Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

#268419 18-Mar-2020 13:29
6 people support this post
Send private message

REMINDER: NEW ZEALAND IS CURRENTLY AT LEVEL 4 IN THE CHART BELOW.

 

 

Where to find more information on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus):

 

Healthline

 

Unite against COVID-19

 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Ministry of Health

 

Mental health support

 

List of essential businesses

 

Phone numbers

 

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counselor

 

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

 

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

 

Healthline – 0800 611 116

 

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

 

NOTICE: retired Doctors and Nurses

 

The Medical Council of New Zealand and the Nursing Council of New Zealand re-registration explained on the following websites:

 

For Doctors thinking of coming out of retirement please go to this page of the Medical Council of New Zealand: Notice of activation - COVID-19 Pandemic scope of practice

 

For Nurses thinking of coming out of retirement please go to this page of the Nursing Council of New Zealand: Returning to Nursing during COVID-19 Pandemic 

 

For nurses the re-registration is free and is open till 31st December 2020. Note restrictions/scope of practice on your APC may apply.

 





Create new topic
22198 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #2441162 19-Mar-2020 11:34
4 people support this post
Send private message

If you have symptoms which are in line with those found in CoronaVirus. PLEASE do not go to your GP, White Cross or Emergency Room unannounced. 

 

Instead, contact Healthline and follow their instructions.




BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

 
 
 
 




BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2445855 24-Mar-2020 22:14
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

Media Release: Further guidance on essential services provided

 

Government Ministers met tonight and have provided further guidance on essential services that can continue to operate after midnight tomorrow.

 

MBIE Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said the purpose of escalating New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert level to 4 was to stop the virus in its tracks and reduce contact between people.

 

“That’s why we need as many businesses as possible to close their premises now if our one shot at beating the virus is to be successful,” Mr Stocks said.

 

“Only the businesses absolutely essential to ensure the necessities of life, like supermarkets and pharmacies, can stay open. If in doubt, the business premises should be closed.

 

“So unfortunately the Warehouse needs to close its shops. Leaving them open to the general public creates too high a risk of further spreading the virus.

 

Mr Stocks says “big box” retailers like Bunnings, Placemakers and Mitre 10 can stay open to trade customers for essential purposes only.

 

“These retailers play an important part in the construction supply chain, but they cannot sell goods to the general public.”

 

Businesses that are a critical part of the supply chain for essential services are also able to continue operating, but must do so in a way that is safe.

 

“For example, if you make chemicals that are needed for our waste water plants, then we need you to keep operating at the minimum level required.”

 

In addition, dairies can continue to operate, but must observe strict physical distancing rules for customers.

 

“Dairies provide basic food items like bread and milk to people close to where they live, especially the elderly who may not be able to get to a supermarket. However, they will need to operate a strict ‘one-in one-out’ policy and they won’t be allowed to sell food prepared on the premises.

 

“If any dairy breaks the rules, we will shut it down. If there is evidence of systemic abuse, we will remove them from the essential services list.

 

“Food delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliver Easy pose a risk to human health. We cannot guarantee every kitchen operates strict food preparation controls or that everyone who works in a kitchen is well. Evidence overseas suggests the virus has been spread via poor food hygiene practices, so it’s a real risk we have to eliminate.

 

“For clarity, every restaurant, café and bar must close all aspects of their operation, including delivery.

 

“Delivery of food that is not pre-cooked will be allowed under strict health conditions. Many New Zealanders now receive their food via a delivery company and are in effect no different to a supermarket delivery option.

 

“Most people are able to purchase alcohol at supermarkets. On that basis liquor stores are being treated as other non-essential retail outlets and must close. The only exception to this are Licencing Trust Areas where there is nowhere else to purchase alcohol. These stores must operate a ‘one-in one-out’ policy.

 

“We are doing further work on online ordering of non-food products for home delivery to see if this type of retail can be conducted safely. We will update advice on this once further decisions are made.

 

“COVID-19 alert level 4 is not business as usual and means there will be significant restrictions on what New Zealanders are able to purchase. However, these changes are essential to stop the spread of the virus.

 

“We are ready to change the list if necessary. If we discover there are essential services that have not been made available we will react to that as we go.”

 

Further details on essential services:

 

  • Dairies to stay open, with “one-in one-out” rule
  • Food delivery prohibited, except meals on wheels and delivery of food not pre-cooked
  • Liquor stores closed, unless within a Licensing Trust Area and with “one-in one-out” rule
  • Self-service laundries can stay open, two-metre physical distancing to be enforced
  • Retirement villages included as an essential service
  • The Warehouse to close stores to the public
  • Bunnings, Placemakers, Mitre 10 and other retailers essential to the supply chain for building and construction can stay open to trade customers for essential purposes only
  • The Tiwai Point smelter exempt from closure
  • NZ Steel shut down in a way that allows for production to recommence easily
  • Pulp and paper plants to shut down non-essential elements in a way that allows for production to recommence easily while maintaining essential production
  • Methanex to remain in production, but at a scale consistent with stability of gas supply.







