New Zealand's Covid-19 death toll has risen to 13.

The latest fatality is a West Auckland woman in her 70s who lived at St Margaret's rest home in Te Atatu - the site of one of the latest coronavirus clusters.

She died yesterday and had underlying conditions.

The woman's death was confirmed by Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield this afternoon.


He said some staff of the rest home were in self-isolation because they had been in contact with confirmed cases, that had put strain on the staffing of the facility.

Residents had been moved to hospitals, and were considered close contacts so were being monitored.

Three people remain in ICUs, none are in a critical condition.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Bloomfield said as of today there were still 16 clusters of the deadly virus.

Most of those who have died have been elderly patients whose families have not been able to be at their side for their final hours.

Bloomfield said the Ministry of Health was now looking at whether it would be possible for family to visit those critically ill when New Zealand shifts to alert level 3 restrictions next week.

At the moment, family could go to visit those dying of other conditions but not Covid cases.

Shortly after the daily press conference the Human Rights Commission published a list of four questions for whānau and friends to ask of residential facilities caring for their loved ones.


Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said the spread of coronavirus in aged-care facilities in Christchurch, Waikato and Auckland will be "of deep concern" to those with family members in such places.

"Every life has value and everyone, without discrimination, is entitled to the same protections and freedoms including the right to be as healthy and safe as possible," Hunt said.

"Lives should not be placed at risk.

"It is essential that people have the information they need to be sure all possible steps are being taken to avoid the introduction and spread of Covid-19 to at risk population groups, such as older people and disabled people."

Hunt said there needed to be a "high level of transparency and accountability" from care providers and people who operate residential facilities.

To help families, Hunt said the commission had prepared the following questions for whānau and friends to ask of the residential facilities where loved ones are living.


• What cleaning, hygiene or other processes are in place to keep my friend or family member safe from Covid-19?

&bul; What are you doing to protect your staff, to keep them safe and to make sure they do not place others in your facility at risk of Covid-19?

• If someone in your facility was diagnosed with Covid-19, what would you do to care for them and for others in your facility?

• How can my family member communicate with whānau and friends during the lockdown?

Hunt said he also welcomed Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier's independent assessment of how secure aged-care facilities are responding to the pandemic.

Boshier announced the he would be starting targeted inspections - the result of the majority of deaths being related to a cluster of elderly people from Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch.


"In these difficult times it's vital we remain vigilant for potential human rights abuses and ensure human rights standards are complied with," said Hunt.

"This is particularly important for people who are older, unwell or otherwise at risk."

The Human Rights Commission is responding to Covid-19 in by being actively involved in forums and bilateral discussions with government agencies to ensure that Te Tiriti and human rights are at the forefront of decision-making and the impacts on people at-risk and most marginalised are being taken into when decisions are made.

"(The commission is) connecting with iwi and New Zealand's most marginalised communities that are impacted so, if necessary, we can add our voice to their concerns," said Hunt.

The commission was also ensuring that the decisions made, and their implementation, adhere to core human rights and Te Tiriti and are proportionate, necessary and legal.

If people have any concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their human rights they are encouraged to contact the commission on 0800 496 877 or