As the country braces for a recession the Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is promising a rescue package more significant than any other he has seen worldwide; and Air NZ has significantly cut flights to and from Australia until the end of June.
1.As the country braces for a recession the Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is promising a rescue package more significant than any other he has seen worldwide. In two hours the Government will reveal its stimulus plan, aimed at countering the economic impact of Covid-19.
2.The local sharemarket has opened sharply lower for an eighth consecutive session, as some companies disclose the pressure on their earnings from Covid-19. The top 50 index is down to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting the slide of global markets.
3.The Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed 12.9 percent down, in another sign that a global recession could be on the horizon. It’s the biggest percentage daily since the outbreak began, and the largest in one day since the Black Monday crash in 1987.
4.Air NZ has significantly cut flights to and from Australia until the end of June. The airline said Tasman capacity will reduce by 80 percent over this period overall. It’s concentrating on flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with daily flights from Auckland, while Wellington and Christchurch will have only two return services a week to Sydney.
5.The Opposition is calling for increased testing for Covid-19, saying the true infection rate is probably much higher than the official figures. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, says there are still plenty of tests available for whoever needs it.
6.New Zealand supermarkets are urging customers to shop normally and to not panic-buy. At the moment, the supply chains are doing a great job at getting food and groceries on supermarket shelves, says Countdown’s, Kiri Hannifin.
7.Events and casinos are cancelling, postponing or downsizing in response to Covid-19. Two places have been hit, SkyCity has downsized and ANZAC Day events are hanging in the balance.
8.University of Otago students are busy celebrating St Patrick’s Day, despite calls to limit large parties. The university is urging students not to gather in big groups to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
9.Local Government representatives are meeting in Wellington today to decide how the country’s council should respond to the Covid-19 crisis. Local Government New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Society of Local Government Managers are considering the legalities and practicalities of running council meetings if the situation worsens.
10.Officials in Brussels are moving to block the export of medical supplies manufactured in the European Union, so the 27 member states won’t run out. The European Commission which drafts the laws for the union is trying to coordinate the supply rather than leave it to individual countries.
11.A man who stabbed one of the country’s most notorious murderers more than 40 times has been sentenced to preventive detention. Siuaki Lisiati, himself a convicted killer, stabbed double murderer Graeme Burton with two shanks while the men were in the maximum security prison at Paremoremo in Auckland in May 2018.
12.The Crown says a police officer accused of raping his colleague, lied to his boss, washed himself and destroyed evidence to cover up the crime. The 29-year-old man is defending charges of indecent assault and sexual violation.
13.Parts of Northland got a sprinkling of much needed rain yesterday and early this morning but nowhere near enough to relieve drought conditions there.
14.The French company that owns the luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Dior is dedicating its production lines to the anti-virus effort. LVMH says it will use its make-up and perfume plants to manufacture the hydro alcoholic gels used as hand sanitizer and will give the suppliers free of charge to the French Health Authorities.
15.Sports management expert, Richard Wright says sports stars left in limbo by cancelled events could visit schools, as role models. Many events around the world closer to home are either cancelled or going ahead in empty stadiums to avoid mass gatherings.