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Daily Briefing

COVID-19

April 14 2020

News from Government

The latest update is that there are 1349 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand; five people have died, 15 people are in hospital and 546 have recovered. The government has signalled there will be some significant announcements over the next four days.
The Government is making further support available for Kiwis wanting to look after their mental wellbeing as a result of change and uncertainty from COVID-19 says the Minister of Health. [Link]
Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced that the Government will be bringing New Zealanders home from India. [Link]
On the 20th of April, two days before the lockdown is due to finish, Cabinet will make a decision on our next steps says the PM. “That’s because we need to use the most up to date data that we have to make that decision.” [Link]
Nearly one thousand motel units have been found for homeless and vulnerable people in response to the Covid-19 crisis, with nearly five hundred units now occupied, Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods said [Link]
The Government will provide extra funding to help councils expand footpaths and roll out temporary cycleways to help people keep 2 metres of physical distance after the Alert Level 4 lockdown, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. [Link]
Officers from Police and the Aviation Security Service are teaming up to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 lockdown and provide community reassurance about safety and law enforcement. At least 270 Avsec officers are working alongside Police for reassurance patrols at supermarkets and to carry out compliance checks at quarantine and isolation centres in some hotels, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Police Minister Stuart Nash. [Link]

News from Ministries

Treasury will today release scenarios looking at economic impacts under different alert levels [Link]
Rest homes are now looking at buying their own Covid-19 testing kits after the Ministry of Health refused to test new admissions. [Link]
Schools have been told to prepare to reopen for "some but not all" of their students on April 29. The Ministry of Education has sent a bulletin to schools saying that "a hybrid model of both distance learning and on-site learning is very likely at least in the early stages" after the coronavirus lockdown ends - but some principals are still uncertain what reopening will look like. [Link]
New Police statistics on domestic violence showed a 20% increase in cases on the first Sunday after the lockdown compared with the previous three Sundays. [Link]
The Government has launched three online tools including an app developed by All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan for Kiwis wanting to look after their mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic. [Link]
Economic scenarios released by Treasury show unemployment can be kept below 10 percent [Link]

New from Civil Society

To keep the homeless and vulnerable safe during the lockdown Rotorua community leader Tiny Deane has just put 200 of them up in some of the flashest rooms they've ever stayed in. [Link]
KiwiBuy Campaign Chair Major Campbell Roberts says we already had a crisis before the global COVID-19 pandemic, and we have now reached breaking point. Major Roberts is urging the Government to bolster its funding for social housing projects, in an effort to cushion the blow for New Zealand families affected financially by the coronavirus outbreak. [Link]
COVID-19 has provided a "stress test" to New Zealand’s health systems and forced innovation and adaptation in unprecedented ways. A natural experiment of system change that could be useful writes Emeritus Professor Peter Byard Davis. [Link]
Barrister Graeme Edgeler writes about the government being sure of your legal footing, and where it derives its powers during a state of emergency. He writes that “there are still limits to its powers, and examples where the wider government appears to have gone beyond what is permitted.” [Link]
The amount of time New Zealand prisoners are being kept in their cells each day during the Covid-19 outbreak meets the international definition of solitary confinement, according to a prison reform group. [Link]
Call for in-home health workers to get supermarket priority. "Basically, that's what they're telling me, to wait in line which would mean that I wouldn't be back to the client in time to give her care," said Health support worker Roz Yates. [Link]
Tertiary students are hoping a promised government package will help students struggling to pay for essentials like food and power because of the lockdown. Union of Students' Associations president Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, said many students were not eligible for wage subsidies because they were sacked before the lockdown started or their jobs were under-the-table. She said students who used the living cost component of their student loans were in particular trouble if they lived in high-rent areas like Wellington. "They might be getting a maximum of $230 a week but their rent is more and therefore they are unable to cover those essential power and food bills." [Link]
Accommodation has been secured for 50 homeless in Te Tai Tokerau. One Double Five Community House CEO Liz Cassidy-Nelson says the accommodation will be available for up to three months at four motels across the region. [Link]
Manawatū iwi organisations are supporting whānau during lockdown. With the help from 33 army personnel, kaimahi and volunteers have been able to send out hundreds of care packs to whānau facing hardship. [Link]
Māori television is releasing Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora on Wednesday 15th April. It is a long-distance learning initiative for children and teens in Māori-medium education that includes puna reo, kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, kura ā-iwi, wharekura, bilingual and immersion educational options. [Link]
Ngāti Kahungunu emergency hubs continue to support whānau throughout the lockdown. The hubs coordinate welfare relief to those struggling. [Link]
Māori tourism businesses say COVID-19 is having devastating effects with some losing millions of dollars due to the pandemic. [Link]
Takapau Flavell of (Te Whānau ā Apanui) has been delivering essentials to the small community of Hāwai every day to take kai to her elders. With the support of her local community such as the Maraenui kōhanga reo, she has been able to borrow their van to deliver these much-needed essentials. [Link]
Te Wharekura o Manurewa principal Maahia Nathan says “the best thing is that education is continuing despite the lockdown.” Prior to the lockdown the kura had worked to ensure students without laptops and internet had those necessities provided to them. Nathan says “the number without an internet connection is now down to two.” [Link]
Te Reureu and Ngāti Kauwhata hapū from the Manawatū are working with local companies to help meet the needs of their people. Dennis Emery, chairperson of Ngā Kaitiaki o Ngāti Kauwhata, and his team will continue to prepare for the unknown. He says "What will we look like coming out of Covid-19? The one thing we are very sure in our iwi plan is that we want to put our people in a better, stronger, footing than they were before we went in." [Link].

