Don't risk not knowing what's going around New Zealand and the world - catch up with interviews from Early Edition, hosted by Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB.
Donna Demaio: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce forced to apologise after saying people ‘aren’t dying’ from Covid-19
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has been forced to apologise live on air after saying people “aren’t dying” from Covid-19, despite record breaking death statistics.
For much of the pandemic, Australia has been the envy of the rest of the world for how it kept Covid-19 at bay and fatalities low.
But, while NSW and Victoria are likely over the peak of their Omicron wave, both the United States and Europe have issued a stark warning to residents urging them not to travel to Australia.
When asked whether Australia could still say it was the “envy of the world” when by the European Council and the US Centre for Disease Control have both labelled the country as “danger zones”, Mr Joyce said Australia could still take pride in the way it had handled the pandemic.
“People aren’t dying,” Mr Joyce told RN Breakfast.
He was immediately picked up on the point by host Patricia Karvelas who said “people are dying. People are dying every day”.
Mr Joyce immediately sought to cover his tracks and apologised.
“Sorry, sorry sorry. Yes, you are correct, I shouldn’t have said that,” he said.
“But the number in which – the fatality rate is very low.
“Obviously that is a tragic thing for anybody … (to die) for any reason – for catching the flu. But the fatality rate of Omicron is remarkably low and Australia has done a remarkable job.”
Since January 1, 891 people have died with Covid-19.
Mr Joyce said for “most people” who were diagnosed with Covid-19 and double-vaccinated, they would get a “mild illness” like he had.
“For me, it was a couple days of something pretty mild. And I was pretty lucky. (I know) it’s not for everyone,” he said.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said people were in fact dying “in record numbers”.
Mr Joyce also came under fire for his comments about rapid antigen tests, suggesting Australians were hoarding the kits – prolonging the shortage as the concession scheme begins.
From Monday, 6.6 million Australians with a concession card are eligible for free rapid antigen tests from their chemist. These are capped at ten tests over three months, with a maximum of five in a month.
But, pharmacies are pleading with people to be patient with not enough testing kits available for circulation.
Mr Joyce said part of the problem was people buying more tests than they needed.
“People have been buying not what they require, but more than they need,” he told RN.
“We have 16 million tests turning up by the end of the months … We have 70 million on order.
“It is not as if the tests aren’t there. The problems that Australia is experiencing is being experienced around the world.”
Mr Albanese clapped back during his own interview, saying it was “extraordinary” for Mr Joyce to blame Australians for the unavailability of the tests.
“We all knew that once we opened up the increased number of infections, elimination tests would be an important part of the response to keep people safe, and the government simply didn’t do anything about it,” Mr Albanese said.
- By Ellen Ransley, news.com.au
Roman Travers: What will our high inflation mean for lending?
You know the saying… never wake a sleeping dragon? Well it appears that we have - and the sleeping inflation dragon is well and truly awake.
Later this week; we’ll get to see the latest update on the country’s financial data – and it’s expected to show inflation in 2021 ran at its highest level in over 30 years.
The Consumers Price Index is expected to rise by 1.3 percent for the December quarter, coupled with inflation that accelerated to 6.0 percent.
The highest inflation in more than 30 years? Many of us have never experienced this kind of leap in the cost of everything.
The only way to appease this waking inflation dragon would be for The Reserve Bank to take some pretty hefty and aggressive action. But will they?
Some economists have said that the country is in the midst of "a perfect storm" of inflation pressures, but that much of the CPI's increase will be a result of offshore factors.
It’s a huge concern just how dependent we are as a nation on the fluctuations of the vagaries of the overseas markets. But that’s the bed we’ve been making so well over the past three or four decades.
The Consumer Price Index is something we all need to keep an eye on. After peaking at close to 6.3 per cent in early this year, annual CPI inflation is then expected to cool, but remain above the 1 to 3 percent inflation target until late 2023.
The real message here is that none of us want to be caught with our shorts round our ankles and financial institutions – once keen to lend you whatever you wanted – will be the first to disown you faster than a flock of Facebook friends.
The writing is on the wall – and that wall is a very real roadblock to the future plans of many good, hard working New Zealanders… both the employers and the employees.
Finn Robinson: ANZ economist says prices are expected to rise for consumers as Omicron spreads
Prices are expected to rise for consumers as Omicron spreads.
The latest Consumer Price Index is due out on Thursday morning.
ANZ economist, Finn Robinson, told Roman Travers he thinks inflation will be between 5.5 and 6.5 percent for the year to December.
He says Omicron will hit us in the pocket because a huge chunk of the workforce will probably have to isolate, like overseas.
Robert Skews: Turama Pacific Travel Group managing director on Cook Islands travel bubble remaining open
The travel bubble between the Cook Islands and New Zealand will remain open despite our Omicron outbreak.
The Cook Islands held an emergency cabinet meeting last night.
There is a new restriction though - no unvaccinated people will be allowed entry from Thursday.
Robert Skews, the managing director of the Turama Pacific Travel Group told Roman Travers the news is a huge relief.
“70 percent of our revenue here in the Cooks is derived from tourism and so after two years we’re a little bit desperate.”
Helen Robinson: Auckland City Missioner urges people to think of others when stocking up on food, groceries and medicines
We're being urged to think of others - as we prepare our pantries and medicine cabinets for the months ahead.
Supermarkets report pressure on products like toilet paper, following the confirmation the Omicron outbreak on Sunday.
Food, groceries and medicines could also become harder to come by, as case numbers rise.
Auckland City Missioner Helen Robinson told Roman Travers while consumers are stocking up, they should remember others who can't.
“I do understand families needing to go out and protect themselves from what might just happen. Many, many thousands of New Zealanders just don’t have that luxury.”
Roman Travers: Omicron reminds us we can't take our focus off the pandemic
And so here we are; waking up in the glow of red lights across the whole country.
What does this mean for most of us? Well affectively nothing really has changed apart from the inability to gather in mobs of more than 100 which will serve good purpose in trying to prevent the stupidity of the Brian Tamaki followers across the country’s main centres and their messianistic treatment of a nobody and his attempt to be somebody.
Other than that the only thing that I’ve seen change in the last day is again the ridiculous propensity for people to go apoplectic in the supermarket even though we are told we don’t need to.
The real concern I have is that we may well see the current Government moving further away from the recommendations of the science community as demonstrated in the comments by certain epidemiologists who say that the red light system is not enough to reduce the spread of the Omicron strain.
The only great saviour for us all is the vaccination and the third shot, which at best is 75 per cent affective in the face of Omicron. It’s the only thing that will enable us to get back to some form of normality while we wait for other countries to get to the same level.
The other concern I have is the news we heard over the weekend that the Government’s Covid-19 fund does not have the finances to purchase a fourth vaccine if it’s required.
The Government have told us they will find the money for it if that eventuates, but is this a way of bracing us for a further reduction in spending in the many other areas of need demonstrable across the country?
Undoubtedly we can’t take our focus of the pandemic; but what about everything else that’s being overlooked in something of a convenient distraction for a government that seems bereft of ability to improve anything else other than our Covid response?
We have to prepare for the eventuality that as soon as travel becomes easier, we are set to lose a great deal of skilled people to our cousins across the ditch and further afield.
Getting anything done in New Zealand is about to get a whole lot harder.
This station certainly leans to the ‘right’ in this weird woke world. But that’s obvious and god knows we need something to balance out the bias in the other direction.
Nothing more than a biased and bigoted right wing mouthpiece for the National party.
It is not true.