]
NZ has 1456 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1095 have recovered.
8 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
2,765,890 cases globally, 194,440 deaths.

Day 31. Sat 25.04.20. Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 18.
NZ has 1461 Coronavirus cases.
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1118 have recovered.
7 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
2,790,270 cases globally, 195,905 deaths.

Day 32. Sun 26.04.20. Alert Level 4.

NZ has 1470 Coronavirus cases.
9 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1142 have recovered.
7 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
2,893,017 cases globally, 202,652 deaths.

Day 33. Mon 27.04.20. Last day Alert Level 4.

Death toll: 19.
NZ has 1469 Coronavirus cases. (Total adjusted again).
5 new confirmed & probable Covid-19 cases.
1180 have recovered.
7 in hospital, 1 in intensive care.
3,017,073 cases globally, 209,645 deaths.
Alert level 3 to be reviewed after 2 weeks.

Alert Level 3 starts tomorrow, Tue 28.04.20.

During Alert Level 4, 5+ weeks, when necessary, we walked to our local 4 Square supermarket to shop & I drove either to Temuka or Timaru once a week to shop at New World or Pak 'n Save, 30 km return, 40 km return respectively. I put on weight, as I only did gardening & short walks, like around Pleasant Point golf course. I did too much TV viewing, Netflix, word puzzles, reading, Facebook & Googling. I missed visiting our sons at Christchurch, browsing at libraries, Temuka Bakery coffee & pie lunches, my longer 8-10 km weekly walks on Pleasant Point back roads & occasional mountain climbs. Mt Barossa would have to wait till post Covid-19 saga.

Leah got used to paying bills via internet & I got used to shopping, donning rubber gloves & slathering sanitiser on my hands before shopping. Leah once had printer ink phone-delivered to our home & paid by internet. Leah's salary was still paid into her bank account & we made ATM cash withdrawals. My NZ Superannuation payments were still paid by Winz into my bank account, so I continued to help our sons financially via internet deposits into their bank accounts. Our electricity bill increased due to our increased Covid-19 electricity use. That was offset by a 22.04.20 Winz Letter saying: "The goverrnment has decided to double the Winter Energy Payment for 2020"  A small increase which no way paid for all the winter firewood we used.

We thought TV1, 7 Sharp presenters stupid touting fast food purchases, during Alert Level 3, obesity pandemic pending. That would increase vehicle congestion outside fast food outlets & congregate people. We awaited a Covid-19 vaccine with bated breath.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See NZ Police, online form for public to report Level 4 restriction breaches. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

NZ Covid-19 Coronavirus. NZ Window of Opportunity, Lockdown, World Apartheid

Mon morn, 23.03.20. As Leah had a cold, her Timaru boss told her not to visit S Canterbury schools for a week, due to danger of Covid-19 Coronavirus infection. A Geraldine primary school had already cancelled Leah's school visits until further notice.

Afternoon: After doing Temuka business, I went for my weekly pie, berry tart & coffee at Temuka Bakery, locals scoffing & chatting at tables as usual, no 2 m separations for potential Covid-19 infections, simply because the cafe furniture was too close. I drove up King St to shop at New World supermarket, busiest I'd seen it in 3 years, carpark full. The word was out about a Covid-19 national lockdown.

Back home at Pleasant Point, TV1 Press Conference, I watched PM Jacinda Ardern warning about incipient Covid-19 lockdown within 48 h, saying, "a window of opportunity..." Having survived states of emergencies during SA apartheid, 1980s - early 90s & more recently Christchurch NZ quakes, states of emergencies, 2010-11, after 4 pm, I drove to Christchurch to deliver cash, groceries, books & games to son Luke, his partner, family & dogs to ease their survival, during national lockdown. Luke told me Christchurch schools had already closed that day, indefinitely... Luke's joinery boss had already applied for a NZ govt subsidy to cover Luke's salary for two weeks. After that, anyone's guess?

Returning to Pleasant Point, I stopped for a snack at Rolleston McDonald's. I was the only customer in the mostly locked cafe, getting out of my car to personally order a takeaway. Big time social distancing. Other customers drove the drive-through to buy takeaways, causing a traffic jam outside McDonald's. A McDonald's staffer asked me to sign a register, if I needed to be tracked, just in case. Only one other customer that afternoon had signed the register in the building - mostly staff inside, behind locked doors. After Rakaia, I drove through a storm back to Pleasant Point, arriving home after 9 pm.

Tues 24.03.20. TV1 Breakfast News, Covid-19 Coronavirus Headlines:

Covid-19: 350 thousand confirmed cases worldwide.

Covid-19: 15 000 dead and 100 000 recovered globally.

Covid-19: Jacinda Ardern says "Shop Normal. Do Not Panic."

Covid-19: WHO says the pandemic is escalating.

Covid-19: Trump to deploy National Guard to fight virus.

Covid-19: NZ is now at Alert level 3.

Covid-19: Entering Alert level 4 at 11.59 pm Wednesday.

Covid-19: Country prepares for 4 week lockdown.

Covid 19: NRL: The season has been suspended.

More TV1 Breakfast TV Headlines:

* Education: 4 week lockdown from today.

* Deaths in Italy decrease for second day in a row.

* 10C Member: Games will be postponed.

* Covid-19 Alert level 3.

* Physical distancing of 2 m is recommended outside your homes. [Wishful thinking].

