New Zealand is gradually shutting down

The momentum of change as a result of Covid-19 continues as the country seems to be gradually shutting down.

Many team sports including rugby, netball, league and football have been put on hold until the end of May, including practices. Major events like the rowing Madi Cup have been cancelled.

One school (Logan Park High School in Dunedin has been shut until the weekend, although 150 virus tests after one student tested positive have come back negative. But it seems only time until more schools if not all of them have to shut down.

All ANZAC events have been cancelled, which is a no-brainer, many of those who attend ANZAC events are in the older age group which is at higher risk from Covid-19.

Gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned, and anyone breaking this ban could face a penalty up to 6 months in prison.

New Zealanders are being encouraged not to travel overseas, and last night the New Zealand border was closed to nearly all non-New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. Humanitarian movements from the pacific and people involved in sea and air freight are exempted.

Airlines are not quite grounded but have had their wings and revenues severely clipped. Virgin and Qantas has already announced they were stopping all international flights, and Air new Zealand have reduced theirs by 85%. Internal flights are also both reduced and not required – many people are not keen on travelling.

The tourism industry is just about totally stalled, with cruise ships already banned. This impacts on accommodation, transport (buses, rentals), cafes and restaurants and many associated businesses.

Many businesses are either implementing or setting up work from home for employees – I have been assisting companies do this all week, but normal work has slowed down.

Some things are busy, especially supermarkets. There has been a surge in sales for things like freezers and IT equipment for working from home.

But most of New Zealand is shutting down to various extents.

It could go further yet, with the possibility the country will be locked down like some other countries have, with only essential travel allowed (for food or medical reasons).

And how long will this go on for? No one knows, but there are numbers of months being suggested, commonly 6 months and up to 18 months or 2 years. Some of the measures are likely to be relaxed in time, but get prepared for the long haul.

I think it is very likely there will be an enforced major change of lifestyle for 3 months minimum, probably at least 6 months, and likely into next year.


Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand

The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The agreement also allows for the conversion of the loan to equity at the request of the Crown.

“Without this intervention, New Zealand was at risk of not having a national airline,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

“Air New Zealand has a unique and critical role in our economy and society. Also, the Government owns 52% of the company, which means we have a responsibility towards it. We have acted swiftly to put this loan agreement in place and support our national carrier.

“This agreement means that Air New Zealand is in a position to play its part in making sure Kiwis can return home from overseas and that essential flights and freight lines for goods like pharmaceuticals remain open by ensuring flights continue to and from key international destinations. The agreement also safeguards the domestic network, with flights assured to all current destinations.

Grant Robertson this morning:  “Making predictions as you’re all aware, I think, at the moment, about what is going to happen in three, six or nine months time is very hard, let alone what might happen in a week’s time.”


Kiwis in Australia face Coronavirus-created unemployment with no govt help

New Zealanders in Australia who face months of unemployment or dramatically-reduced working hours because of Covid-19 may get no financial assistance. Of the 634,000 New Zealanders living in Australia, about half are not eligible for welfare payments there, because they arrived after February 2001 and are considered ‘non-protected special category visa-holders’.

Many people are suddenly in very difficult situations.


Why schools aren’t closing yet:

While we are seeing mass school shutdowns elsewhere in the world, in New Zealand we don’t yet have community transmission of COVID-19 – so there isn’t currently a public health reason to do so here.

Pre-emptive school closures may have unintended consequences – for example, children may need to be cared for by vulnerable grandparents, or they may be put in other social settings that could make things worse.

Medical Officers of Health have the authority to close a school. They will only do so if there is a medical reason for this or after a confirmed case in the school. In that instance, they will need to close it for a short period of time while they determine if there is any risk to others.

We are, however, planning for temporary closures. Our decisions are based on evidence and very robust health advice – the World Health Organisation has confirmed that the risk to children remains low and parents should continue to send their kids to schools and early learning centres.

More: https://bit.ly/2IZ1gR5


NZ border restrictions to stay until evidence changes

Health Minister David Clark says the restrictions at the border will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Dr Clark told Morning Report the ban would not be lifted until evidence showed that the coronavirus pandemic overseas was diminishing.

“[We] aren’t expecting advice to lift restrictions in the next wee while.”

He said people were going to have to get used to a new norm, including social distancing, self-isolation, washing hands routinely, and other hygienic habits.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/412195/coronavirus-nz-border-restrictions-to-stay-until-evidence-changes


The University of Auckland has just announced it will be suspending teaching across the University next week due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It is calling it a Teaching Free Week.



