Ardern seeks more advice on impacts of tougher border controls before reacting to Trump's European travel ban; Announcement expected over the weekend

Ardern seeks more advice on impacts of tougher border controls before reacting to Trump's European travel ban; Announcement expected over the weekend

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand’s border restrictions will be strengthened, but exactly how will be decided over the weekend.

She said additional work was required to consider the impacts on the likes of bringing pharmaceutical products to New Zealand.

She wasn’t ruling in or out measures like a blanket ban on travellers from the US.

Ardern said New Zealand’s controls remain among the “most stringent” in the world.

Currently, foreign nationals who have been present in, or transited through, Iran or mainland China 14 days prior to departing for New Zealand, can’t enter the country.

New Zealand citizens who have been in these countries need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Anyone who’s been in Italy or the Republic of Korea needs to self-isolate for 14 days on coming to New Zealand.

Friday is the sixth consecutive day there have been no additional confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand. 

New Zealand has five confirmed cases based on positive test results and two probable cases. 

The Pacifika festival in Auckland has been cancelled but the March 15 terror attack memorial will still take place.

Ardern noted 60,000 people were expected to attend Pacifika and the Pacific Islands had experienced their first case of Covid-19.

She said US President Donald Trump’s shock decision to ban travellers from 26 European countries for 30 days hasn’t been reflected in other countries at this point.

On Friday morning Auckland Airport reported passenger volumes were down 18% in the first 10 days of March compared to the same period last year. They were down 8.6% in February.

The trading halt imposed on Auckland Airport shares following Trump’s travel ban announcement was lifted on Friday morning, when the company reported it had revised down its underlying earnings for the year to June 2020 to between $210 million and $235 million, from between $260 million and $270 million.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Thursday stressed New Zealand doesn’t have a community outbreak like the US does and authorities will keep making decisions based on science.

He cancelled a routine day-long visit to Australia on Friday to focus on New Zealand's economic response to Covid-19. He instead talked to his Australian counterpart over the phone, emphasising the importance of the two "allies" working together to respond to Covid-19.

Next week Robertson will further detail what will be included in the Government’s Business Continuity Package.

On Thursday he indicated targeted tax changes and wage subsidies for affected business were likely to be the parts of the package rolled out first. Work is also underway with banks on the potential for future working capital support for companies that face temporary credit constraints.

Both Robertson and the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) have said they won’t make “knee-jerk” reactions to Covid-19.

Planning is underway for if "scenario three" is reached and more broad-brush types of fiscal stimulus using the tax and welfare systems need to be deployed. 

The RBNZ's next scheduled review of the Official Cash Rate (OCR) is on March 25.

Interest.co.nz asked Assistant RBNZ Governor Christian Hawkesby on Wednesday what would need to happen between now and then for the RBNZ to cut the OCR by 50 points to 0.50%, rather than 25 points - the more typical size of revisions. His response can be heard here

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97 Comments

16
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Waiting for weekend...really.

This is the problem with NZ government, if their is a problem, why wait.

May be waiting for disaster.

19
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fiddling while Milan burns

Because making "a decision" for the sake of being seen to be doing something may ultimately harm the country more than waiting until appropriate information is available so that the *correct decision* can be made.

Better than making no decision for the sake of appearing like it's well-considered.

We are past the point of PR games here. Over-react by all means. I think many of us would prefer an over-reaction to an under-reaction that comes with a body count.

Don't panic Captain Mainwaring!

But banning flights was not so simple, as medicines were transported into New Zealand on passenger planes, she said.

Yeah, so, your idea to just ban people from different countries without due consideration, to be seen to be doing something, could easily be worse for NZ in the medium-long run if it means we don't get medicines we need.

This is why it's important to make the *correct decision*, not just "a decision".

For a few pallets of Medicines, i'm sure we can arrange for them to go on a commercial cargo flight, even if the commercial carog gets consolidated to one or two flights a week, or if needs be we have a bunch of trained logistics experts with experience in moving loads into and out of dangerous areas.. RNZAF

Yes, I'm sure it is truly that simple. Off you go to Wellington and tell all the experts how to do their jobs.

