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Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 23. All the latest New Zealand news, updated throughout the day. Reach me on

8.35am: Trump releases 60 Minutes interview before it airs

An increasingly unhinged President Trump has released the full, unedited footage from his upcoming 60 Minutes interview – just days before it was set to go to air.

Trump has been lashing out at the interview on Twitter for most of the week, accusing reporter Lesley Stahl of being biased. The footage released reveals no such prejudice against the president. Instead, Stahl questioned Trump on his response to Covid-19 that’s left upwards of 200,000 Americans dead.

8.15am: Auckland gym closes for Covid-19 deep clean

A Browns Bay gym has closed for a five day deep clean, after a confirmed Covid-19 case visited the facility.

Snap Fitness closed yesterday, after the positive case visited the gym between last Saturday morning. The visit has been deemed as low risk, according to the Herald, and the Ministry of Health was chasing up close contacts of the person from their gym session.

Meanwhile, Greenhithe residents are adopting Covid-19 alert level three rules, after revelations a recent confirmed case visited the area. A positive case visited the Malt pub last Friday night, reportedly while infectious.

It has led to a swarm of patrons visiting a nearby barber for fear of missing out on a trim during another lockdown. It also alerted me to this man wearing what appears to be a tinfoil hat. Know more? Are you tinfoil hat man? Email me:

7.45am: How representative is our new parliament?

A report this morning from Massey University sociology professor Paul Spoonley explains that while our new parliament is far more representative than the last, there are still areas where it is lacking.

Māori constitute 16.5% of the total population but as Spoonley said, it’s likely Māori will make up 20% of MPs in the next parliament. That’s a slight drop from 23% in 2017 – in part due to the departure of New Zealand First.

The next largest ethnic group in New Zealand is those from Asian countries, at 15.1%. Spoonley said that only 5% of our MPs fit broadly into this category, well below the proportion of the population.

“Of course, the designation Asian is far too broad and really quite unhelpful in terms of the mix of the various Asian communities in 2020. In this regard, Chinese constitute 4.9% of all New Zealanders and Indians (4.7%). Both are under-represented in the new Parliament,” Spoonley said.

Read the full report here

7.40am:  Top stories from The Bulletin

It’s now been five days since we learnt that Covid-19 was back in the community, and the missing pieces of the puzzle are gradually falling into place. With hundreds of community tests taking place in Auckland’s Greenhithe suburb yesterday – following the news a man who went on to test positive spent an evening in a pub there while he may have been infectious – we should have a good idea today if it’s spread any further. Some pretty big questions still remain, however.

Jamie Morton of the Herald has delved into how New Zealand’s 1,530th case of Covid-19 came to be, and highlights a point earlier covered by RNZ: the 27-year-old marine  technician boarded the Sofrana Surville on Tuesday, October 13, the same day as eight crew members who had flown in from the Philippines a few days before, and had isolated at the Novotel facility for only “a brief period”. None had been tested. Public health experts are asking why crew in transit like these aren’t subject to the usual border rules, and the Ministry of Health has promised to review its measures. All crew of the Sofrana Surville, which is currently moored off Queensland, have now been tested, and this afternoon results revealed three crew members were at different stages of infection – something health minister Chris Hipkins yesterday told Checkpoint “lends itself to the idea that the virus had been circulating around that ship”.

On Wednesday, it emerged that two workplace contacts of the technician had tested positive. While one was a close contact and already in quarantine, the other was considered only a casual contact as he had spent just a few minutes in the same room with the technician on the Friday. Health experts such as Siouxsie Wiles had expressed surprise that someone could be infected in such a brief period.

Read more and subscribe to The Bulletin here

7.30am: Yesterday’s headlines

There were two new cases of Covid-19 at the border.

Meanwhile, two members of crew on the Sofrana Surville tested positive while at anchor off the coast of Australia, lending credence to the hypothesis that the port worker who tested positive on Saturday contracted the virus while working aboard the ship.

Ashley Bloomfield urged people to keep checking in with the Covid Tracer app, and to continue wearing masks on public transport and flights, despite it not being compulsory at alert level one.

Documents showed that recently ousted MP Winston Peters loaned his party, New Zealand First, $60,000 just 10 days out from election day.

Lack of support for National in the South Island during the recent election will be part of the party’s post-election review, said Judith Collins.

Read yesterday’s live updates

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