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2446845 26-Mar-2020 09:08
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19. 

 

“Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying home was closing,” Mr Peters said. “A week later, it has now almost completely closed.”  

 

“It has become very difficult to return to New Zealand from all around the world,” Mr Peters said.

 

“Many of the hubs we usually rely on to get home are no longer available, as countries such as Singapore prevent transits by foreign nationals through their airports. We must recognise that measures like these are part of the international effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.”  

 

“We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are. This includes following the instructions of the local authorities and the advice of the World Health Organisation.

 

“Those few Kiwis who still have the option to return to New Zealand should continue to work with their airlines to seek flights as a matter of absolute urgency. 

 

“The feasibility of Government-assisted departure flights is being considered, but there are no guarantees these will be possible in the extremely complex and rapidly changing global situation,” Mr Peters said.

 

The Government remains committed to helping New Zealanders overseas and consular assistance will be provided wherever possible. All New Zealanders overseas should register their details on SafeTravel, and review the website regularly for the most up to date advice for New Zealanders overseas.

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2446847 26-Mar-2020 09:09
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today.

 

Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have been inundated with people trying to get home before the original cut-off date of midnight Wednesday for non-essential workers. A decrease in passenger numbers to accommodate level 3 physical distancing measures has reduced the ability of passenger services to carry more people.

 

Phil Twyford said it was unlikely the increased demand could be met before midnight Wednesday.

 

“The Government recognises New Zealanders are trying to do the right thing by returning home ahead of the country moving to level 4.

 

“There has been further pressure on domestic passenger services from international tourists who are completing self-isolation and declared COVID-free to move to their final destination in New Zealand.

 

“That’s why the Cabinet COVID Committee this afternoon agreed to extend the deadline for non-essential workers and international tourists to keep using domestic passenger services until midnight Friday. After this time, services will only be provided to essential services and workers, including freight services.

 

“International travellers will only be allowed to use domestic passenger services to reach their final destination to comply with lock-down requirements.

 

"International travellers will only be allowed to use domestic passenger services during the extended period to reach their final destination once they have completed 14 days isolation and are declared Covid-free.

 

“These airplanes, trains, and ferries are expected to implement physical distancing and other protective measures that are appropriate for their services.

 

“I want to thank passengers for their patience as we urgently worked through this unintended consequence of the battle to fight COVID-19,” Phil Twyford said.

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2446848 26-Mar-2020 09:09
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

 

“Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent the very worst that we’ve seen around the world from happening here,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

 

“As the country moves into Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, at midnight, we need all the tools at our disposal to ensure everyone reduces down contact with one another across the board.

 

“Through the early and hard measures we’ve taken at the border, using the powers under the Health Act, the signing of Epidemic Notices, and now, being in a State of National Emergency, we have all of the legislative means possible, all the enforcement powers, all the tools we need, at our disposal to combat the spread of COVID-19.

 

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, today’s State of National Emergency declaration allows the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management to direct and coordinate personnel, material and other resources, and provides access to other extra-ordinary powers that will support delivery of an effective and timely response to COVID-19.

 

While in force, the State of National Emergency will allow the Director and local controllers, as needed, to provide for the:

 

  • conservation and supply of food, fuel and other essential supplies
  • regulate land, water and air traffic
  • to close roads and public places
  • to evacuate any premises, including any public place
  • and if necessary to exclude people or vehicles from any premises or place.

“Failure of anyone to play their part in coming days will put the lives of others at risk, and there will be no tolerance for that.

 

“We do not expect to use the full extent of these measures but, as with everything we have done in response to COVID-19, we plan, we prepare, we have in place everything we need to get through.

 

“For now, I ask that New Zealanders do their part. Stay home, break the chain, save lives,” Jacinda Ardern said.

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2446849 26-Mar-2020 09:10
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

“The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash.

 

“It is important to act fast to ensure businesses and individuals get the support they need now. For example, businesses can immediately claim tax deductions for low value assets like computers, mobile phones, cameras, microphones, headphones and other equipment required to work from home.

 

“Penalties for late tax payments will be written off, tax planning and certainty is restored through the ability to depreciate some buildings, and a higher threshold for provisional tax obligations will also give relief.

 

“Our first priority is to prevent and mitigate the health risks and to protect the vulnerable. But we are also keenly aware of the need to prevent and mitigate risks to our economy. This Bill is one part of the Government’s response.

 

“It includes targeted measures to provide relief to people and businesses economically affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. It also includes measures aimed at addressing the broader economic impacts of the outbreak,” Mr Nash said.