Image

And I’ve just been talking to someone in the Anglican church – there will be services this Sunday as long as social distancing is observed, but no more services after that until further notice.


From today’s Ministry  of Health Covid-19 media conference there are 11 new cases of Covid-19 (all self isolating at home), bringing the total to 39.

There were 1000 Covid-19 tests done yesterday, up from 720 and about 600 for the previous two days.

And supermarkets are running a ‘shop normal’ campaign, assuring supplies are not a problem, they are just struggling to restock shelves at times.

Leave a comment

45 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  20th March 2020

    Cure now worse than the disease.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  20th March 2020

      how have you been affected ..so far?

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  20th March 2020

        Lost five days work. But any idiot can see that this not going to end well or soon. Marriages, businesses, careers, lives are all going to fall apart. Some of the people sent home from work will never get jobs again. Meanwhile Trump is promoting the disease as China Flu, baiting his base with xenophobia. That won’t help.

        Whatever you believe don’t think that in three months time it’ll all be back to the way it was. it won’t be.We’ll be living in a very different society with a different relationship between citizen and government.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  20th March 2020

          The ‘Age of Aquarius’ is being born, Arty. My niece has been told by her landlord the rent is going up by $90 per week, otherwise the house will go on the market. The house next to hers ( also a rental) is on the market. The landlord told those tenants she is liquidating some of her assets.

          Meanwhile those fantastic plastic cards wokes flash around at the cafe are being traded for hard cash and gold.Who would have guessed? Not those poor smucks in China and Sweden who like to tell ignorant cash bearers what dinosaurs they are.

          And of course as companies create networks of people working from home, they will soon realise some workers are surplus to requirements and therefore won’t be asked back.

          Arty. With the internet predicted to overload service providers, our time on this blog may be limited. Best of luck, son.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  20th March 2020

            Another niece ? How many do you have ? The landlady’s actions would be illegal if this story was true.

            People don’t ‘flash’ bankcards around these days, everyone has one so they are hardly a status symbol now. Eftpos cards can’t be used if there’s no cash in the bank account to be drawn on. There’s little point in carrying wads of notes nowadays and there hasn’t been for many years. Like many or probably most people, I carry some cash for small items and use eftpos for the rest. The council won’t take cash, so there’s no sense in carrying a bag of money in to pay the rates.

            Reply
          • Corky

             /  20th March 2020

            Oh, dear. The upset of me being PROVEN right again. Yep, If I can find it, I will post Kitty’s comments about ”preppers.’

            Platinum and Gold cards are status symbols for those who understand the language. Of course people who are house bound would not know that.

            ”The landladies action are illegal?”

            No, they aren’t. There was a choice offered. If the rent had gone up, or the house re rented, yes that would be a problem. Of course in a Libertarian land you would be able to charge what you like. But only people who understand freedom would concur with that.

            Anyway, back to the show. My suggestion is get your rolling pin out and hope for the best. Maybe insinuate Alan is making stories up? That would make a change. What about Zedds supermarket story? Is that suss?.😄

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  20th March 2020

              They just have to file a challenge in the Tenancy tribunal that the new rent is not within the bounds for that area…that stops any evictions or rent increase in its tracks.
              Two can play hardball…why arent you helping her to tackle this problem and play hardball…unless its you whos the landlord and niece is just a description not a relative?..of course that could be a wrong assumption and you are using all your nous to help her …’n’est pas?

            • Corky

               /  20th March 2020

              ”They just have to file a challenge in the Tenancy tribunal that the new rent is not within the bounds for that area…that stops any evictions or rent increase in its tracks.”

              They could file what like. My niece had been told 6 months prior that the house would be put on the market. However, a few months ago the landlord advised things may change. He gave her a choice of a few more months in the house while he made a decision. My niece had most of her stuff packed and was ready to move at short notice. He then came back and offered her the house at an extra $90 per week, or he would put it on the market. Fair warning had been given. He wasn’t playing hardball. In fact he has been a very generous landlord to my niece. He’s a Chinese chap. You rarely get a Chinese person who allows a solo mum first choice on a house because he thought of the children.

              Btw..what’s your rent, Duker? Around the $500 mark?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2020

              Landlady’s, not landladies; I knew that there was only one.

              I would be very surprised if a landlord could blackmail a tenant in this way legally. The rent can only go up at intervals.

