https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117567/eight_col_DTC_7973.jpg?1613426905 House prices show no sign of slowing at the start of the year. Photo: Dom Thomas Real Estate Institute New Zealand (REINZ) figures for January showed the median price rose a seasonally adjusted 2 percent on the month before. REINZ’s house price index hit a record high, with the annual gain more than 19 percent, the biggest annual rise since mid-2004. The national median price was $730,300. REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said prices typically eased in January as the residential property market slowed over the holiday season. “The first month of 2021 was anything but normal as house prices across the country have continued to rise, with January seeing four regions reach new record median house prices and one region equal its December record.” The four regions to hit records were Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, and Nelson, while Manawatū/Wanganui matched its December record. Meanwhile, Auckland prices ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png Legislation will be introduced under urgency today to set up a new Resurgence Support Payment for businesses affected by any resurgence of COVID-19. “Since the scheme was announced in December we have decided to make a change to the payment – reducing the time over which a revenue drop is assessed from 14 days to seven,” Grant Robertson said. “We acknowledge the concerns of the business community about Alert Level rises and have made this change as we want to get money out the door quickly to affected businesses.” Firms that experience a 30 percent drop in revenue over a 7-day period will be eligible. The payment would include a core per business rate of $1500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs ($21,500). “This payment recognises that some businesses face one-off costs or impacts to cashflow when we step up an Alert Level to ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/malcolm-cardinal-ranjith.jpg Source:Dailynews His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, for the second time this year. Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 closed on January 31. National politicians and some university professors can nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded in December. There were 318 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020, of which 211 were individuals and the rest were organisations. “I have proposed Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith because if we do nothing to prevent the fanatics who kill in the name of religion, it will be the cause of mass killings of the innocent, wars, conflicts and refugees,” said Dr. Amara Ranaweera, Sri Lankan born petroleum scientist, residing in Norway. Source link ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/255516/eight_col_Otara_covid_testing_1610.jpg?1613336932 Further results of Covid-19 testing in the community due back today will provide a clearer picture of whether Auckland can be moved out of alert level 3 at midnight on Wednesday. A Covid-19 testing centre in Ōtara, South Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Rowan Quinn Cabinet will meet again today as it continues to review the alert levels every 24 hours. Yesterday, there were no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the community, outside of the three already reported. Testing as of yesterday afternoon found that two of the 33 close contacts at the daughter’s school had come back negative, with the rest pending. Seven of the nine co-workers of the mother have also come back negative. An additional nine close contacts outside of the family and school have also tested negative. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the test results so far were heartening but potential chains of transmission in the ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/66475/eight_col_13752679_l.jpg?1461889932 The economy is headed for another shallow recession, according to Westpac Bank economists. Westpac Bank says with tourism remaining out of action, further growth will be harder to come by in the coming year. Photo: 123rf.com The bank’s latest quarterly forecasts suggest that the lack of overseas visitors over the summer would cost the country up to 6 percent in gross domestic product (GDP), and result in the economy contracting by 0.7 percent in the six months to March. Westpac Bank chief economist Dominick Stephens said the Covid-19 shock was not over. “GDP remains below the path it was on before Covid hit, reflecting the loss of international travel and tourism resulting from the closure of the border since March. “With the domestic economy having already recovered its lost ground, and tourism remaining out of action, further growth will be harder to come by in the coming year.” Stephens ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png From 1 April 2021, people getting a benefit will be able to earn more through work before their benefit payments are affected, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Overall, around 82,900 low-income people and families will be better off by $18 a week on average,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “Of that figure, 29,500 individuals and families currently receiving a working-age benefit would be on average $29 a week better off. “Currently, a person on Jobseeker Support can earn up to $90 a week before their benefit starts to reduce with sole parents and people on Supported Living Payment being able to earn up to $115 a week. The changes mean people can earn up to $160 a week before their benefit starts to be affected. Of the 82,900 people and families affected, approximately 50,200 are families with children. “The 1 April increase in income abatement thresholds delivers on ...

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Source: Sundayobserver In an unprecedented development, nominations of candidates to contest the election of office bearers to Sri Lanka Cricket will close a week short of three months in advance meaning all contestants will have to submit their papers on or before February 25 for the ballot on May 20. The Sunday Observer learns that already vote buying and jockeying for positions are moving at a brisk pace to entice 147 votes on offer as ex-cricketers and former administrators have begun to frown on the process which they say has contributed to a breakdown in the Sri Lanka team, its morale and discipline while administrators, some of whom have been there for donkeys years, hold sway with little or no accountability. Source link ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/103450/eight_col_PostCab_8June-3.jpg?1591593690 The first batch of Pfizer vaccines has arrived in New Zealand, and the country has transitioned well to increased alert levels, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Watch here: Ardern has spoken after a Cabinet meeting, along with Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. She says alert levels are unchanged, with Auckland to remain at alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at level 2. The batch of 60,000 vaccines, which arrived in New Zealand about 9.30am, will be tested this week for quality assurance, once the safety check is complete doses will be formally released to start the vaccination programme, Ardern says. It is expected border workers will start receiving vaccinations from this Saturday. “This will be the largest full-scale vaccination campaign in this country’s history,” she says. “We have purchased enough vaccines to cover all New Zealanders and to do so for free. That includes all ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Royal-College.jpg Source: Sundayobserver Old boys of Royal College and St. John’s College Jaffna will play their annual 40 over cricket encounter for the S. Skandakumar Trophy today (February 7) in Sydney, Australia. Skandakumar, affectionately called Skanda, served the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka as its secretary with distinction in the early 1990s which marked a very tough period for sport in the country. He also served as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canberra, Australia and was a great unifying force to all Sri Lankan communities irrespective of race or religion. Source link ...

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