 

The main measures contained in this Bill are:

 

  • Restoring building depreciation. This would support businesses and encourage investment in new and existing building by reinstating depreciation deductions for non-residential buildings. It provides business support by improving cashflow in the near-term, and assists with the broader economic recovery by stimulating business investment in new and existing buildings.
  • Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000. This relieves the compliance burden for small businesses as well as freeing up cashflow. It allows people to delay paying their provisional tax. They can wait until 7 February in the year following the year they file their return before they have to pay, instead of having to pay in instalments throughout the year. It allows them to retain cash for longer. It will benefit an estimated 95,000 people.
  • Allowing immediate low-value asset write offs. To encourage spending, the change will temporarily increase the threshold of the value of assets which can be deducted in the year the asset was purchased. The threshold will increase from $500 to $5,000 for assets purchased in the 12 months from 17 March 2020 (reducing to $1,000 from 17 March 2021.
  • Bringing forward broader R&D refundability. The proposed amendment would bring planned refundability measures forward by one year, to the 2019–20 income year. This would help relieve cashflow problems, encourage businesses to retain their R&D staff, and (where possible) support these firms to continue their R&D in the current environment.
  • Allowing use of money interest to be waived. The Bill proposes to allow Inland Revenue to cancel interest on a late tax payment if the taxpayer’s ability to make a payment due on or after 14 February 2020 was significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Allowing greater information sharingThis would allow Inland Revenue to share information with a wider group of government agencies to assist the efficient and effective delivery of the Government’s COVID-19 response.
  • Allowing more access to the in-work tax credit. This would ensure that working families whose working hours are reduced as a result of COVID-19 would not lose their eligibility for the tax credit. Around 19,000 families will benefit.





 
 
 
 




BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2446850 26-Mar-2020 09:10
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced.

 

“These challenging conditions have spread across multiple regions and are impacting our farming families and we need to ensure their resilience going forward. 

 

“People affected by drought in Northland and parts of Auckland were provided with access to RAPs on 2 March. From tomorrow, we’re extending this assistance.”

 

RAPs are payments equal to Jobseeker Support, but tax relief measures are also available and people are encouraged to apply for other kinds of assistance, for example hardship grants to refill water tanks or cover other unexpected costs.

 

The drought was recently classified as a large-scale adverse event by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor. It covers the entire North Island along with the top of the South Island (Tasman, Marlborough, Kaikoura), North Canterbury and the Chatham Islands.

 

Minister O’Connor said the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on farmers and growers and additional support is needed.

 

“The pressure on our rural communities right now is extreme, and this Government is committed to helping them get through.  We’re continuing to keep a close eye on conditions around the country, in case more help is required. The Government is committed to doing all we can to support farmers and growers at what is a very challenging time.

 

The regions covered by RAPs assistance from tomorrow include:

 

  • the Auckland City Council wards of Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa, Orākei, Franklin, Howick, Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council
  • Gisborne District Council
  • Taranaki Regional Council
  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council 
  • Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council
  • Wellington Regional Council
  • Tasman District Council
  • Nelson City Council
  • Marlborough District Council
  • Kaikōura District Council
  • Hurunui District Council
  • Waimakariri District Council
  • Selwyn District Council
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Chatham Islands Council

“I urge people struggling as a result of the drought to contact the Rural Support Trust or go online at Work and Income, keyword drought2020, to see what they might be eligible for,” said Minister Sepuloni.

 

Contact the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 or go to www.rural-support.org.nz

 

Or go to www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/drought2020

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2446851 26-Mar-2020 09:11
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

The Government is supporting New Zealanders to stay in their rental properties with a six month freeze on residential rent increases and increased protection from having their tenancies terminated, says the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods.

 

“These changes will ensure that people can stay in their homes during this challenging time. This enables families and individuals to self-isolate, to stay home and maintain physical distancing, supporting the public health of all New Zealanders.

 

“It also means that in the short term, families and individuals who are tenants do not lose their home due to a drop in income related to job losses through Covid-19.

 

Sustaining tenants in their current homes will help prevent further pressure on our welfare system at this time,” Dr Woods said.

 

Minister Woods is making it clear that tenants have obligations as well.

 

“It is not acceptable for tenants to abuse the current situation by refusing to pay rent when they have the capacity to do so, causing significant property damage, or significant anti-social behaviour. Tenants are still fully liable for their rent payments and any damage as we ensure that Landlords do not increase the burden on tenants.”

 

“The measures we have proposed try to balance protection of the interests of tenants, landlords, and the wider community during this unprecedented time.”

 

“The rent increase freeze will protect tenants from additional financial hardship at a time when they are more likely to already be facing financial stress. Increases in rent are now prohibited under any circumstances, for the period of the legislative amendments. However, tenants still must pay their rent.”

