all right good afternoon everyone today I'm announcing the first of two media sector support packages to help media affected by a covert 19 today support package is a first step to provide immediate and urgent help for the media sector it's well known that the new zealand's media sector has been facing challenges well before covert 19 but the disruption from covert has compounded the difficulties with significant losses of advertising without government intervention we risk losing the skills and range of perspectives which provide important independent news and information that New Zealanders rely on especially at times like these so we've developed an immediate support package in consultation with the media sector the first package focuses on initiatives that can provide immediate or near-term assistance it's aimed at helping media in print online and broadcast channels at national regional and local community levels in the initiatives and the first package are reducing the costs payable by media organizations for transmission and New Zealand on air funding content funded content by funding 100% of cordilla and other television and if in transmission fees for six months 100% of the am transmission fees for six months an eighty percent reduction in media organizations New Zealand on air contribution fees for the twenty twenty twenty one financial year the government will also be purchasing central government news media subscriptions in advance for the twenty twenty twenty one financial year and encouraging government-funded agencies to increase the uptake of news media subscriptions there's also delegated authority for me and the Minister of Finance to approve targeted assistance on the advice of officials to ensure the support fits the different needs of the various media organisations requested and we also state a commitment to build on the local democracy reporting project which has been trialed in the regions around the country over the past twelve months finding journalists to focus on reporting about publicly appointed elected officials or organizations such as local councils committee boards and DHBs we see the further development of this work is part of a second longer-term strategy which will provide further support to retain journalists original national news and current affairs coverage including local news maintain media plurality and make sure regulation is suitable further announcements on the longer term strategies will be made in due course we will work with media entities to make sure that whatever exists they have to both these short-term measures and longer-term assistance as on the basis of their needs and future viability the direct cost of this package is 50 million dollars Maori television tomorrow kaho and the National Pacific Radio Trust have also been involved in helping shape the initiatives in this package as they're primarily crown'd funded they are not impacted to the same extent as commercially funded media however they could see benefits from the waving of transmission costs and Maori television could see savings from New Zealand are near contributions officials are finalizing the details of how media can access the support package intent is to make this as Swift as possible this morning I spoke to a number of media chief executives to give them a heads up on this package they were thankful but like me to understand that this package alone will not ensure the sustainability of a sector we will need to continue to work with them to design the second phase and importantly move swiftly if conditions change finally I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of the media in keeping New Zealanders up to date with news and important information during this time of crisis it has certainly been appreciated that was certainly going to be part Tovar of the second tranche of work that we are looking at this first package is aimed at immediate cash flow assistance for media companies so that is why it's made up of a transmission fees and some of those direct conversations we'll have with media organizations certainly those conversations being had about the second tranche of work and already a Treasury has been in touch with their counterparts across a testament to work intend to make a commitment that they're certainly going to be one of the important discussions as part of the second package yes they will because I think most of the conversations around that will be about bringing forward government advertising spending only one entity could do that in a large way the issue with that is that in our conversations directly with the media companies and they're all in different positions and we wanted to make sure that while we might be able to assist with cash flow we also wanted to make sure that there was a prudent spending of taxpayer no I haven't and as they were very short phone calls this morning that I had I want to stress that this is the first package and this alone will not be able to cure all the problems that the media sector has I think some of the long-term solutions will certainly be part of the discussions and of course some of the commitment that the government will make towards the second package great I've spoken to a number of chief executives I will be having bespoke conversations with those entities about how they might be able to exit some of their more flexible funding and again it depends on the nature of the entity as of those discussions that they'll be having with officials to figure out how they can be of assistance to the that's I think it's because of the nature of the cost in immediacy that we want it's expensive for transmission costs for the likes of Broadcasters and it is immediate relief that we're trying to get through the flexibility that we have within 11 point 1 million dollars of funding will allow us to have some of those bespoke conversations with specific entities to make sure if we can assist them with initiatives like bringing government efforts in forward we might be able to advance there's an agency to help at every one the nature of the funding envelope is waited because purely because of the nature of the cost of some of their media platforms in this case I've been transmission it's six months with of television FM and AM frequency fees which off the top of my head is roughly 20 million dollars and it's the cost of transmission fees this is the first package of two media