"Due consideration but a week late" and "due consideration" are different things. You only have to look at the Australian Grand Prix to see what happens when people blindly go along with things because people are making the best decisions all the time.

what example is that exactly? A long planned event got cancelled because of fresh information.. isn't that exactly the example of what you want to happen?

Except the only information needed is the answer to a simple question: Are people inbound from (Country/region) a significant risk in terms of spreading corona virus? (Y/n)?"

And the answer has swung to yes for several countries, Italy, Norway, USA, Spain, France, Germany. Basically the Eurozone + USA and few more south Asian countries where they just aren't testing/looking for cases.

Australia?? as the bug has community transmission now.

Yeah, they are getting borderline now too. That one is going to be a real problem to shutoff, so many companies in NZ that are just the eastern island branch and no stock held in NZ. But yep, its a matter of days before thats the only sane choice.

You can't keep it out. All you can do is delay it.

Ultimately, yes. But delaying it for two weeks by limiting movements to the bare necessary minimums from countries with spreading outbreaks is worth a lot. It gives the rest of the world two more weeks to figure out what treatments work, how to improve testing, and how to slow the spread.

Depends if your aim is to stop transmission of the virus no matter what the cost is (would the government sacrifice 10% of GDP to stop anyone infected turning up? 1%? 0.1%? Where do you draw the line as "too expensive"?), or whether you feel that you can risk a few infected people turning up because you have adequate systems in place to deal with them on a case by case basis.

We're a little bit past the point where international arrivals might feel a bit under the weather and be obliviously transmitting it wherever they go without a second thought, and international travel is dropping off everywhere.

No, not no matter what, if it was no matter what I would say close the airports to all commercial passenger flights. Restricting flights /passengers from infection hot zones is just common sense.

Death toll for CV just over 5,000 so far. Might get to 10,000 possibly. Annual death toll for influenza every year is 250-500,000. Perhaps banning all plane/sea travel would be appropriate? We are being played for fools and this is a cover that will be used to drive through more agendas and laws that undermine our freedoms, or what’s left of them. High probability of the EU using this as an excuse to cancel physical currency and introduce fully digital currency. No doubt the media and the dimwits out there will cheer them on...

11
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In typical New Zealand fashion, we'll wait until we have a serious problem on our hands before taking any action, and then only do something half-assedly anyway.

There is no way Jacinda will make that call.

Like a housing crisis?

13
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Bite the frickin bullet already mandatory 2 week quarantine for all arrivals.

Four weeks, and only citizens and permanent residents. Turn everyone else away.

Had a thought that if NZ somehow manages to avoid a large scale outbreak here, even more foreigners will come to see NZ a safe place to live. So more pressure on house prices.

12
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even if we avoid an outbreak here there will be big economic impacts as a result of what is happening overseas, this will impact jobs and immigration will drop if there are no jobs to get in to.

We are going to feel the pinch and recession is almost guaranteed in the short to medium term

Well paid talented immigrants are needed and valuable. What you mean are those low paid immigrants who hold pay rates down and increase under-employment of Kiwis and kill all incentives to train kiwis. They don't come for work and wages - in fact some pay large amounts to get their job and back-handers to their employer to keep it. They come because NZ has a free health service, free education for children and less corruption and anarchy than their home countries. Immigration rates are set by the govt, if it was open door we would really be swamped.

I would say it's a good dream. But it wont happen. What makes NZ different from other countries? We are pretty much like other countries. Nothing makes us special. People need job and food to live. When the whole world's economy is hit, do you think we can supply people enough jobs and food?

The majority of workers who were given visas in the last year are employed in NZ's tourism, hospitality and construction sectors. The first two are at the epicentre of the current economic slowdown while the third is likely to be the next dominoes to fall.

11
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We are about to have thousands of disgruntled F1 and cricket fans returning at short notice.

We can't wait longer for travel info. We can't wait until the week of our 20th creditors payments for details of business assistance.

This is a pivotal moment, and we're fluffing it. People are going to die and many of those who don't won't have jobs. Something, anything. Please.

Milk futures are starting to stampede.
https://www.nzx.com/markets/nzx-dairy-derivatives/quotes/futures/WMP

The GDT on the 17th is looking like it wont be good unless FX rates come to the party (which they have started to do).

