The main events of the 2021 Apec leaders’ week will need a new home after the Government has effectively ruled out the fire-damaged SkyCity International Convention Centre; and former All Black captain Reuben Thorne and fellow shareholders of Black & White Coffee Cartel have big ambitions to create a national chain of coffee cafes and are offering 34 franchises nation wide.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, Auckland is heading for a record 40-day dry spell tomorrow as drought stretches from northern Waikato to Northland. A total fire ban has been declared across the whole North Island and much of the South Island from today. But while Gisborne, Wellington, Hawke’s Bay and Tasman face water restrictions, Aucklanders on town water can still water the garden and even clean the car.
In other news, the main events of the 2021 Apec leaders’ week will need a new home after the Government has effectively ruled out the fire-damaged SkyCity International Convention Centre. Fletcher Construction said in a statement today that the recovery from last October’s fire will continue for the next few months, and major construction work on the ICC won’t start before mid-year.
In business news, Taco Bell was forced to apologise after a shocked customer discovered a sign publicly shaming their staff for being late. Paula Duhon Boss shared the sign, which was placed on the window of an Ohio restaurant, on Facebook captioning the post: “Wth (what the hell)?” The sign read: “Dining room is closed until these stores (sic) workers can show up to work on time! We will happily serve you through the drive-thru as quickly as possible. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has first confirmed and then denied – his involvement in the taking of surveillance-type photographs of two reporters meeting a former NZ First party president. The photographs, published by Right-wing political blog BFD, showed Stuff reporter Matt Shand and RNZ reporter Guyon Espiner meeting former NZ First president Lester Gray in Tauranga.
In other news, a 4-year-old boy critically injured in a case of suspected child abuse had previously been admitted to hospital with broken bones and removed from his immediate family. The boy, who will likely be permanently brain damaged if he survives, was admitted to hospital late last month, after police were called to a family violence incident at a property in Ramsey Cres, Flaxmere, where they found him badly bruised and suffering from a severe head injury.
In business news, more than 100 people will lose their jobs after Imperial Tobacco confirmed it will close its factory in Lower Hutt. On Thursday, E tū received confirmation that the Imperial Tobacco plant in Petone would close. E tū organiser Damon Rongotaua said the closure of the 100-year-old factory was caused by several factors.
* The Press
In The Press, millions of dollars of new funding could unlock a series of postquake regeneration projects in Christchurch that would transform the face of some of the city’s worst-affected communities. Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust (CEAT) has approved fresh grants of more than $18 million to kick-start a series of schemes as part of the city’s rebuild.
In other news, the lights are on but nobody’s home at Greymouth’s new Te Nikau Hospital. And that is exactly as it should be, according to the Ministry of Health. Power and heating are on as part of the commissioning process for the new building, at a cost of $12,000 a month. A ministry spokesperson said while Fletcher had indicated it was on track for completion this month, there was still a lot of work to be done before sign off.
In business news, former All Black captain Reuben Thorne and fellow shareholders of Black & White Coffee Cartel have big ambitions to create a national chain of coffee cafes and are offering 34 franchises nation wide.The Black & White Coffee Cartel trademark look of op shop and “grungy” furniture and walls covered in 1960s and 1970s kitsch artworks, landscape prints and portrait photographs has gone down well in Christchurch where the cartel started and now has 12 cafes established in five years.