Tracey Maule knows all about self-isolation.

She's been virtually doing it for 17 months since a family tragedy.

So when the Browns Bay woman heard of the Bears in the Window craze sweeping the country during the lockdown, she saw an opportunity to help others and herself in a time of need.

''I went out and bought a teddy bear that I thought was four foot tall but it turned out to be seven foot,'' Maule laughed.

Tracey Maule with her 7 foot 4 teddy bear, BFG. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Tracey Maule with her 7 foot 4 teddy bear, BFG. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

''New Zealanders everywhere are experiencing an element of grief - of loss - like I experienced in October 2018. It's similar to losing someone close.''

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There have been 83 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in New Zealand overnight. That brings the total number of cases to 451. 50 people have recovered but 12 people are in hospital.

So she put the oversized bear on her front deck overlooking the local park and waited for the response, It didn't take long as children and adults, going for their daily walks, couldn't fail to notice the big bear looking down on them.

''Seeing the smiles on the children's faces was like putting the missing puzzle in the jigsaw. I am getting some much pleasure from the reactions. It is a way of helping yourself heal.''

And it seems the Bears in the Window movement is gathering momentum as communities around the country embrace a simple idea that puts smiles on the faces of children and adults alike.

The rapid spread of teddy bears in windows, including Maule's larger than life offering, comes as the number of Coronavirus cases in New Zealand reaches 83.

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The Ministry of Health confirmed earlier this afternoon 83 new cases.

Two patients are in intensive care units.


Twelve people were in hospital, including the two in intensive care – one on a ventilator.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black could not say what hospitals the two people in intensive care were in. The others were hospitalised in Wellington (three), Nelson (two), Whangārei (two) and one each in Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Dunedin and Greymouth.

It was also confirmed a small number" of Air NZ staff had been infected by coronavirus, while officials also said there were five known "clusters" of people with coronavirus in New Zealand. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website