Live updates, October 31: Seven new cases of Covid-19 in MIQ, Labour-Greens agreement expected this weekend

Why Are Lines at Polling Places So Long? Math
October 31, 2020
Covid-19: Seven new cases in managed isolation, none in the community
October 31, 2020

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 31. All the latest New Zealand news, updated throughout the day. Reach me on

1.00pm: Seven new cases of Covid-19 in MIQ

There are seven cases of Covid-19 to report from managed isolation in New Zealand today, and no new community cases, the Ministry of Health has announced. One case arrived from the United States on October 26, one arrived from the Ukraine on October 26, two arrived from Qatar on October 27, one arrived from Dubai on October 28, and two arrived from Qatar on October 29.

All cases were detected during routine isolation and testing processes and are now at the Auckland quarantine facility. New Zealand’s total number of active cases is now  75 and our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,601.

Yesterday laboratories completed 5,964 tests for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,096,666.

Japan case 

The case of a New Zealand child who returned a weak positive Covid-19 test on their arrival in Japan on October 23 is now closed, says the ministry. “Further testing of the child, their household and contacts have all revealed negative test results. This public health investigation has also investigated the tests and possible historical exposures.

“It has been determined that it was not the result of a recent Covid-19 infection. There is no ongoing risk for New Zealand and the case is now closed.”

International mariners in Christchurch

Day 15 testing is being carried out this weekend of all group members who are not already confirmed cases, says the ministry. “All those who meet our low risk indicators, which include those who’ve recovered or have returned consistently negative test results throughout their stay, will be eligible to leave managed isolation from next Tuesday 3 November.”

8.00am: We could have a new government this weekend

While yesterday was all about the referendum results, today our attention turns to the little matter of a new government as negotiations between Labour and the Greens reach their conclusion.

At 4pm, Green Party members will start debating whether to accept what’s been negotiated via a Zoom meeting.

At 4.30pm, the prime minister will unveil the agreement at a press conference. At some point this evening, the results of the Greens’ discussions will come out.

Tomorrow, if the Greens approve the agreement, there will be a signing ceremony and press conference with Green and Labour leaders at 10am.

Our political editor Justin Giovannetti has written more about what to expect here. He’ll be there for the action at parliament this weekend, and we’ll be bringing you updates as they happen right here.

7.30am: Yesterday’s headlines

Preliminary referendum results revealed 65.2% voted in favour of the End of Life Choice Act, while 53.1% voted no to cannabis legalisation.

There was one new case of Covid-19 detected in MIQ – a member of the international mariners group in Christchurch.

The health minister revealed new rules for Covid-19 testing of international maritime crews arriving in New Zealand.

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