 

“Landlords also need to be aware that breaching rent increase provisions or tenancy termination provisions under these new rules, constitutes an unlawful act, with exemplary damages of up to $6,500 payable in each case,” Megan Woods said.

 

Tenancy termination measures apply for three months, and this may be extended if necessary.

 

Importantly, where a tenant has symptoms of Covid-19, or is confirmed as positive, this is not grounds for a landlord to terminate a tenancy. Nor is a tenant required to notify their landlord if they test positive for Covid-19. However, we encourage tenants to advise the landlord, if the landlord needs to attend the property while the tenant is self-isolating, for example, if the landlord needs to undertake urgent repairs at the property.

 

“In these unprecedented times, we encourage landlords to talk to their tenants, work together and take care of each other wherever possible. Parties should try to come to an arrangement that suits them both. We need to work together and help each other to fight Covid-19,” Megan Woods said.

 

If you need financial assistance or emergency accommodation, you should talk to Work and Income: www.workandincome.govt.nz/providers/housing-providers/emergency-housing/index.html

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2447260 26-Mar-2020 15:19
Send private message

Press release:

 

 

A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced.

 

“At COVID-19 Alert Level 4, a range of social services provided by our Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and community groups remain open and continue to deliver an essential service.

 

“They are supporting New Zealanders to stay well during our fight to break the chain of transmission of the virus, which will save lives.

 

The package supports services that:

 

  • Ensure people have access to the food and other goods they need to survive
  • Provide a place for people to live
  • Support disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing
  • Keep families safe from harm and offer crisis support

“Self-isolation can also mean the risk of family violence increases. That’s why we are making sure family violence and sexual violence services will remain available for those in need.

 

“As has been the case in countries around the world battling the global pandemic, there have been significant increases in the demand for these essential social sector services.

 

“Social sector partners of the Ministry of Social Development are already reporting impacts on their essential services.

 

“In addition to increased demand, many organisations have changed the way they work to adhere to the Government guidance on moving to an Alert Level 4.

 

“We are also working with these services to ensure that maximum hygiene protocols are in place for essential workers,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

 

To ensure that essential services continue throughout Alert Level 4, immediate action will be taken to provide:

 

  • Up to $16 million to bolster existing essential social sector services delivered by NGOs so they can continue to support individuals, families, whānau and communities at risk through uncertain circumstances and respond to increased demand
  • Up to $6 million funding for disability Community Participation providers to put in place appropriate health mitigations for the current group orientated services and provide support for disabled people in lock-down
  • Up to $4.8 million to provide community grants or fund innovative community-led solutions to support local resilience

You can access specific advice for people experiencing family violence at https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/family-violence-and-sexual-violence-prevention/

 

You can visit https://covid.govt.nz for detailed information about alert levels, health issues, self-isolation and assistance available, and for public health resources.

 

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or need to self-isolate, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS. You can also call your GP if you are feeling unwell and are unsure if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2450403 31-Mar-2020 10:40
Send private message

These leaflets are now being distributed into mailboxes (double-sided with content inside too including the Alert Levels and instructions):

 







BDFL - Memuneh
66295 posts

Uber Geek

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  #2451971 1-Apr-2020 09:07
Send private message
Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Intel introduces 10th Gen Intel Core H-series for mobile devices
Posted 2-Apr-2020 21:09


COVID-19: new charitable initiative to fund remote monitoring for at-risk patients
Posted 2-Apr-2020 11:07


Huawei introduces the P40 Series of Android-based smartphones
Posted 31-Mar-2020 17:03


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip now available for pre-order in New Zealand
Posted 31-Mar-2020 16:39


New online learning platform for kids stuck at home during COVID-19 lockdown
Posted 26-Mar-2020 21:35


New 5G Nokia smartphone unveiled as portfolio expands
Posted 26-Mar-2020 17:11


D-Link ANZ launches wireless AC1200 4G LTE router
Posted 26-Mar-2020 16:32


Ring introduces two new video doorbells and new pre-roll technology
Posted 17-Mar-2020 16:59


OPPO uncovers flagship Find X2 Pro smartphone
Posted 17-Mar-2020 16:54


D-Link COVR-2202 mesh Wi-Fi system now protected by McAfee
Posted 17-Mar-2020 16:00


Spark Sport opens its platform up to all New Zealanders at no charge
Posted 17-Mar-2020 10:04


Spark launches 5G Starter Fund
Posted 8-Mar-2020 19:19


TRENDnet launches high-performance WiFi Mesh Router System
Posted 5-Mar-2020 08:48


Sony boosts full-frame lens line-up with introduction of FE 20mm F1.8 G large-aperture ultra-wide-angle prime Lens
Posted 5-Mar-2020 08:44


Vector and Spark teamed up on smart metering initiative
Posted 5-Mar-2020 08:42



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.