New Zealand

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A New Zealand wholefoods shop and education centre is facing an uncertain future. An email sent to customers from Wholegrain Organics on May 13 said the business was entering voluntary insolvency, and it would “review the business to see if there are possibilities to restructure,” Stuff.NZ reported. The email said that any orders in process or refunds due at the time of the notice would still be completed. The non-profit business has a shop, bread mill, distribution centre, cafe and a children’s workshop at its premises on the north side of The Square.
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New Zealand welcomed tourists from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Japan and more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years Monday after dropping most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions, the Associated Press reported. The country has long been renowned for its breathtaking scenery and adventure tourism offerings such as bungy jumping and skiing. Before the spread of COVID-19, more than 3 million tourists visited each year, accounting for 20% of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5% of the overall economy.
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Air New Zealand Ltd will centralise operations in Auckland and move its workforce in the city to a refurbished airport campus, the airline said on Wednesday, adding that the decision will help it cut costs by a fifth over 15 years, Reuters reported. The move, expected to occur in 2024, comes as New Zealand's flag carrier looks to reduce property costs while aiming for an uptick in business after two years of hard-line international border restrictions at home.
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The man behind Tauranga's failed Bella Vista development is fighting a New Zealand High Court challenge to declare him bankrupt, promising the court he has a plan to pay back a $1 million debt to a building materials supplier, the New Zealand Herald reported. Danny Cancian, former director of the now-liquidated Bella Vista Homes company, shed tears as he appeared via audio-visual link in the High Court at Tauranga yesterday. The 21-home Bella Vista development in The Lakes was evacuated by Tauranga City Council in 2018 over claims of construction deficiencies.
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New Zealand banks are calling on the Reserve Bank to delay implementation of new mortgage lending restrictions such as debt-to-income ratios as the housing market cools. Existing restrictions and rising interest rates are already slowing home-lending growth, and banks are concerned the introduction of further limits could have “unintended consequences,” the New Zealand Bankers Association said in a submission to the RBNZ posted on its website. It urged the central bank to assess the impact of market changes before using additional tools.
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New Zealand’s central bank is expected to raise interest rates for a second straight month and signal a more aggressive tightening cycle to contain inflation amid a labor shortage, Bloomberg News reported. The Reserve Bank will lift the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% on Wednesday in Wellington, according to 21 of 23 surveyed economists. Two predict a hike to 1% and investors see a risk the RBNZ will opt for a 50 basis-point increase, but the bank could instead signal faster tightening ahead.
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the nation into a three-day lockdown after the discovery of the first community case of Covid-19 since February, Bloomberg News reported. The snap lockdown will begin at midnight tonight as authorities rush to identify the source of a single infection in largest city Auckland, Ardern said at a news conference Tuesday in Wellington. While genome sequencing has yet to be completed, the case is assumed to be the highly infectious delta variant, she said.
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New Zealand said it won’t loosen its stringent border-control and quarantine procedures until next year as it doubles down on its zero-Covid-19 approach to the pandemic, with plans to consider for entry only vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries starting in early 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Pacific nation of some 4.9 million people has been closed to virtually all travelers since March 2020. That approach has been credited for keeping its Covid-19 infection rate among the lowest in the world, with 26 reported deaths since the pandemic began.
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A self-proclaimed prominent medical academic has been made bankrupt after trying to take legal action over the Whakaari/White Island disaster, Stuff reported. Dr. Miles Roger Wislang was made bankrupt after a hearing in the High Court at Dunedin last month. The application was brought by White Island Tours Ltd. over unpaid legal costs of $62,240.50. The costs arose after he applied for a judicial review application regarding the Whaakari eruption of Dec. 9, 2019, which claimed 21 lives. He argued no visits to the island should have been permitted while the mountain was at alert level two.
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New Zealand’s central bank said it will reduce monetary stimulus by ceasing quantitative easing, a surprise move that sent the currency higher as traders priced in an interest-rate increase as early as August, Bloomberg News reported. The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Adrian Orr, on Wednesday held the official cash rate at 0.25%, but said that it will halt bond buying under its Large Scale Asset Purchase program by July 23. The statement omitted a previous reference to the need for considerable time and patience to achieve its inflation and employment goals.
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