Top stories in this news cycle currently include the Black Caps’ win against South Africa in the cricket World Cup semi-final last night and this afternoon’s final round of ticket sales to the final on Sunday, two leading opera singers being among the 150 people killed in a German airliner crash in the French Alps and a 16 percent drop in Fonterra’s net profit in its half-year results and its decision to hold its forecast milk payout and reduce dividends to put dairy farmers under further financial pressure.
SNIPPETS OF THE DAY
NZ First: Political Power For Northland: New Zealand First stood in this by-election to end the neglect of Northland brought about by decades of abandonment by the National Party, says Leader and candidate for the Northland by-election Rt Hon Winston Peters. “Northlanders know they have been forgotten but now recognise they can bring about change by sending the government a message. “New Zealand First won’t change the government but we will change the way they think about Northland.
NZ First: Remove Name Suppression: New Zealand First will introduce a Bill in Parliament to remove name suppression from paedophiles where the victim/victims have not requested it, or are asking for it to be removed, Leader and candidate for the Northland by-election Rt Hon Winston Peters announced in Paihia today. “There have been so many cases of sexual violence in New Zealand where the offender hides behind a cloak of secrecy imposed on the basis that secrecy protects the victim.
Smaller-Than-Expected Trade Surplus: New Zealand recorded a smaller-than-expected trade surplus in February, led by declining dairy exports, while the annual deficit widened to the largest in more than five years. Statistics New Zealand said the trade surplus was $50 million in February, lower than the $392 million expected in a Reuters poll of economists. January’s surplus was revised down to $33 million, from $56 million. The annual trade deficit was $2.18 billion, the biggest gap since August 2009, and larger than the $1.82 billion deficit forecast in the Reuters poll.
Kiwi Dollar Rises Above Pound: The New Zealand dollar rose to a two-month high against the pound after a report showed Britain had no inflation last month, stoking speculation the Bank of England won’t raise interest rates any time soon. The kiwi hit 51.54 British pence and was trading at 51.50 pence at 8am in Wellington, from 51.10 pence at 5pm yesterday. The local currency advanced to 76.46 US cents from 76.28 cents yesterday. The pound weakened after data showed British annual inflation hit zero for the first time on record in February, from a 0.3 percent pace in January, raising speculation it could dip below zero next month.
Fonterra Discloses Results: Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, affirmed its milk payout forecast and lowered guidance for dividends, while posting a 16 percent drop in first-half profit it says reflected “tough conditions in dairy.” The forecast payout for the current season was affirmed at $4.70 per kilogram of milk solids, down from a record $8.40/kgMS last season, while guidance for dividends was trimmed to a range of 20 cents to 30 cents, from a previous 25 cents to 35 cents. Net profit fell 16 percent to $183 million in the first half, as sales declined 14 percent to $9.7 billion.
Step Closer To Stopping Cyber Bullying: A Bill to curb the growing incidence of cyberbullying and its devastating effects passed its second reading in Parliament last night. The Harmful Digital Communications Bill introduces a range of measures to address damaging online communications and ensure perpetrators are held to account for their actions. Justice Minister Amy Adams says the Bill will prevent and reduce the harm caused by cyberbullying and harassment.
Risk Of Cyber Attacks Underestimated: New Zealand companies are failing to realise the need to insure against cyber attacks, despite a growing number of incidents, according to a top commercial insurance expert. Kiwi SMEs have been slow to include cyber insurance in their business protection plans, but are also more likely to be at risk due to a lack of IT support and the increasing frequency of attacks, says Apex Insurance Special Risks Team Account Director, Jonathon Gillham. “Only around one in every 300 (0.3%) businesses in New Zealand are estimated to have cyber insurance,” says Gillham. “The majority of those that do have protection are large companies or companies that operate in the software industry who are very aware of the dangers.”
NZ Sends Search and Rescue Team: New Zealand is to send 14 urban search and rescue personnel to Vanuatu to help with rebuilding efforts in the wake of Cyclone Pam. Paul Baxter, Chief Executive & National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, which leads the country’s USAR capability, said the team would focus its efforts on the island of Epi, which lies to the north of the capital Port Vila. They would operate from HMNZS Canterbury, which is in Vanuatu with nearly 12 tonnes of medical supplies and equipment for producing drinking water.
LINKS OF THE DAY
FIRST FLIGHT TO SOUTH AMERICA: Air New Zealand is celebrating fares going on sale today for its non-stop service between Auckland and the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires with a special limited time introductory price of just $899 one-way. Subject to government and regulatory approval, the new Auckland – Buenos Aires service which kicks off on 1 December 2015 will be Air New Zealand’s first ever scheduled service to South America, opening up a whole new world of opportunities for Kiwis wanting to explore the vibrant city of Buenos Aires and beyond to the rest of Argentina and South America. See www.airnewzealand.co.nz for more details.
QUEENSTOWN TOPS TRAVELLER’S CHOICE AWARDS: Queenstown has been named the number one destination in both New Zealand and the South Pacific in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travellers’ Choice Awards. As well as taking out the top spot in the South Pacific and New Zealand, Queenstown has also been rated as one of the world’s top 25 destinations. This is the third consecutive year Queenstown has won New Zealand’s top destination but it is the first time the four season lake and alpine resort has taken the title of best South Pacific region. For the complete list of 2015 Travellers’ Choice Destinations winners, go to: http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Destinations.
MOBILE WALLET LAUNCH: ANZ will release a mobile wallet later this year within ANZ goMoney, New Zealand’s most popular mobile banking app. The wallet will be yet another enhancement to ANZ goMoney and will enable customers to make contactless payments with just one tap of their Android smart phones. The wallet will be available to around 120,000 customers* at launch. For additional information visit: www.anz.co.nz/gomoneywallet
CHECK TYRES FOR SAFETY: With only one week to go before Easter weekend, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is encouraging motorists to check their tyres now, so they have time to replace them if needed before they hop in their cars for the long weekend. EECA General Manager Transport Liz Yeaman says before the long weekend it’s a good idea to check tyre tread to make sure the journey is as safe as possible. Motorists can find the ENERGYWISE approved tyres available for their car at http://www.energywise.govt.nz/tools/fuel-efficient-tyres
And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Wednesday 25th March 2015.
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