support packages there are some fundamental issues about the structure and nature of the media sector which were present before covert that we want to make sure our addressed when we take look at the second support package this isn't about making sure we prop up failing businesses it's about making sure that we can support the important function of journalism in New Zealand and I think that's what we need to make sure that we are focusing on in terms of the second package as well I'm not going to go into any of those hypotheticals at the moment we've had discussions with every nearly every media entity I want to tell you they're working very hard behind the scenes to try and make this work but those discussions have been commercially sensitive so a lot of the answers of that type that I'll be giving today might not necessarily be helpful but if we need to take policy action I'm going to have to keep some a lot of the information that has been given to me commercially since it takes time to affect those changes we're having discussions with some of those platforms very soon it's not something that can be turned around fast if we we were getting pressure to make sure we did something in the short term to have an immediate adrenalin hit for the sector this is what this is while we make sure we continue to work on the second package which will look at issues like competition and like issues around the day and some of those decisions aren't in their hands we've spoken to some of the owners of media entities but not all and so some of those decisions won't necessarily be made by us but some of the principles that are driving actions and the short and the long term media plurality making sure that we support the function of journalism and making sure we can retain as many jobs as we possibly can I'm not going to be talking about that openly Thomas because some of that might draw on information that I've been given on a commercially sensitive basis because it's commercially sensitive information I guess again a lot of that comes down if you kind of put it in the context of the overall envelope Andrea as transmission costs are high there's also the conversation that I've had with all the chief executives today that there is the ability through that 11 point 1 million dollar appropriation within the 50 million dollars to have bespoke conversations with every entity about what support might look like for them so I can't give you exactly what the support out of that won't look like for stuff but I'm aware of the nature of any importance of it in the media environment and we're continuing to have discussions with them and that discussion is going to be part of the second package and as I said at the asset Treasury officials have been in contact where they're efficient with the irrelevant counterparts across the Tasman to make sure that we can are making sure that we support media plurality making sure that we support the function of journalism and making sure that we support as many jobs as possible as well as this media Support Package other most media entities if they are able to have accessed initiatives like the wage subsidy etc so we're trying to do as much as we can in the short term to our last about give us some time to have some of the wider discussions that have we're plugging the media sick before covert happened and I think that we're all honest with each other some of those discussions need to be here you are willing to let media organizations will deal with everything on a case-by-case basis as it comes to us but principals making sure we support plurality jobs and the function of journalism we're gonna we could stay here for hours and throughout every hypothetical about what might happen a lot of those hypotheticals I won't answer because they are hypotheticals and I would be answering on the basis of commercially sensitive information that has been given to me I have to work on good faith with some of the chief executives of this company in order for us to make sure we've got a long-term and sustainable media I don't know the base I would hope it's an increase but the feedback that we had from operators of smaller subscription services was that the government wasn't pulling his weight to make sure government departments we're pulling its weight to make sure that it paid for its fair share of usage of their of their media you know in a technical sense obviously they have cordilla transmission costs as well and may to some degree have these Ananya costs they would have when they get funding from user gnarnia just like every other media entity they will be able to access that relief um as well as some of the work that Melissa mehoudar is doing with the Moldy mix moldy media sector shift before covered and being part of the conversations that have that I had around the second package around the look of a long term sustainable model for media multimedia we'll obviously had to be pretty seating today the subscription is that bring these for actual subscriptions or New Zealand media now I think print media sorry in digital media operate some sort of subscription I'm sorry donation model will you be allowing that to be used for donations as well my understanding is it's more for the smaller type of subscription services what is that media boss the finances were in trouble okay yeah look as I say every conversation that we had with media entities had as students similar to the similarity to it but they're all in different financial positions initiatives like bringing forward government advertising to spend could come out of it and it certainly that was a tone of some of the conversations I had with some of the medes and chief executives that I've had today again we want to make sure that we're being able to assist cash flow some of those entities if that's the position they're in but also around viability of an entity we need to make sure that that money is spent prudently so they will have to speak with Treasury and Minister if comfortable here officials to make sure that we get that right particularly you know again with designing this package and consultation with media companies and they've given us and some have given us an idea of how much government spending on advertising I've had and the previous 12 months and that's helped us get to something is to have variable for this again I'm not sure if you can guarantee smaller but I think you can