              You must be thinking of American Express cards; how many people have the gold and platinum version and flash them around in cafes ? The charges and interest on these are higher than those on standard cards, although they do have benefits (my aunt had one years ago, but wasn’t such a snob that she flashed it around. I suspect that the number of times that one would see this would be zero, given the number of them likely to be in NZ)

              Your witless reiteration that I am housebound is a stupid lie. You know nothing about my life; please stop making up lies about it. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. Your absurd lie about my saying that the young, Pakeha, professional couple across the road from me were feral Maori was a prime example.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2020

              Landlords cannot increase the rent without 60 days notice and it has to be six months between increases (180 days) This was going to be increased to a year, but I don’t know if that’s happened.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2020

              No, Zedd’s supermarket story wasn’t suspect; but yours was. No supermarket seems to be open that early (6 am) and the image of the customers with eyes and mouths wide open was a little unbelievable.

            • Duker

               /  20th March 2020

              If she’s packed call his bluff , he doesnt want to put it on the market now.

              Tell him a short term tenancy comes at a lower cost or shes out of there now with no tenant and a terrible time to sell. Capisch ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2020

              The supposed niece is safe for 60 days anyway, as any rent increase can’t take effect for that time.

              And it has to be served in writing, not just be verbal. If (IF!) the story’s true, the landlord is acting illegally from the sound of it.

            • Corky

               /  20th March 2020

              ”Tell him a short term tenancy comes at a lower cost or shes out of there now with no tenant and a terrible time to sell. Capisch ” (?)

              Google:

              It is rude to say the word “capiche.” This is a word people who speak English in the United States use to mock people with. It’s not polite. It’s NOT “capisci,” and it’s NOT “capisce.” … This word is rude.

              ”Landlady’s, not landladies; I knew that there was only one.”

              By their fruit they are known. Looks like these two fruits came from the same source. Literally.😁

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2020

              There is no connection at all between Duker’s saying Capisce and my saying ‘landlady’s’ rather than ‘landladies’ which is the plural of landlady. Hardly ‘literally’ fruit from the same source; literally would mean actual or real. Duker and I are not the same person, if that’s what you mean,

              I’d say it’s rude to ask someone what they pay in rent when there’s no reason to suppose that they are and it’s none of your business, anyway,

              If you have seen gold credit cards in a cafe, they are probably for NZ banks which also have gold cards. There are a very small number of gold Amex ones here and they would be seen in places like Queenstown; the platinum ones are so unlikely to be seen here that this can be safely dismissed.

            • Corky

               /  20th March 2020

              ”I’d say it’s rude to ask someone what they pay in rent when there’s no reason to suppose that they are and it’s none of your business, anyway.”

              Bingo!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2020

              It was YOU who asked Duker what he paid in rent, remember ?

    • It could have been worse, and will still get worse. It will be impossible to know whether the response here has been appropriate, overdone or underdone.

      But doing nothing would have been calamitous as Italy’s experience has shown – deaths still climbing and now 3,400 despite drastic measures that may have been too late to contain the spread.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  20th March 2020

        Oh I have to disagree. 3,400 deaths is bad today but forgotten in three months. Laid off from work for three months and then taken back on at very reduced wages is something the you never forget and colours all your subsequent decisions. Multiply that experience out across the population and you have a very different society.

        Coupled with a govt that discovers it CAN issue a warrant for mass house arrest (sorry self-isolation) and things are forever changed.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  20th March 2020

          3400 is bad, but they are all people who were ill or frail before, from what I gather. Younger people have an illness and death rate of zero.

          Reply
      • Pink David

         /  20th March 2020

        “But doing nothing would have been calamitous as Italy’s experience has shown – deaths still climbing and now 3,400 despite drastic measures that may have been too late to contain the spread.”

        That is far from certain. The impacts of actions taken will roll for years and will have a death toll of their own.

        Reply
        • “will have a death toll of their own”

          That’s far less certain (is it any more than a vague maybe?) than the increase in death toll if much less or nothing was done to contain the virus.

          Experts are talking of potentially millions of deaths, that’s why they are doing so much to try to slow and contain the spread.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th March 2020

      Chatting to a local business owner this morning who says the mood in town yesterday was very gloomy. She was afraid to ask how people are in case they burst into tears. Tourists were wondering how they will get home. Streams of cancellations of bookings over the last 48 hours. Many cite friends or family coming from overseas have had to cancel. No doubt this is a bigger economic catastrophe than anything since WW2.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  20th March 2020

        Nanny State rides to the rescue , but like the Titanic there isnt lifeboats for every one.

