Christchurch takeaway owners have backed the Prime Minister’s call for people to bypass Uber Eats and order directly from local businesses when alert level three comes into effect; and a Labour MP says businesses in trouble “after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation” was a sign they did not have the necessary strength.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, Bob and Bev James were spending their golden years travelling the world, joining about 35 cruises together. But within days of returning to New Zealand in March from their trip along the New South Wales coast on Voyager of the Seas, the husband and wife of 43 years were in an ambulance heading to Wellington Hospital. They both had Covid-19. A few weeks later, on April 13, Bob died and his wife’s life was “ripped apart”. Now their family are looking at joining a class-action suit against the cruise line the couple had been travelling with, Royal Caribbean.
In other news, New Zealand’s march towards eliminating Covid-19 has been given a boost, with the key measure of recent community transmission cases falling to just two yesterday. Success would be “one of New Zealand’s greatest achievements”, according to epidemiologist Sir David Skegg, but he warned it would all be jeopardised if New Zealanders started socialising or crowding the beach at alert level 3.
In business news, a Labour MP says businesses in trouble “after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation” was a sign they did not have the necessary strength. Thousands of small businesses outside the food and beverage sector are currently unable to operate, with business leaders warning thousands of businesses could collapse as a result of the lockdown.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, an investigation into the Wairoa Mayor’s alleged sexual harassment of a staff member should have proceeded in order to ensure the council was a safe workplace, an employment expert believes. Stuff revealed on Tuesday that the Mayor, Craig Little, had been the subject of a sexual harassment complaint by a staff member that was never fully investigated in 2017.
In other news, an under-resourced contact tracing system blamed for keeping New Zealand in lockdown has the capacity to investigate fewer than 200 coronavirus cases each day. An audit of the system released on Monday showed that health officials tasked with interviewing and tracking the close contacts of people with Covid-19 had been swamped by fewer than 100 daily cases of the virus prior to New Zealand entering lockdown.
In business news, a proposal to close Air New Zealand’s heavy maintenance facility in Nelson resulting in the loss of 100 highly-skilled jobs is “devastating”, say regional leaders. Air New Zealand staff in Nelson were told on Wednesday of a proposal to end heavy maintenance of turboprop aircraft at the regional facility at Nelson Airport, with only light maintenance to be carried out.
* The Press
In The Press, a mounting refugee crisis is brewing in New Zealand’s premier tourist town, with thousands of migrant workers trapped in Queenstown with no money for food or rent. Thousands of people now not only lack jobs, but also cannot access any New Zealand social welfare benefits and cannot go home as the coronavirus crisis continues.
In other news, Christchurch takeaway owners have backed the prime minister’s call for people to bypass Uber Eats and order directly from local businesses when alert level three comes into effect. Jacinda Ardern said yesterday Kiwis should support businesses in their community after she was asked about the high rates charged by delivery service Uber Eats which can be as high as 35 per cent of the cost of the order.
In business news, the Christchurch Adventure Park (CAP) expects to remain closed when coronavirus restrictions drop to level 3. Some staff will go back in to carry out trail maintenance, forestry work and lift maintenance so the park, which is majority owned by the Christchurch City Council, can open as soon as possible. The workers will follow all coronavirus safety precautions.