guarantee though I think what you can guarantee is different and it all depends on how particular media companies might want to change their business models but again I think there's a natural level of function of journalism that our government wants to see and to make sure I've got low cordial ISM national journalism investigative journalism that most companies that are in the media now to be fair to say are struggling to provide and so if there's some way that we can do that through beefing up what is the local democracy reporting model at the moment and it's in its very early stages only twelve-month and pilot run last year but bringing that to a head and seriously investing and there is one of the things that we're looking to commit to as part of the second media a Support Package they were plenty again I might be giving away some details there particular companies might be in but if i i've chosen that one because that came through as a rich vein through almost all companies they're heavy it's wrong certainly pre covert we had a look at the challenges that the media sick the head and we saw it as our responsibility to make sure that public broadcasting continued to be strong given the challenges that the competitive market or the open market was having um covert has obviously changed that because the advertising revenue challenges that most commercial media players had precoded were obviously a lot sharper as we go through covert that is why we are here now with a 50 million dollar package in the short term to give the media sector an adrenaline hit to make sure that we have the time and the ability to have the wider conversations with the Signet as a whole to see how we can make the media sector more sustainable to a degree that's i'm not sure how much that is within the overall package of transmission fees but there's a degree of money go around there but there again another transmission company that might pay fees to Cordia or or themselves so I'm sure Treasury will sort that out well it's not about necessarily losing the funding the parameters are there as if you pay a transmission fee you don't have to pay for it for the next six months Shortridge will sort that out and my understanding is that it's a mineral matter money the advertising speed wasn't necessarily new money it's just bringing it forward it's more of a cash flow issue than upholstery major correct some of the consultation the MCH did with media companies in the lead up to this package and I think it's one of the issues that were okay for the second package it's a challenge and you know we spoke to them possibly about we can have two weeks ago as we were putting the package together and for some things had moved on significantly I think as I say while they welcomed the package they know that is more work to do to make sure that they can have a sustainable future and I think it's you know no no and it's not suitable to the challenges as an every sector but you know they're trying their hardest to make sure that they can keep their businesses sustainable when people in jobs let's say that's on ice we've asked PricewaterhouseCoopers who are doing the business case for that to continue that work they're going to deliver it in July I understand and while it's on ice it doesn't necessarily mean it's dead I just think there are wider issues for us to continue at the moment were the wider sector but again I think making sure that we have a strong public media is extremely important but that decision which was at the forefront of our minds Pro covert it's not necessarily right in front of us right now first I've given is that the government ad spend and it might not be total but I think it's pretty close as about a hundred and ten million dollars for the year 1890 and I believe as the figures that I've been given and about 30 percent of that was to online platforms the rest of it was television radio print doors etc again we're digging into those numbers as we get into the second transfer because we need to answer the question about how much of it I think precisely is Google and Facebook having not just with government advertising spend but across the board to make sure that we reformed when we look at the issue such as what the Australians are doing at the moment I have I can't give you an exact date on that but we are aware of the urgency I would say weeks please don't hold me to that but again we're aware of the urgency of 100 team I think there's a better hunting team so I think it was about daily receipts somewhere there I think either I think it's about again I don't think it was precise but I think is pretty much in the ballpark for town government advertising speed you know what streets that this is the first tranche of to media support packages I'm about to be more ambitious I think you know we see this as a Doolin shot for short-term support and you know while we are yet to have a conversation with the powers that be I think if we're dealing with structural issues with the media then I think we have to think seriously about if we look at upgrading their local democracy reporting scheme being serious about this I think I said in the Senate committee that would take about a week we've got it through a committee yesterday I'm here on Thursday announcing we can't answer that yet again though spoke conversations have to be had with that particular entity and other entities to give both Treasury officials and the Minister of Finance and me some assurance that it's it's appropriate yeah there is so we've seen six months as I said to the chief executives this morning my crystal ball doesn't net flesh but we'll keep an eye on the situation for you know least three four or five months and gather about their kind about their particular initiative when the time comes I think at the stage the Minister of Finance might not be happy if I committed to that but it's certainly something that we're okay to look at and you know four or five months they say once a journalist always a journalist and I might get myself in trouble with my current colleagues about that but I I fundamentally believe in the importance of the function of journalism in New Zealand we might not like getting harassed standing here all the time but it's an important part of the democratic process and we see that and we understand that and we need to be held to account and to a degree we think there has been a bit of market