Good thing our dollar is running with it.

Our dollar is dropping though and will continue to do so especially after we cut the OCR again

Good for Pacifika why take the risk if a cluster gets to Auckland, boom.
The Christchurch memorial needs be put online. Again why put people at risk. Asymptomatic.

This dithering over travel ban is a killer. The medicine on planes seems a distraction (or needs be handed right now by PM).

And let's start blitz on community testing, now.
And where is the financial package, cover for sick leave etc. Australia has their one.

Calm down Henry...no new cases today in NZ. Get outdoors while you can and have some fun....things could get grim over the winter months.

And when will we get to see the modelling (not the photo kind).

https://youtu.be/3rmMh2pLKAc

incorrect!!! no new case REPORTED today in NZ...

Given how lax we have been wouldnt you think that maybe 10 infected might have made it through undetected. Say as a mid point we have had 5 infected for the last 6 weeks, doubling every say 7 days (way underestimated) would give us about 500 infected now.

I fear that we will be like Italy and only know the extent of the problem when lots of sick and dying turn up at your hospitals

500 infected.. with a 2% fatality rate, where are the bodies?

Exactly...

Big delays in you getting infected and you actually dying from it. Do some research this virus had some unique and nasty properties. Some people start feeling better then come down with pneumonia and without hospital intervention it kills you. The massive lag between infection and it being tested for and reported it what is causing all the problems.

I have been reading and listening to interesting podcasts about it. I'm just staying the hell away from the trash that most people have been lapping up. peak prosperity for example.. urgh. And the lag isn;t massive, its 4-5 days normally. Hence why i said where are teh bodies, there would be dead and plenty of seriously ill people about if CV was on the loose in NZ for weeks.

Peak Prosperity was warning about the dangers of exponentiality and community transmission over a month ago! Chris Martenson is far ahead of the curve here and has given valuable information. If some governments had listened it would have helped them get prepared much more quickly and save some lives.

I aggree Henry. Not implimenting imeditially but calling for it now and it will take a month for the penny to drop in the Bee Hive and another couple of weeks (minimum) to act on it.

Maybe they should trial the ubi - Universal basic income - since so many will be financially affected when covid19 finally arrives.

This is Ardern's chance to serve 'burders' at the beehive and declare herself a super genius. She could then start with a Muslim travel ban, and then blame foreigners for the virus. She's got a lot of catching up to do.

Thank God Ardern is not Trump. He is alredy calling it a Foreign Virus and China and Europe's fault.

Don't worry Trump says there are plenty of test kits. Actual number of virus tests this week in the US: 77.

Stable genius = Smarter than the average old nag?

I know people hate Trump, but give me a break. Look at facts.

It is a Foreign Virus.
- The Virus DID originate in China.
- China deliberately and wilfuly attempted to coverup the virus.
- When they could no longer cover it up. China then deliberately downplayed the virus.
- They then locked down an entire country far more ruthlessly than any other nation.
- Meanwhile the WHO refused to call it a pandemic.
- The WHO implored nations to not restrict travel from China, even when China had gone into total lockdown.
- Now the EU has open borders, and unrestricted travel.
- Most EU nations shutting schools, shops, public events.
- Most EU hospitals are now at capacity and can no longer cope with demand.

Now tell me. Is Trump wrong?

I don't think it is an indisputable proven fact that the virus "originated" in China. The Chinese are suggesting that US soldiers brought it with them when the military games were held in Wuhan immediately prior to the outbreak. In fact it is unknown exactly where this virus came from including whether the release was deliberate by a state actor, or an accidental release from the Wuhan biolab a few hundred metres from the wet market or a true natural event from animals. It has been suggested that some staff from the lab were in the habit of selling used experimental animals at the market, but surely no-one would be that stupid. This lab was specifically researching bat coronaviruses which is interesting.

I think you back up my points more than counter them.

All evidence is suggesting the outbreak was before US troops were in the area. In fact it is highly likely they introduced it back to the States before anyone was even aware of it. It also would explain the relative speed at which it has spread through every state.

In fact you could go so far as that due to the trade war, it is possible they were deliberately infected, and that local outbreak was to cover up. Hence the two strains. US/Europe strain appears significantly worse than China/South Korea strain.

