Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Coronavirus: More large events likely to be cancelled - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Large events where things like seat numbers cannot be tracked are likely to be cancelled to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking to media on Friday. Photo: RNZ

Speaking to RNZ's Morning Report, Ardern said the government was acting on advice quickly and taking difficult decisions early to protect New Zealanders' health.

Events cancelled over the weekend included Auckland's Pasifika Festival and the memorial for those killed in the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch a year ago.

Ardern said the government would be putting out further guidelines and requirements for gatherings early this week.

"The basis of those decisions will be if those gatherings have large numbers of people where they are in close contact with one another, where they for instance aren't in things like allocated seating where it's hard for us to trace them, those gatherings won't be going ahead," she said.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

She said the government was working on its economic response through Treasury and working with the Reserve Bank.

The Reserve Bank this morning announced an emergency cut to the official cash rate of 75 basis points to an all-time low of 0.25 percent.

She suggested invoking a state of emergency was not likely to make much of a difference.

"There is nothing that we would be doing that would be invoked by using any form emergency powers that we are not doing now."

Care for young and old

Ardern said the government was following the models employed by countries which had kept the rate of transmission low.

"Not all of those countries have acted to close schools," she said.

"Young people ... haven't tended to be picking up or demonstrating that they have Covid-19, transmission rates have been low [among young people].

"We have to keep in mind: if you close schools, where do children go? They go to their grandparents, or other caregivers. So we have to keep all of those wider effects in mind."

"Continue to have faith that we have made decisive decisions based on evidence when we've needed to and we will continue to do so rather than seeing schools take ad hoc action."

She said New Zealand was not currently looking at measures considered in the United Kingdom, where the health minister suggested all people aged over 70 and younger people with certain medical conditions would be asked to isolate themselves for a month.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

"We don't have community transmission, but yes there will be countries who will be at a point where they will be seeking for those who are most at risk.

"We are not in that place in New Zealand, but I will ask ... take care of our older citizens. Make sure that you are very mindful of your own health status before you are in contact with older citizens and make sure you're looking out for them."

She said there were some basic health measures people could take to protect themselves and others.

"Making sure we're not shaking hands, hugging, kissing on greeting - all of those simple public health measures ... even making sure that we don't have those non-essential visits to aged care facilities."

She said the cut-off date for self-isolation for people was clearly somewhat arbitrary and mostly based around helping the airlines make sure they could get their operations organised.

She said self-isolation for people at risk would be responsible, even if they were not within the cut-off.

Working from home was not something that had been required by the government, but businesses should have a plan or be working on one, she said.

The government is set to announce a relief package to help combat the economic effects of the virus tomorrow.

Ardern said it would be a multibillion-dollar spend.

"When I use the word significant I'm also referring to the fact that this is an incredibly important package. It has to be designed to support those industries and businesses who are affected by the impacts of Covid-19."

She said it would not necessarily be the only package or piece of work the government would do in response to Covid-19.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Lockdown, Masks And Aerosol Transmission

Ironically, our relative success in suppressing the exponential spread of Covid-19 is only increasing the pressure to ease back from those measures, on a regional basis at least. We seem set on course to start tentatively emerging from lockdown in about ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Wage Cuts, And The Listener’s Demise

Various levels of across the board wage cuts – 10%? 15% ?- are being mooted for workers in some of our larger firms, in order to help the likes of Fletchers, Mediaworks etc survive the Covid-19 crisis. It is extraordinary that unions should be having ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics... More>>


  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog