Frontline police have seized more than 600 firearms across Auckland in less than a year, including 20 now-banned military-style semi-automatics; and New Zealand’s tourism industry is bracing for a significant hit from the impact of coronavirus, with fears of a sharp downturn in arrivals.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, frontline police have seized more than 600 firearms across Auckland in less than a year, including 20 now-banned military-style semi-automatics. New figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act show an escalation in gun violence has injured at least 23 people and killed seven since December 2018.
In other news, a Kiwi man trapped at the centre of China’s coronavirus outbreak fears for the lives of his wife and 5-year-old daughter as their food supply dwindles. “The feeling is that we’re going to die in China. We need to get out of here,” Aaron Mahon told the Herald. “We’re happy to go into quarantine, we just need help to get out of the city.” Mahon said he’d been in touch with the New Zealand embassy in Beijing, as had his family in New Zealand, but hasn’t received any help.
In business news, New Zealand’s tourism industry is bracing for a significant hit from the impact of coronavirus, with fears of a sharp downturn in arrivals. Health officials have begun meeting flights from China, amid spreading global concern about the virus which has spread to a number of countries around the world, including Australia.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, Wellingtonians lose almost five days a year stuck in traffic gridlock, and researchers say it’s time for congestion charging to help get vehicles off the road. A report released by the New Zealand Initiative today shows Wellington drivers spent 118 hours in stationary traffic in 2018, the equivalent of 4.9 days, and the same number as Melbourne. Auckland drivers spent 150 hours, or 6.25 days, in gridlock – more than Sydney and almost as many as Toronto.
In other news, a budgeting mistake for New Plymouth’s two new reservoirs has left the project $2.4 million short. The reservoirs are being built at Mountain Rd and Henwood Rd and were originally budgeted at $16.85 million.
In business news, one major tourism operator estimates it could lose 1000 customers a month while the coronavirus travel ban remains in place. Wayfare runs trips on Milford Sound and Lake Wakatipu and chief executive Richard Lauder said the Chinese Government’s decision to halt all group and package tours would begin to be felt over the next week, possibly forcing his company to reduce sailings.
* The Press
In The Press, the deadly coronavirus has a high chance of making it to New Zealand, but health officials are confident they can prevent an outbreak. At a public briefing, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield and Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay said that while New Zealand has no cases yet ‘‘there is a high likelihood we will’’.
In other news, electric bikes and edible gardens will feature at a new multimillion-dollar social housing development in Christchurch. Work is about to start on 90 new homes on Brougham St, replacing 89 social housing units demolished following the 2011 earthquakes. Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust is building the homes on land previously owned by the Christchurch City Council.
In business news, a woman’s estate has been ordered to pay rent for three weeks after her death. Lene Wong died in Ngāruawāhia in September and her landlord was notified by police on September 15. Twin Rivers Real Estate and Courtney Trustees applied to the Tenancy Tribunal for $705.00 in rent arrears through to October 6, 21 days after they were notified of her death.