https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117541/eight_col_DTC_4660.jpg?1613351323 It will be too difficult for businesses to enforce scanning of QR codes if it was mandated, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association. The Employers and Manufacturers Association says some may face assaults as a result of confronting those who don’t scan. (File image) Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas The government this week said it was actively considering mandating the use of the Covid-19 Tracer app, in a bid to boost the number of people scanning. However, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there was hesitancy due to the potential compliance cost. Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) spokesperson Alan McDonald told Morning Report it was a good idea on paper, but implementation might cause problems. “If you make it compulsory then that implies somebody has go to enforce this thing and if you’re looking at particularly small businesses … that’s putting a lot of onus on the owner or ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png From June this year, all primary, intermediate, secondary school and kura students will have access to free period products, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. The announcement follows a successful Access to Period Products pilot programme, which has been running since Term 3 last year in 15 schools and kura in the Waikato region. “Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population,” said Jacinda Ardern. “Removing barriers to healthy, active, educational outcomes for children and young people is an important part of the Government’s Youth and Wellbeing Strategy.” Speaking at Fairfield College in Hamilton, which took part in the pilot, Jacinda Ardern said feedback from the students was that period products should be made available for all who need them, when they need them. “The positive response from ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/255773/eight_col_vaccine.jpg?1613622516 Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer is in intensive discussions with regulators to test a booster shot version of its Covid-19 vaccine specifically targeting the highly contagious South African variant. Photo: AFP Phil Dormitzer, one of Pfizer’s top viral vaccine scientists, said in an interview that he believes the current vaccine – developed with Germany’s BioNTech SE – is highly likely to still protect against the concerning variant first discovered in South Africa. “We’re not doing that primarily because we think that that means that we’re going to need to change that vaccine,” he said. “It’s primarily to learn how to change strain, both in terms of what we do at the manufacturing level, and especially what the clinical results are. “So if a variant comes along for which there is clinical evidence of escape, we’re ready to respond very quickly,” Dormitzer added. Dormitzer, chief scientific officer of viral vaccines at Pfizer ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/51347/eight_col_80392269_l.jpg?1518126330 The government’s finances are in much better shape than expected with strong domestic spending propping up the tax take. Consumer spending lifted GST revenue and the stronger labour market boosted the income tax take. Photo: 123RF Official figures show a deficit of $3.98 billion for the six months ended December, 33 percent lower than forecast. The strength of consumer spending lifted GST revenue by 5 percent, while income tax revenue was ahead of forecast because of the stronger labour market. The total tax take was $45.3b, up 1.9 percent on forecast, while government expenses were $53.3b, slightly lower than forecast. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the government was in a financial position to cope with any resurgence of Covid-19. “We will continue our balanced approach to managing the economy, giving room to provide support to protect New Zealanders from Covid-19 and its impact, while also providing support to those ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png The new Resurgence Support Payment passed by Parliament this week will be available to eligible businesses now that Auckland will be in Alert Level 2 until Monday. “Our careful management of the Government accounts means we have money aside for situations like this. We stand ready to share the burden with businesses when Alert Levels rise or in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19,” Grant Robertson said. In order to qualify for the payment businesses must show a 30 percent drop in revenue over a seven day period compared with a typical similar revenue period in the six weeks prior to the Alert Level rise. Or if it is a seasonal business applying they must show a 30 percent revenue drop compared with a similar week the previous year. “The payment is available to businesses nationally if they can meet the eligibility criteria, not just those in Auckland. ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/favorite-burgers-in-every-state.jpg We scoured online listicles, Yelp, and Tripadvisor reviews and asked locals and foodies what their favorite place to get a burger is in every state. There are many factors in making a good burger a great one. It can be the simplicity of an old-fashioned bacon cheeseburger or the perfect bun-to-meat ratio. We’ve listed some that have been named best burger in America by Bon Appétit and Food Network, but also regional favorites that locals swear by.      Source link ...

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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 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 many ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/131658/eight_col_car_tyre.jpg?1510193669 The New Zealand Stock Exchange will get its second new name for the year on its main board next week. Photo: 123RF The vehicle finance company NZ Automotive Investments (NZAI) will debut on the local exchange but it will not be raising any money – for now. The company, which was founded in 2011, owns two subsidiaries; the automotive retailer, 2 Cheap Cars, and the vehicle finance business NZ Motor Finance. It has 12 dealerships across the country and said it had sold about 11,000 cars per year over the past three years. Over 45 million shares will be made available at a reference price of $1.30, giving the company a market capitalisation of about $59 million. NZAI chair Karl Smith said the company was listing because it wanted to access cash in the future and grow its vehicle finance business. The company said about a third of its ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png Attorney-General David Parker announced today that an appointment round for Queen’s Counsel will take place in 2021.  Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint Queen’s Counsel in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the law in fields other than advocacy. The Chief Justice and the Attorney-General have issued Guidelines for Candidates. The Guidelines were updated in 2019 following a consultation process and include a new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice. “In recommending barristers to take silk I want to have a good understanding of each applicant’s personal contribution to advancing better access to justice for those who need it. It will be an important factor in my decisions,” David Parker said. The guidelines and application form are available at www.crownlaw.govt.nz and set ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117687/eight_col_000_8ZP3CD.jpg?1613617804 By Michael Taylor Air pollution caused tens of thousands of deaths in the world’s five most populous cities last year despite coronavirus lockdowns, researchers say, urging governments to ditch fossil fuels and invest in a green recovery. Air pollution killed one in 500 people in Delhi last year. Photo: AFP Environmental campaign group Greenpeace Southeast Asia and air quality technology company IQAir measured pollution levels across 28 cities – chosen according to where data was available and with a geographical spread. In the five most-populated cities – Delhi, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo – air pollution caused about 160,000 deaths and economic losses totalling about $US85 billion ($NZ118b) “A few months of lockdown hasn’t really dented that long-term average of air pollution that people have been exposed to,” said Aidan Farrow, an air pollution scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories at Britain’s University of Exeter. “It is a ...

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