Tag: New Zealand

New Zealand’s political scene was unpleasant in 2020, but the coming year brings hope
Asia Pacific Focus

New Zealand’s political scene was unpleasant in 2020, but the coming year brings hope

New Zealand’s political scene: Year 2020 began as usual for everyone, like any new year – brimming with hope and opportunities. But soon the turmoil unraveled, surfacing doubts, fear and pain. The New Zealand political scene too saw the same plot as its wagon wheels came off in a rather unpredicted way. The country saw some grave nuisances even before the annual campaign hit off – conspiracies, Covid-19, coup, leaks, lies, scandals, lockdowns, misinformation, screw-ups by ministers, and a sexting MP. The landscape was horrid to extremes. Even if one doesn’t consider the Coronavirus pandemic and its implications, New Zealand politics saw enough drama in a year. 

For starting, as the country was grappling through pandemic led lockdown, the New Zealand’s health minister breached the lockdown rules that were imposed by his ministry. As the people were following regulations for a greater good of curbing Covid-19 – pregnant women were delivering babies alone in hospitals, people not spending holidays with families, unable to gather at funerals – the health minister was vacationing on the beach. Minister eventually presented his resignation. 

The Speaker of House of Representatives had to issue a public apology after wrongly claiming that there is a rapist in the parliament. This had cost $333,000 of taxpayer’s money to settle the defamatory lawsuit. 

This was just the starting – campaign was still in sight, and seeing the ongoing trend of blunders, the prospects of this continuing with campaign was a high probability. 

During initial days of campaigning, a senior National Party member made a midnight call to radio, pretended to be someone called ‘Merv’ and tried to undermine a woman candidate of own party. 

And then Covid-19 returned in New Zealand after it was briefly declared “Covid free”. This led to lockdown in Auckland, country’s biggest city and perpetuating into delayed elections. But once the campaign resumed, all the doubts and controversies had vanished in thin air. 

The ideal governance resumed with settled political scenarios. Policies and agenda came back to forefront – drug harm reduction, business loans, tax, energy, electric vehicles, country borders. 

Amid all the doubts and turmoil, one thing that helped New Zealand sail was Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s leadership. The way Ms. Arden, like a true captain, steered the ship through Covid-19 pandemic. It sealed Arden’s presidency. During campaigning Arden “uncharacteristically” boasted her leadership through workshopped and meticulously planned focus-group approach. People were seen crying out to Arden in a media-laden campaign “Thank you for saving us”. 

Ms. Arden’s victory was sealed then and there as children were pushed by their mothers to take a priceless selfie with “Aunty Jacinda”. 

However ugly this year has gone by, New Zealand has landed in a much better place than all other countries. The next year is stretched out for optimism as vaccines are within reach, and a good leadership stamped in place, New Zealand is strapped up for a “good year”. 

Australia-NZ travel bubble to be open by March 2021
Asia Pacific Focus

Australia-NZ travel bubble to be open by March 2021

Australia-NZ travel: New Zealand’s decides to start a two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble to bring global normality. The Morrison government stated, however it risked coming too late for Australian tourism workers to benefit from an inrush of Kiwis for the holidays.

On Monday, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern stated that explorers from Australia would be permitted to enter New Zealand without staying in quarantine before March 2021.

However, the travel industry, airlines, and the Australian government welcomed the decision to begin the bubble prior to when it was hindered by Melbourne’s Covid episode.

“We know there’s a huge demand for tourism between Australia and New Zealand and we’re anticipating adding huge measures of capacity across the Tasman once insights only when the final dates are affirmed,” a Qantas representative stated. 

However, Virgin airlines have announced that over 70 services to New Zealand seven days will be on sale from March 28. 

While the Morrison government spared travelers from New Zealand from the 14-day compulsory quarantine in mid-October, Jacinda Ardern stated that a few issues should have been settled before New Zealand offered reciprocal treatment for travelers from Australia. 

These included ensuring that the aircrews and travelers moving between New Zealand and Australia were quarantined from the individuals who had been in nations with a high number of covid cases, giving airlines time to get planes and teams together, and having courses of action set up to permit a large number of Kiwis to get back home in case of another flare-up in Australia

While Ardern stated that the permission was required from Canberra, the Morrison government should simply change the biosecurity order to permit Australians to head out to New Zealand once she sets a beginning date. 

Heading the alternate way, 1.4 million New Zealanders spent around $2.6 billion on Australian shores over a similar period.

Since Australia began permitting isolate free travel from New Zealand, 8858 travelers across 121 flights have arrived.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s travel industry director John Hart stated the bubble movement could support the economy by $70 million per week.

He urged New Zealand not to delay in declaring a beginning date, to assure explorers to book trips.

Hart stated that travel could have restarted in January, helping the travel industry administrators for the last part of summer, with Australia on target to meet the achievement of going 28 days with no instances of virus transmission by Christmas.

“While we had sought after a bubble to begin before Christmas, this is the following best thing,” he stated. 

Australian Tourism Industry Council leader chief Simon Westaway additionally stated the bubble might be too late for summer. He added it should make way to resume travel with Asian nations that had smothered the infection.

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