Lol of course it's China's fault it literally came from their unregulated live exotic animal market?

Imagine destroying economies over the sniffles

It’s not just “sniffles” mate. Have a gawk at what it does to some people’s lungs. Goggle (yes I know) covid19 lung X-rays.

If its sniffles, Italy wouldn't be imploding. Because Italy like us can handle the sniffles.

Lock....it....down. Now.

I think its a good decision to cancel Pacifika festival. The terror attack memorial is too good a photo op to let pass and reminds the world what a caring nation we are.
But the airports are our Achilles heel.. all tourists should be fitted with a tracking device and a yellow quarantine flag until they have self-isolated for minimum period.

Yes, but you have changed

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/120246650/jacinda-ardern-says-nz-has-fund...
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told the world's media that New Zealand and its people have "fundamentally changed" as a result of last year's terror attack.

We could'nt for go the photo op fir tbe only thing she actually did for the last 2.5 years.
Her ego is out of control.

Does anyone else think that the measures imposed so far seem to be doing a pretty good job of slowing this thing down? I mean only 5 cases so far. Thats pretty bloody good for a country that has thousands of travellers a week. It's clear it will arrive properly at some point, but there is nothing we can really do given how inter-connected we are other than slow it down, which is happening now. International travel has already slowed to a trickle.

I think the health experts are probably best placed to make the decisions on what we do, rather than knee-jerk reactions (we can see thanks to Trump what damage that can do).

Those at highest risk, you have been given valuable time to prepare, relying on it not coming here and doing nothing yourself is not a great plan.

Morph. If you don't look, you won't find.

What is your logic for not looking, no community testing?

There is community testing, if anyone presents with serious symptoms that match covid-19 profile, their doctor can get them tested. Don't need a history or travel or contact with a known case.

Yep TAG made those definition changes 6 days ago in messages to clinicians.
Those definitions, in themselves are not "blitz" community testing.
Fir example, why not run random trialing consented to trial locations. Queenstown Christchurch, Wellington Auckland.
You know, finger on the pause.

Blitz testing of who exactly?

Where are the deaths occurring so far in NZ Henry...is this a cover up?

Jo Nova has, as usual some sage advice: get tough sooner rather than later. Italy went from 3 cases to a hospital system on the verge of collapse within 3 weeks. Starve the virus of fresh bodies, and after a couple of host-less weeks it is likely to be non-viable. As Jo puts it, it's a choice between a pile of bodies, and a much bigger pile. Choose wisely.....

Stave the virus of fresh bodies - interestingly, there is an early suspicion that it's already mutated to try and combat that tactic;

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074938/chinese-studies-...

But, yes, I agree we should take advantage now with dramatic measures - otherwise we'll get there in future anyway.

Yes, exponential growth is a concept a large portion of society have difficulty in grasping.

Limits people's awareness.

Covid-19 needs a vector that us, we have the greatest defence against it our isolation. If we don't want it close the boarders. If its not already too late. Or let it in and live with it or not if you are elderly and sick.

But banning flights was not so simple, as medicines were transported into New Zealand on passenger planes, she said.
I can't believe that we have an overpaid idiot close enough to the prime minister. That was stupid enough to give her that sentence. And she was stupid enough to repeat it out loud.

so you checked the facts on that,lots of drugs have short shelf lives and required in large quantities.

Yes and there are multiple commercial cargo only freighter aircraft flights to NZ every week. Hundreds of tonnes of freight total capacity . If people can wait a couple of months for the latest iPhone.Then we can get some medicine instead.

Currently cabin crew would love to fly with just 3 or 4 passengers and full of cargo.

glad you cleared that up that no medicines are sent on passenger fllghts.i am surprised she would lie about that.just been repeated on 6.p.m news that some are now being sent on passenger flights.

Lastlegs, what do you make of this.

Cabin crew tested positive, but airline will not say what flight, what route.
https://youtu.be/AG-RXSvPT8k
Sky news, Virgin.

like you say,not enough info.no doubt our health ministry will remain alert but not alarmed.

Do you consider the virus situation is a crisis situation?

