Jacinda Ardern is under pressure to facilitate the blockade of New Zealand after 35,000 people have applied for the benefit
Jacinda Ardern is pressured to reduce New Zealand’s radical shutdown as it is revealed that 35,000 Kiwis have applied for the payout since the COVID-19 outbreak
- A major spike in unemployment in New Zealand is prompting calls to ease the lockdown
- Since the closure began, 35,000 New Zealand residents have applied for the benefit
- Opposition leader Simon Bridges also calls for a return to work
- Ms Ardern said the lock will be reviewed on May 11
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Business and political rivals will put severe pressure on Jacinda Ardern this week in a battle to facilitate the closure of New Zealand.
Nowhere is the call for action stronger than in regions where there are few cases, but many Kiwis are out of work.
Four of the twenty health regions in the New Zealand district report no active cases, including Wairarapa, which has no new cases registered within 31 days.
With a large number of New Zealand residents applying for the benefit, additional pressure has been placed on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) since closing to reduce COVID-19 restrictions
On the rugged west coast of the South Island, it has been 28 days since a new case, and local mayor Tania Gibson said frustration was mounting.
“My bottom line is ‘let’s work,'” she told AAP.
CORONAVIRSUS CASES IN NEW ZEALAND
Confirmed Cases in New Zealand: 1136
Cases currently in hospital: 8
Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health
With very few access points to the region, Gibson believes the virus can be kept out.
“We asked the government for regional checkpoints and they didn’t get through,” she said.
“Our region had the first coronavirus death in New Zealand, which has shocked our community to the core … we have had low numbers of patients since and now we are at zero.
“If it takes weeks and weeks, our companies and our people will suffer.”
In Gisborne, the gateway to the Tairawhiti region, the story is similar.
There have been no cases in 19 days, and Mayor Rehette Stoltz said she was “very, very happy” to ease the industry’s limitation if that was safe.
“We are very isolated here. You don’t come through Gisborne. You are coming to Gisborne, ”she said.
“But at this stage, we’re just sticking to the rules because we all know that one active case in a zero-zero community can change the whole scenario.”
Opposition leader Simon Bridges calls for a return to work, citing troubling economic data and Australia’s success with a lighter lockdown.
While companies have been closed due to the COVID-19 lock, 35,000 people have registered for the benefit in New Zealand
During the closure of New Zealand, 35,000 Kiwis applied for the benefit, or about a thousand a day.
“Each of those numbers represents a family that will be under tremendous pressure to pay the bills and put food on the table,” said Bridges.
‘We cannot underestimate the health effects of unemployment on people, both physically and on their mental health.
“We must now remove the block to open up the economy and get people back to work.”
Ms Ardern has pledged to review the shutdown on Monday, May 11, and until then she can expect a protest from those eager to reopen companies.
Tourist organizations will be among the loudest.
New Zealand’s closure is at level three, allowing many industries, including construction, forestry and education, to operate again alongside ‘essential’ industries.
But the next step down, level two, currently prohibits non-essential travel between regions, which could crush the vital tourism industry.
Ms Ardern has pledged to consider a change, as well as a regionalization of the closure that will benefit communities like Tairawhiti and the West Coast.
Ms Ardern said the government would review the closure on May 11 and said that “regionalization of the closure” could benefit the community