Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee is hearing from media companies and Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi as it discusses the impact Covid-19 is having on publishers and broadcasters; and house prices went up in March for the fourth month in a row but the number of properties sold fell.
1. US President Donald Trump says he is halting funding to the World Health Organisation. He says had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China, the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak could have been contained.
2.Freak waves on Wellington’s south coast have left a person in hospital and forced residents to evacuate their homes. A big southerly swell is causing 6m waves to crash onto the road between Breaker Bay and Owhiro Bay.
3.New Zealanders are among the hundreds of Ruby Princess passengers to sign up to a class action lawsuit. They are suing over the outbreak of Covid-19 on board the cruise ship that has infected 700 and led to 18 deaths.
4.Small businesses in New Zealand will get a $3 billion boost through tax breaks to help them ride out the worst of the impending economic crisis. The latest rescue package comes as the country prepares for a possible lift of level 4 restrictions next week.
5.Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee is hearing from media companies and Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi as it discusses the impact Covid-19 is having on publishers and broadcasters. First to speak at today’s meeting was former New Zealand Herald editor Gavin Ellis. He told the committee he feared the redundancies at Bauer and NZME would not be the last.
6.The International Monetary Fund is forecasting that the New Zealand economy will shrink by 7.2 percent this year. In its world economic outlook it says New Zealand will see the biggest economic contraction outside of Europe.
7.The Government-assisted charter flight to bring New Zealanders stranded in Peru home has touched down in Auckland. The flight, a LATAM Dreamliner with 60 New Zealanders and three Australians on board, landed at Auckland Airport at 5am. With no commercial services operating between New Zealand and South America, this was one of their last chances to get home, Auckland Airport said.
8.The price of cauliflower rose more than 60 percent last month and other vegetables also got dearer. Stats NZ food price index found vegetable prices was 7.4 percent higher than usual in March.
9.International aid charities are struggling to help Pacific countries battered by Cyclone Harold without the revenue they usually get from their public donations. Last week’s storm was the worst to hit Vanuatu since Cyclone Pam, racking about 70 percent of the buildings in Luganville.
10.House prices went up in March for the fourth month in a row but the number of properties sold fell. The Real Estate Institute house price index, which measures the changing value of property in the market, rose 9.3 percent on the year earlier to another record high. The national median house price rose a seasonally adjusted 14.2 percent to $665,000 over the year earlier.
11.Australian Cardinal George Pell says it’s up to others to judge whether he was a victim of persecution. The Cardinal was released from prison last week after Australia’s top court quashed his convictions for child sex abuse.
12.A manhunt is underway near Te Anau causing the closure of State Highway 94. The police say they are working to locate a person following a fleeing driver incident.