* Access to essential services (supermarkets, pharmacies) remain open. [Shopped at Timaru Bin Inn. Owner wasn't sure how long the shop would be allowed to stay open. Next door Gym already closed].

* Travel restrictions between regions will be put in place. [I expected to see roadblocks & cordons manned by Civil Defence, cops & NZDF soldiers. N Cape Maori already wanted roadblocks to block tourists spreading Coronavirus in E Cape. W Coasters wanted W Coast to be Coronavirus free...]

* All schools will close from Tues 24 March. [Easter Holidays brought forward. University of Canterbury, only online lectures / tutorials available].

Funny how NZ govt & other govts avoided the terms, State of Emergency, Martial Law, home detention. The tiny Coronavirus & govts had already caused world apartheid - medical crises & age discriminations, quarantines / self isolations, border closures, flight & cruise cancellations, social distancing, lockdowns, travel restrictions, restricted access, education stoppages, sports restrictions, economic restrictions, worship restrictions, public venues closed / restricted, military interventions.

Wed 25.03.20. PM Jacinda Ardern announced a National State of Emergency, minimum 30 day lockdown, to be reviewed, sneaked in after days of lockdown softening up propaganda, starting Thurs 26.03.20, with all the bells & whistles of stroppy cops & bossy, "essential" shopkeepers enforcing one-person-at-a-time into shops, with taped lines on shop floors keeping customers away from masked shopkeepers wearing rubber gloves to avoid the dreaded Coronavirus. Deja Vu: We'd already survived a National State of Emergency with all its officiousness during the 2011 Canterbury quakes. BTW: If you ever visited Pleasant Point, avoid On The Spot dairy by SH8 opp the railway station. The female shopkeeper, controller of the local campsite, was a rude, obnoxious bully.

Thurs 26.03.20. Pleasant Point, a microcosm of the rest of NZ in lockdown: Dog walkers galore, SH8 quiet, house curtains twitching, 2 petrol garages open, On The Spot dairy, 4 Square supermarket, Health Centre, Veterinary Surgery open. Other shops, library, swimming pool closed, classed "non essential." Despite the show of force by NZ police, 2 cops sniffing around Pleasant Point in their cop cars on Thursday morn, Day 1 of the National State of Emergency, I predicted NZ cops would have their work cut out tracking down car thieves, as there were many cars parked on Pleasant Point streets during lockdown, an open invite for car thieves.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See NZ Govt Covid-19 website

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rangitata Gorge Walk

Thurs 05.03.20. I did the Rangitata Gorge walk, halfway along to the highest point on Rangitata Gorge track (aka Tenahaun Track), map ref BX 557545, on the 500m contour, about 6 km return - 2h to my 3km turning point, 1,5h return. A sunny, windless day.

I drove 70 km from Pleasant Point, via Geraldine, crossed Rangitata River, upper bridge, and on the Mayfield Rd turned left along Ealing Montalto Rd, driving beside Mt Peel / Tara Haoa Range for about 20 kms, Mt Pukanui / Moorhouse Range straight ahead. I turned left at Klondyke Station turnoff & followed the Rangitata Diversion Race (RDR) canal along the canal dirt road for about 7 kms until the road ended at a DOC carpark, several signs at the entrance gate fence: RDR history info, DOC easement, Fish & Game Angler Access, Protect Our Waterways - Didymo... Outdoor Access video surveillance signs...

A Public Works Department, bronze, memorial plaque said:

          Rangitata to Rakaia Diversion Race

IPENZ recognises this engineering work as an
important part of NZ's engineering heritage.
Approved in 1936 to provide employment relief &
a vision for Canterbury's future, this 67 km race was
the first major river diversion for development of
water resources. It supplies 66,000 hectares as well
         as 27 MW of hydro power in winter...
                                                             Opened 1945.

Besides Rangitata River & the RDR canal I wandered past 2 bucket cranes, one under a green canopy & surrounded by a fence, NO ENTRY signs on the fence. The RDR inlet had several DANGER signs on a fence above the inlet: KEEP OUT AUTHORISED PERSONS ONLY...

From the river terrace above the RDR inlet, I watched 5 rubber rafts, filled with thrill seekers, shoot the rocky weir across Rangitata River, flowing partly into the RDR inlet & mostly along its river course to the Pacific. Also from the terrace, I watched a farmer across the river in his blue ute & his 3 huntaways herd red deer down 3 river terraces through a farm gate on a lower Rangitata River terrace. The huntaways ran like wolves.

The DOC easement track followed a farm fence along the E lip of Rangitata Gorge & sidled W side of Mt Pukanui & Moorhouse Range with grand views of Rangitata River running several rapids between Waikari Hills W & Moorhouse Range E. Waikari Hills' vertical strata showed tortured seismic activity over geological time.

After the the second farm gate, above a Flying Fox over Rangitata Gorge, the DOC easement track became bogged by Hereford herd pugs, so I climbed through the farm fence & walked through matagouri scrub on farmland, a safer stretch, avoiding cattle pollution & the potential for being trampled by the Hereford herd gathered on a gorge ridge at another farm gate on the DOC easement.

I climbed through another farm fence to a sheep paddock below Moorhouse Range & wandered the sheep-muddy, 500m contour track, across steep ridges to my 3km turning point, the track eventually leaving Rangitata Gorge. Grand views of Harper Range at the head of Rangitata Gorge.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.