The walk of a lifetime has come to a shuddering halt for trampers stuck in the upper North Island's alert level 3 lockdowns.
About 650 people are registered to walk the entire Te Araroa Trail - which runs the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff - this season.
The mammoth 3000km route takes between four and five months to complete. Overnight or back country tramping is not permitted under alert level 3, and Te Tai Tokerau, Tāmaki Makaurau and Waikato are set to be there until at least Monday.
For the dozens of walkers stuck on the road to nowhere, the only walking they are doing is to the local Covid swabbing station to get a test so they can jet out of lockdown. Jean Bell reports.
The Hilton hotel at Lake Taupō is throwing out the welcome for pampered pooches. It's the first local establishment in the international chain to offer in room accommodation for your fur baby.
Hotel Manager Tracey Poole came up with the plan and joins Lisa with the details.
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Sports reporter and commentator Glen Larmer talks to Lisa Owen about what's going on.
The government's sudden boost in hospital funding to prepare for Covid cases is being called overly ambitious - and too late.
The government plans to pump $644 million into ICU capacity and operational costs.
But health experts and opposition parties say while the money is welcome, it is going to...