Cabinet ministers will today consider whether New Zealand is ready to come out of lockdown in another 16 days; and Wellington is considering discharging its wastewater to sea in order to save millions of dollars for the battle against Covid-19.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, cabinet ministers will today consider whether New Zealand is ready to come out of lockdown in another 16 days. The Government is expected to weigh up an encouraging levelling-off in new cases with concerns that we still need more testing and contact tracing to be sure.
In other news, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand seems to have avoided the exponential growth in Covid-19 cases that has hit countries overseas, but is urging people not to risk the success so far and continue to abide by lockdown rules.
In business news, a major survey has found that only 2 percent of New Zealanders always read online privacy policies backing up recent comments by Privacy Commissioner John Edwards, who has targeted what he called “click to consent” practices. The most common reason cited was that the policies are too long and confusing.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, Wellington is considering discharging its wastewater to sea in order to save millions of dollars for the battle against Covid-19. Leaked emails show Wellington City councillor Sean Rush is asking councillors to ‘‘discuss the option’’ of using the ‘‘long outfall’’ pipe to discard wastewater which includes sewage 2km off South Coast beach Lyall Bay.
In other news, a crew of six German technicians will travel to New Zealand and spend two weeks in quarantine to help fix one of the capital’s most critical, and failing, sludge pipelines. On Sunday, Wellington Water said the team of technicians who are already booked to fly to the country from Germany would arrive here about the middle of April to help fix the broken wastewater pipe in the Mt Albert sewer tunnel.
In business news, KiwiSaver investors have been cushioned from the worst of share markets’ falls by their funds’ diversification, new data shows. The NZX fell 13 per cent in March, compared to the Australian ASX down 24 per cent in New Zealand dollar terms and the United States’ S&P 500 down 8 per cent.
* The Press
In The Press, Christchurch’s only coronavirus cluster of 10 or more cases is amongst the city’s most vulnerable population in a rest home. The revelation came after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned a man who videoed himself allegedly coughing deliberately over fellow shoppers in a Christchurch supermarket as ‘‘an idiot’’.
In other news, former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has won a legal defamation battle with the party’s ex-board member John Stringer. During a High Court trial in August 2019, Stringer claimed the booklet – Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas – sent to 1.6m households by Craig and his wife Helen in July 2015, hurt his political aspirations.
In business news, more than 200,000 Air New Zealand passengers have received credit for the cost of tickets they had to cancel as the coronavirus pandemic closed borders and forced airlines to cut flights. Last month the airline changed its refund policy, allowing passengers to cancel their flight and receive credit for the full cost of an unused ticket, valid for 12 months.