The Weekender 18/04/2020

Welcome to the lockdown Weekender! We've been enjoying this time - even going on a virtual South Island trip that we couldn't actually do.


About the only sport around is the virtual car racing and both Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen have been doing quite well. McLaughlin won the Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

NZ News

The Taxpayers Union is stoked with the result after they started pushing politicians and civil servants to accept a pay cut in their ultra-safe jobs while they demanded others do without. They have been pushing mayors and councillors and this week "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announced a six-month 20% pay cut for all central government CEOs and Ministers." Of course, our sound-bite Prime Minister claimed she wanted to lead even though it was only bowing to two weeks of public pressure. I'm not sure a 20% pay cut is enough considering we pay them 1/3 more than similar private-sector jobs, but at least it's something.
The government's own ministers are having a hard time following their own instructions, with Deputy PM Winston Peters posting a photo of himself fishing from his law. Sure, he didn't leave home, but the lockdown rules specifically prohibited fishing. Health Minister David Clark has been demoted after driving his family 20km to the beach. He is losing portfolio's other than health due to the current situation.

Countdown has declared that "The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020" is officially over, as they praised kiwis for shopping normally.

The government is trying to prepare us for dropping the alert level from 4 to 3, but they made a bit of a hash of the education sector. They first said that returning kids to school was optional, but there was a big backlash from the teachers worried about just being baby sitters, so they quickly changed that to "clarify" that school will only be for kids with no one at home to look after them. Rather than being limited to your house, level 3 will be regional limitations - stay in your area. Rather than just "essential" businesses, "safe" businesses will be able to open, so non-contact takeaways will be allowed.

Kiwi nurse Jenny McGee has been credited by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for saving his life. The 35-year old originally from Invercargill woman said she was just doing her job and is back at work.

Dunedin's Baldwin Street has officially reclaimed the title of the steepest street in the world. An engineer from Dunedin went to Wales to measure their road and challenged the Guinness Book of Records over their measurement method.

The last of those injured in the White Island eruption have left hospital - although I'm sure they still have a long journey in front of them.

The Numbers Game

0: official Easter road toll - which last happened in 2012
3: months jail for a man who spat at Police
4.3: magnitude earthquake near Christchurch
11: people have now died in NZ from Covid-19, mostly older and many from Rest Homes
13: new Covid-19 cases in the last day for a total of 1,422 confirmed and probable cases with 867 of those recovered
13.5: % unemployment rate expected by Treasury with a four-week lockdown
50: % of player payments will be frozen by NZ Rugby for the 2020 season
75: % drop in road toll deaths
75: % increase in internet usage - but everything is holding up well
90: % drop in bus patronage around NZ - we have a game of "spot the bus customer" since the lockdown started - we are on two
105: th birthday in lockdown for Auckland man Laurence Reynolds
600: people found breaking the lockdown rules over Easter weekend - 64 prosecutions
1,000: motel units have been made available for the homeless during the lockdown

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 04/04/2020 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.4821 (0.0021)
EUR 0.5546 (0.0095)
USD 0.6031 (0.0141)
AUD 0.9475 (-0.0344)

The Weekender NZer of the week

A Young Kiwi
The NZer of the week is a young kiwi who stood up against the lockdown rules.

Joke of the Weekender

What do fish say when they hit a concrete wall?… Dam!


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
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