Yep. If you've got a national airline in crisis and cancelling flights and you cant arrange to hire a few planes to pick up medicines.... Weakest of calls that one.

10th March Ministry of Health media release CV19 Testing to date 281 negatives 47 cases classified as under investigation 328 total. Assuming one person = one test.
March 11th next update, 331 negatives = 3!!! tests done the previous day
March 12th No testing numbers in the media release
March 13th 379 negative tests = 24 tests per day over previous 2 days.
It is good that the tests that are being done are coming back negative. But is it enough considering the expected level of CV19 already in the community?

The expected level in the community is currently zero.. and testing criteria allows for testing of anyone with serious covid-19 symptoms regardless of if they have travelled or had exposure to a known source.

Expected.

Why not allow others to get some data?
Maybe NZ has some miracle physical resistence,

Why waste time looking in places you aren't likely to find it. Lab techs and doctors have better things to do than to collect and process samples from those that don't match the profile for covid-19, but do match the profile for hypochondria.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

looks like peter dutton has got it,maybe if he goes to hospital he will find out how many kiwi nurses are running the wards there and stop treating them like 2nd class citizens.

Lastlegs, how do you manage to link those two thoughts?

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120276244/coronavirus-...

P.S. if they are not citizens, they are not citizens.
They are allowed to be citizens.

they are permanent residents but their path to citizenship is more difficult than any other nationality,I would call that discriminatory and 2nd class treatment and dont think I am alone in that.

Should send him to Xmas Island.to isolate..I am sure he would love the reception.

It's all too late. Australia is the next Italy... what is the chances of all these high profile cases? Statistically unlikely, hence it's already widespread there and they haven't been testing for it.
Hence it's probably widespread here and ready to explode without warning.

Jacinda is condemning us to hell and economic disaster because she can not face the reality of this situation.

It is clear that when uncontrolled SARS CoV 2 is spreading at alarming rate with cases of Covid-19 doubling every 3 days. Even taking the massive containment efforts in China into account, which slowed spread, it still doubled every 5.8 days from the start.

At the current rate of growth outside China there will be quarter of a million cases in a week, close to 3/4 of a million in 2 weeks.

Jacinda needs to wake up. Close the borders and save us.

The economy is going to hell either way

Wow all of a sudden so many people wanting to close the boarders. Gee I was saying this 2 weeks ago and nobody was intrested or said it couldn't be done. Jacinda is not a leader she collates advice and likes to form committees she is reactive and not proactive and is like a possum in the headlights in a crisis situation.

Closing the borders was 'racist' if I recall correctly.

Tougher towards everyone else, but open the border now from China ! - which what precisely Jacinda will do, we need tourist, we need students from China. The govt. recognise the massive tax payers contribution from China tourism, hospitality & education sectors. China already started moving again, their economic engine might is roaring again, denying them means showing a bad sign to do business, we need China expertise on resolving this Covid19-22 outbreak, NZ should follow/joined the current China dear leadership strong policy. The Only way.

China has been lying its ass off from the beginning you have rocks in your head if you think its suddenly all clear in China. More likely they are being ordered back to work because they now realize containment is impossible anyway and everyone has to either get it and recover or die. Its not like they dont have enough people anyway and if you take a brutal economic approach like they can then the old people can go.

""Its not like they dont have enough people anyway"" - lacking empathy.

Triage 'lacks empathy' too, but that's exactly what's happening in the Italian medical system (or what's left of it) as we type....time for a reality check methinks....

China is now in a much better position comparing to 2 months ago, but saying they have things under control is still a risky narrative. Even the Chinese Foreign Affair Ministry said they are facing a lot of challenges especially more Chinese nationals are now coming back from Europe.

Hot off the wires - NZ is starting to close down.

"It will be the strictest border restriction rules in the world, Arden said"
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12316692

This has taken courage and will have upset a lot of businesses but history shows from the Spanish Flu that those that closed the door quickest had the least damage. Hopefully Ximon and the Gnats will get on board .....

We could prevent ALL road deaths (about 1 a day in NZ) by limiting the speed to 20kph nationally, including on open roads and motorways, so why don't we do it ???

Keeping with the road safety analogy.
Slow down. Your method of doing comparisons has a blind spot.

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