https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/116883/eight_col_KB_Langley.jpg?1612250830 A KiwiBuild development in New Plymouth has defied the naysayers and sold out the first tranche of 33 properties in double-quick time. Ronel and Jayden Langley move into their new KiwiBuild home in Marfell, New Plymouth Photo: RNZ/ Robin Martin The Discovery Development in Marfell only went on the market in October and there’s already keen interest in the outstanding 35 homes which are nearing completion. The project is built on land where dozens of neglected state houses were demolished in 2008 forcing about 20 families from their homes. In 2017, yet more abandoned properties were bulldozed to make way for the $23 million development which it is hoped will rejuvenate the neighbourhood. Brazilian couple Gabrielle and George Krieger have just moved with their new puppy Piha. Gabrielle couldn’t be happier. “We are really excited. We moved in on Saturday so it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty amazing, a really ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png The latest update shows the Government’s books are again in better shape than forecast, meaning New Zealand is still in a strong position to respond to any COVID-19 resurgence. The Crown Accounts for the six months to the end of December were better than forecast in the Half-year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) deficit at $4.0 billion was $1.1 billion better than forecast in HYEFU. “This was partly due to tax revenue coming in $0.8 billion above forecast, with GST revenue $0.6 billion (5.5%) above forecast as domestic spending continued to be better than expected at HYEFU,” Grant Robertson said. “PAYE revenue was also $500 million above forecast reflecting the strong labour market.” Core Crown expenses were $52.3 billion, $0.4 billion below the HYEFU forecast. Net core crown debt was 32.6% of GDP, $1.5 billion less than forecast. “The Government’s support ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/104194/eight_col_Prof_Michael_Baker_-_HighRes-2.jpg?1592696874 People are being reminded the country is not out of the woods yet – despite moving down alert levels. Auckland is now in alert level 2 and the rest of New Zealand in level 1 despite three new community cases of Covid-19 being announced on Wednesday. Two Papatoetoe High School students and a household contact tested positive for the coronavirus. The cases were linked to the three announced on Sunday. There is an exception to the changes in Auckland: all Papatoetoe High School students, staff and their families are required to isolate at home until Monday, and not return to school on Monday without a negative test. The school will remain closed for the rest of the week. University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said it was the right call to lower levels, but would have liked to have a move to 2.5 and 1.5. He said having ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/98718/eight_col_Queenst1.jpg?1585158179 Auckland business owners are nervously waiting to find out how long the city will remain in lockdown. Data shows spending in the city reduces by 40 percent during a level 3 lockdown. File photo. Photo: RNZ / Jordan Bond Based in a Queen Street arcade, retailer Marbecks Records is all too familiar with alert level 3 and has closed its doors to take only phone and online orders. “We can handle three days; let’s hope it doesn’t go on,” said the music store’s owner Roger Marbeck. He is concerned that when the time comes for people to return to the city, they will be cautious. “That’s the nightmare; it really is, it takes ages for people to start coming back. It depends how quickly businesses return their staff to the city,” Marbeck said. “We aren’t seeing that traffic at all. Some days you could drive a tank up Queen ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117561/eight_col_20210215_092305.jpg?1613417185 Doctors on the frontline of the latest outbreak are on high alert despite the government moving Auckland to level 2. Lines at a testing centre in Ōtara on 15 February. Photo: RNZ / Rowan Quinn South Seas Healthcare has tested thousands of people through the Ōtara testing centre this week, most of them from Papatoetoe where the current six-person outbreak is centred. Staff gathered around a TV in the reception to watch the government’s announcement and GP Maryann Heather said they were surprised at the decision. “It could have gone either way but I guess … we were thinking we might extend at least till Sunday,” she said. As many Aucklanders breathed a sigh of relief as they come out of level 3, Dr Heather and her colleagues were still in the middle of the latest outbreak. Some of the positive cases came through their testing centre and the ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/53490/eight_col_074A0231.jpg?1521049859 Wellington business owners are breathing a sigh of relief that the region will move back to alert level 1 just in time for the weekend rush. Cuba Street in Wellington. (File photo). Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King Auckland moved to alert level 2 and the rest of New Zealand to level 1 from midnight, though three new community cases of Covid-19 being announced yesterday. The new cases were linked to one of last weekend’s cases, a pupil at Papatoetoe High School. Three days of venue restrictions and low foot-traffic have left some owners feeling the pinch. On a good night, the hugely popular Cuba Street restaurant Loretta turns out meals for a couple of hundred guests. But service can get a little complicated when guest numbers must be below 100 and they have to be spaced out, with just one person serving them. Loretta owner Marc Weir said that ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/a-sampling-of-wildlife-in-sri-la.jpg × For nearly two decades eLanka has reliably reported the facts, good news stories, photos, events at no charge, but our work is far from free to produce. Make an unconditional contribution today and help ensure the internet’s most trusted fact-checking site endures — and grows. Thank You! Source link ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117662/eight_col_BeFunky-collage_%281%29.jpg?1613551026 The move to lower alert levels at midnight has been welcomed, as three new community cases with a direct link to earlier cases are identified. Here’s a summary of today’s Covid-19 developments. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern heads into the media conference where she announced the alert level changes. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this afternoon that Auckland would move to alert level 2 and the rest of New Zealand to level 1 from midnight tonight. The alert levels will be reviewed on Monday 22 February. There is one exception to the changes: all Papatoetoe High School students, staff and their families are required to isolate at home until Monday, and not return to school on Monday without a negative test. The school will remain closed for the rest of the week. Three new community cases There were three new community cases reported today. Earlier ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/212339/eight_col_FB_CEO.jpg?1571780819 Fletcher Building has reported a solid lift in first half profit as it benefited from a strong housing market and improved margins. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly The net profit for the six months ended December rose 47 percent to $121 million from $82m the year before. Chief executive Ross Taylor said the restructuring of recent years had put the business in shape for improved earnings. “We have seen a broadly stable market environment. Growth in the New Zealand residential sector has been offset by softer demand in Commercial and mixed conditions in infrastructure in both New Zealand and Australia.” Its underlying profit before significant items was $329m, against its own forecast of $305m-to-$320. It had $86m in one off items covering further restructuring costs and a write down in the value of its Australian businesses Rocla, which is being sold. The sale of land at the contentious Ihumātao ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-entry-turret.jpg The entry turret Source:Dailynews The coastal areas of Sri Lanka have some stunning historic forts. Some are massive and imposing. Other forts are not that big but served their purpose of a fortified defensive bastion. With the tranquil Puttalam lagoon opening out to the sea, Kalpitiya is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. A cluster of 23 islands, 14 of which are major islands, enhances the appeal of this resplendent location. A few metres from the main town is a historic architectural gem – the Dutch Fort. As we entered through the main gate of SLNS Vijaya, the naval quartermaster greeted us and directed us to the fort. The first view from the right side of the Base is the majestic rock wall that has stood here for three centuries. The cool breeze of the lagoon was refreshing. A sailor accompanied us to this historic fortified ...

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