Other news

Eight healthcare workers in Auckland's DHBs have Covid-19 reports the NZ Herald [Link]
The head of the World Health Organisation has warned against the early lifting of restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says police saw about 800 breaches of alert level 4 restrictions over the weekend. From that, there would be about 100 prosecutions, he said.
In an interview with Q+A over the weekend, the Minister of Climate Change described Covid-19 as a "terrible" outcome for the environment, because it will put pressure on money needed for emissions measures, and because attention will be taken away from fighting climate change at a crucial moment for the world. "The great risk is we take our eye off the ball of the long term while we’re dealing with the short term challenge."
It is critical to ensure our houses are in order with skilled staff and strong procedures, but the valuable ‘lessons learned’ from true-life emergency events are never that cut and dried, writes former public health worker Richard Simpson in The Spinoff [Link]
UN backs global action to end violence against women and girls amid COVID-19 crisis [Link]

Outputs from the Human Rights Commission

Paul explains why the COVID-19 national emergency is not only a health emergency but a human rights emergency in a video on our Facebook page [Link]
Meng spoke to Danielle Clent from Stuff NZ about the complaints the Human Rights Commission has received during the coronavirus pandemic. "New Zealanders of all backgrounds can and must do better. Just as we are flattening the curve for Covid-19, we must also flatten and smash racism and xenophobia. We are all in this together, let's not turn on each other,” said the Race Relations Commissioner. [Link]
Saunoamaali’i put out a media statement calling for people to reach out for help says if you are unsafe at home [Link]
Family harm incidents reported to police are increasing under lockdown, according to figures released today reports TVNZ. Women's Rights Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo said the Government's efforts to combat family violence during the lockdown need to go beyond funding for support organisations. [Link]
Domestic violence is the second, silent epidemic amid lockdown reports Kirsty Johnston. New Police statistics on domestic violence showed a 20% increase in cases on the first Sunday after the lockdown compared with the previous three Sundays. Saunoamaali’i is quoted as saying "In extraordinary times like this, we need to be creative in how support is made easily accessible and affordable. Assuming that people can dial in for assistance from the comfort of their home is not helpful," she said. Sumeo said she had met with Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway to talk about how to give women who were non-essential workers a pretence to get out - such as a letter from an employer asking them to work from a certain place for a half day, so they can make a plan. [Link]
Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero told the NZ Herald it was important people most at risk if exposed to the virus were appropriately protected, including older people in rest homes and those with health conditions. [Link]
Saunoamaali’i is pleading for a reduction in domestic violence as some family bubbles become more dangerous reports RNZ. [Link]
Saunoamaali’i told Stuff NZ that the enormity and speed of the Government's moves to stamp out Covid-19 have caused anxiety and confusion for both employees and employers, said Dr Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo [Link]
Saunoamaali’i met with Hon, Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women regarding the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on women on 8 April. The notes from there meeting are here.
Saunoamaali’i met with Hon. Ian Lees-Galloway, Minister for Workplace Relations on 9th April. The notes from that meeting are here.

Daily Briefing COVID-19 April 14 2020

 
 
 
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