        Capitalism says the strong business survive shocks while the weak go under and new chances are made for others from the rubble….and Nanny State stays out it

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th March 2020

          Nanny state sets fire to the building and turns up with a jug of water.

          Don’t underestimate how disastrous this will be unless science, innovation and private enterprise can deliver a quick solution.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  20th March 2020

            You wanted un- restricted travel to continue ?…. if it did then local residents would take the law into their own hands and burn down foreign tourist providers

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  20th March 2020

            Alan, that would be the logical thing to do, but the shutdowns are so much more dramatic. Or melodramatic given that no one has died of it in NZ, it’s possible to isolate those in danger and make it clear that if they go out and about it’s at their own risk.

            The economic disaster will be totally disproportionate to the danger. The government has a lot to answer for and I hope that hard questions will be asked.

            People just don’t or won’t understand that there is no community infection here.

            Reply
  2. Just in from Winston Peters interview on Morning Report this morning:

    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters told Morning Report he can’t guarantee the government will be able to help New Zealanders stranded overseas to get home.
    He says the government is working with Air New Zealand, and other governments, to try and help people get home as travel routes and borders close.

    The RNZ daily live posts are a good way to follow what is happening.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/412180/live-coronavirus-updates-in-nz-and-around-the-world-on-20-march

    Reply
  3. Reply
    • Duker

       /  20th March 2020

      Just standard wording from business, my inbox is full of it. Its good to see but hardly ‘Ad of the year’, in fact doesnt fit ‘advertising’ at all but is just a PR ‘communication’.
      Would love to see some real ads using standard advertising techniques that say the same thing with colour, graphics, catchlines…the works

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  20th March 2020

        I don’t bother to open the messages from businesses that I know will be saying the same thing…that they are using extra cleaning blah blah blah…

        I wonder if the fact that the death toll for the general population is virtually zero will halt some of the hysteria. It’s probably too late, though.

        The press keeps saying that we have x cases, ignoring the fact that the early ones will be recovered by now so no longer have it,

        Reply
  4. Boris Johnson: UK can turn tide of coronavirus in 12 weeks

    The next 12 weeks could “turn the tide of this disease”, Johnson told the daily Downing Street press conference on the pandemic, saying it was possible to “send coronavirus packing in this country, but only if we all take the steps we have outlined”.

    “I think, looking at it all, that we can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I’m absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country. But only if we all take the steps that we’ve outlined – that is vital.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/19/boris-johnson-uk-can-turn-tide-of-coronavirus-in-12-weeks

    ‘Turning the tide’ is not the end of it, just Johnson’s hope that they could be reducing the growth of spread.

    12 weeks is about three months.

    Again, it look s like being a long haul.

    Reply
  5. Duker

     /  20th March 2020

    Working from Home – NY Times

    Reply
  6. California is closing down even more.

    California’s governor on Thursday issued a statewide “stay at home order” directing residents to leave their homes only when necessary during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Governor Gavin Newsom said that modeling has shown that 56 percent of California residents were expected to contract COVID-19 over the next eight weeks, requiring nearly 20,000 more hospital beds than the state could currently provide.

    Newsom earlier on Thursday asked President Donald Trump to send a U.S. Navy hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles “immediately” as the state braces for the expected surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-california/california-governor-issues-statewide-stay-at-home-order-over-coronavirus-idUSKBN21645F

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th March 2020

      So has California stopped suing Trump for trying to control the borders now?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  20th March 2020

        ICE seems to have stopped arresting people and detaining them . It doesnt work along the borders itself but inland areas.
        The 19 states were suing over ‘the border wall’ that Trump was diverting military money to build.
        “The lawsuit says diverting billions from defense programs in the states, including from National Guard accounts, “will cause damage to their economies, harming their proprietary interests.” The states also argue that the diversion of money already allocated by lawmakers toward a border wall violates Congress’ appropriation powers.”

        It was the diversion of defense money that was of concern, especially from National Guard which is under control of the individual states

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th March 2020

    NZ is shutting down fast, not slowly. Unless the Govt comes up with a credible plan to reopen within a reasonably short time most businesses affected will simply give up surviving and go bust.

    Already the hospitality industry is staring into the abyss and saying the Govt rescue package does nothing.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12318383

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s