ANZ Bank has slashed its fixed home loan rates in what it says are the lowest ever offered by a major Kiwi bank; and as Wellington councils face billion-dollar infrastructure bills, one mayor is backing amalgamation, she says her own city cannot afford to go it alone.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand’s Covid-19 tally surged to 20 after eight new cases were confirmed yesterday. The new patients include four in Auckland, two in Waikato and one each in Christchurch and Invercargill. Aged from their 20s to 70s, all had returned home on overseas flights.
In other news, the Government is today poised to unveil a significant relief package for the beleaguered aviation industry after the number of coronavirus cases confirmed in New Zealand jumped. It comes as London faces a lockdown and all UK schools have been ordered to close in coming days while US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed their 8850km US-Canada border to “all nonessential travel”.
In business news, ANZ Bank has slashed its fixed home loan rates in what it says are the lowest ever offered by a major Kiwi bank. Its home loan one-year fixed rate special would now drop to 3.05 per cent from tomorrow and its two-year fixed rate to 3.35 per cent.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, as Wellington councils face billion-dollar infrastructure bills, one mayor is backing amalgamation, she says her own city cannot afford to go it alone. Porirua City Mayor Anita Baker wants to restart the conversation about amalgamation of the central four cities in the region.
In other news, the Government will plough $54 billion into transport investment over the next ten years, upgrading and building roads, rail and cycleways. Transport Minister Phil Tywford brought forward the announcement of the package in a bid to give infrastructure builders certainty the Government was committed to big transport spending as the economy took a hit from Covid-19.
In business news, building managers, owners and tenants are worried their air conditioning systems could spread coronavirus. Managing director, Lance Jimmieson, of national engineering consultants Jacksons Engineering Advisers, has been up to his armpits with inquiries on whether buildings with air conditioning were safe to occupy.
* The Press
In The Press, as the Government assigns funding for intensive care equipment and the Ministry of Health scrambles to tally crucial assets, manufacturers warn sourcing ventilators won’t be easy. Yesterday morning, Minister of Health David Clark said $32 million of the Government’s $12.1 billion Covid-19 package would go towards ‘‘intensive care capacity and equipment’’, including new ventilators.
In other news, New Zealand has legalised abortion, removing the practice from the Crimes Act and liberalising access to abortion services. The final vote on the bill passed 68 to 51, it will now head to the Governor-General for the royal assent before becoming law. The new law liberalises abortion rules, treating the practice as a health matter rather than a criminal one.
In business news, mentors supposed to guide small business owners through hard times have been left in tears after falling victim to coronavirus-related cost-cutting themselves. Big companies were cutting non-essential spending, said Craig Garner, chief executive of Business Mentors New Zealand.