New Zealand will move to alert level 3 from 11.59pm next Monday; and schools will reopen in just over a week, two days after the country moves to alert level 3.

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald,  New Zealand will move to alert level 3 from 11.59pm next Monday. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that if you are not at work, school, exercising or getting essentials then you must be at home, ‘the same as at level 4’. The Opposition says it effectively means the country is still in ‘lockdown, or close to it’.

In other news, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has defended her press-conference comments that the level-4 lockdown is extending only “two business days”, when some retailers and outlets are missing out on a further five days of trade.

In business news, a cafe in the Police National Headquarters in Wellington continued to sell coffee to police during the alert level 4 lockdown. The cafe only stopped operating after clarification from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that it had to close just like other cafes and restaurants around the country.

* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post, one more week of cooking every meal, of seeing the same couple of blocks on your daily walk, of seeing just the people you live with. The Government decided yesterday that despite single digit new case numbers and no evidence of undetected widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus, New Zealand needs an extra five days of full lockdown to cement the gains made over the last month.

In other news, for 17 years a ‘shambolic’ pile of waste material has sat on a central Wellington property. And over that time Wellington City Council has issued abatement notice after abatement notice to the land owners Randhirbhai Devabhai Patel and Jyotiben Patel. The property, 3 Palm Grove, Berhampore, has been used as a dumping ground for a variety of waste materials.

In business news, Radio Active was ready when lockdown hit but nobody could prepare for the pet dog almost stopping transmission. The Wellington radio station has managed to keep operating albeit not from its new studio but from a series of homes around the Wellington region and beyond.

* The Press

In The Press, while Cantabrians look forward to a little more freedom next week, plans are well ahead for major rebuild projects to restart. The Covid-19 lockdown shifts from level 4 to level 3 late on Monday April 28, allowing botanic gardens visits, click and collect shopping, drive-through and non-contact takeaway food and drink sales, and a return to construction and trades work with distancing measures.

In other news, schools will reopen in just over a week, two days after the country moves to alert level 3. On Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country will move down from level 4 at 11.59pm on Monday April 27. Schools and early childhood education (ECE) centres will be able to open from Wednesday April 29 but only if there’s a need.

In business news, a charity set up by farmers will soon be putting food on the tables of hungry Kiwis. South Island farmers Siobhan O’Malley and Wayne Langford created Meat the Need to connect donated produce from farmers with processors and food banks.Originally scheduled for a June launch, the big day was brought forward to help farmers reach those hit hardest by the economic fallout of the coronavirus lockdown, Langford said. 

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