The Health Minister David Clark, says New Zealand is now effectively at war with Covid-19 as the Government launches an early flu vaccination campaign; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is urging New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider returning home as soon as possible as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.
1.The man who murdered British backpacker Grace Millane is appealing his conviction and sentence. The 28-year-old killed Millane after a Tinder date in Auckland on the eve of her 22nd birthday in 2018. He was found guilty of murder after a two-week jury trial and was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years last month.
2.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is urging New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider returning home as soon as possible as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. The ministry (MFAT) said the options for getting home are reducing dramatically as commercial airlines continue to slash routes.
3.Dunedin residents are bracing for news of potentially moreCovid-19 cases as tracing gets underway at a local high school. A man and his teenage son who attends the school are the first two confirmed cases in the southern city.
4.The Health Minister David Clark, says New Zealand is now effectively at war with Covid-19 as the Government launches an early flu vaccination campaign. 400,000 more dozes will be available this year as part of the effort to minimize winter flu and ease pressure on the health system.
5.Fonterra has reported a $501 million half-year profit on lower costs and improved revenue. The result compares to a profit of $72m the previous year. The co-operative’s underlying profit was $584 million up 87 percent on the previous year. Fonterra has been selling assets, paying down debt, cutting costs and axing jobs to turn around the business after major losses.
6.The local sharemarket has had its first positive start in nearly two weeks, as governments around the world scrambled to implement economic rescue packages. The benchmark NZX Top 50 index has opened up more than 250 points or about 2.6 percent. It had closed modestly lower yesterday after clawing back significant early falls.
7.A Sydney based airline analysis and consulting firm, the Centre for Aviation is warning most airlines will be bankrupt by May unless urgent action is taken. With large swathes of the globe effectively in lock down, and extensive travel restrictions and border closures, carriers are grounding services and air travel dwindling rapidly.
8.Retirement villages are trying to strike a balance between residents, health and making sure they are still able to live connected lives. Radius Care and Ryman Healthcare have blocked all non-essential visitors from their homes and anyone allowed in must pass a temperature check.
9.The Iwi Chairs Forum which represents 74 iwi Rūnanga has created a national pandemic response group to ensure Māori communities are prepared to fight Covid-19. Spokesperson Mike Smith, says the group is meeting regularly to get safety messages out to whanau and encourage them to temporarily change cultural practices for safety.
10.Schools are preparing lessons and practicing online teaching in anticipation of a possible shutdown forced by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Education Ministry has told schools they could be closed for one or two days if a student or staff member is diagnosed with the virus.
11.The Government’s computer emergency response team, Cert is warning that cyber criminals are exploiting the coronavirus outbreak. Its director Rob Pope, says scammers overseas have been trying to trick people into downloading malware and Cert has had a handful of reports about people in this country being similarly targeted with scam emails.
12.Trade Me has launched a natural disaster and civil emergency policy which aims to cap the price on items related to a disaster or emergency such as Covid-19. The online sales company said it has noticed a spike in prices for face masks and hand sanitiser in particular.
13.MPs have shot down New Zealand First’s bid to hold a referendum on proposed changes to abortion law. Final changes to the Abortion Legislation were debated by Parliament this morning. It is expected to go to its third and final reading this afternoon.
14.The jury is retired to deliberate its verdict in the trial of a police officer accused of raping his colleague as she slept. The man has been on trial in the Auckland District Court after pleading not guilty to indecent assault and sexual violation.
15.China is cracking down on prominent American journalists working there, escalating a press freedom war with the United States. It says it’s retaliating against US restrictions on Chinese journalists.
16.A trial of a new emergency mental health team in Wellington aims to keep people out of hospital beds and police cells if they don’t need to be there. The 12-month trial, launched yesterday, is a joint effort from Wellington Free Ambulance, Capital and Coast DHB, and the local police.