failure in the last couple years which is why we sort of fit to bolster public and media kovat came along and has changed a lot of things but you know I'm not gonna talk about jobs but I think the function of journalism in this country is extremely important we're a small country and even though I think we might think we're doing a great job being asked questions about about what we're doing is extremely important it depends on which side of the podium you're on thanks get a coat okay stay 29 of covert 19 elute people for all-star days per usual I'm doctor Bloomfield Thank You Prime Minister tena koutou katoa so today we have two new confirmed cases and one new probable case of covert 19 to report however there is actually no change in the total number of covert 19 cases in New Zealand which remains at 1451 the same as yesterday let me briefly explain there were three cases we reported yesterday who were confirmed cases of the Greek Mortimer ship that had been where people had been repatriated from Uruguay however we understand that their original testing was done in Uruguay and we are checking with the authorities there as to whether they have already reported them to the w-h-o to make sure that the World Health Organization totals are accurate so to report again just to reiterate two new confirmed in one new probable case our laboratories processed a record six thousand four hundred and eighty tests yesterday so if you look at the new confirmed cases less than 0.
05% we're positive and we've now processed one hundred and one thousand two hundred and seventy seven tests for covert 19 all the cases we're reporting today are linked to existing cases sadly today I have two further deaths to report as a result of covert 19 infection a patient has died who has been very unwell in intensive care in dunedin hospital with Cova 19 since 7th of April she was in her 60s and had an underlying health condition while her family had not been able to visit her over the past few weeks arrangements were made for them to be with her last night as she passed away the second death is a resident at Rosewood rest home in Christchurch this man in his seventies passed away in the hospital level wing of their unit last night he was not part of the group that had been trained food to bulid hospital the man had an underlying condition and while he had tested negative for kovat 19 he was considered a probable case based on his exposure in symptoms and as I have said before these probable cases are treated as if they are positive and managed in the same way and we are including them in all our statistics including our mortality statistics my sympathies go out to the families of both of these people and once again we are reminded of the serious threat their disinfection poses to individuals and our communities today there are eight people in hospital with Kovan 19 and one person is in ICU in Middlemore Hospital there are still the same 616 significant clusters in four additional cases have now been linked to those clusters some brief comments on health services under level three in advance of heading into that alert level so hospitals remain open for emergency and acute care of course and I encourage all people to seek acute care for whatever their condition through either health line or their GP or at the hospital some elective services including surgery and radiology will be provided under alert level 3 and more detail will follow on that in age residential care only family visits for palliative and compassionate care reasons will be considered and that will be on a case-by-case basis general practices of course will be open as they have been through alert level 4 and they will be continuing to conduct virtual consultations as much as possible if you have symptoms of CO vat19 or respiratory symptoms please seek help through health line or by calling ahead to your regular doctor community pharmacies remain open dental services may provide urgent face-to-face appointments under alert level 3 but not routine dental care community wood midwives will continue to do the fantastic work they do with pregnant women out in the community using virtual means we're possible but also face-to-face and there will be an allowance for some face-to-face services for physiotherapy podiatry and optometry and so on we're agent Kyra's required that they will continue to provide services as much as possible virtually and finally community mental health service appointments will continue to be done faced by virtual means or on on by phone we're possible face-to-face appointments if necessary and you'll have seen the Minister of Health just announced that he's asked me to do a quick stocktake around all our district health boards on the processes they are using to distribute PPE to our providers based in the community so we can get an idea of what PPE is going out how quickly they are responding to orders and how any concerns are dealt with Thank You Prime Minister later today the director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Cirus Stuart Blake will give an update on what our civil defence groups across the country have been doing to support vulnerable New Zealanders she'll also be joined by police commissioner India Costa for a briefing the work that's been done by our civil defence group may be going unnoticed to the vast majority of New Zealanders while everyone is in their bubbles but it is work that keeps people who would otherwise be without feeds warm and well we have been working hard to ensure that we meet in need where it exists which is why yesterday we put another 30 million into our civil defence groups so they can keep providing food parcels household goods and accommodation where it's required and that follows the immediate assistance you remember some time ago of 27 million dollars put in to support that work and so on the ground 16 local civil defence groups are doing what they do best they're coordinating across all government agencies organizations including NGOs Erie and community-based groups while covered 19 main seem like a different kind of emergency to what we've dealt with in recent years like floods and fires the role of civil defence is very much the same ensuring communities individuals families and farno have the support they need there is an 800 number for every group that people can call if they are out of supplies or struggling to get basic food they've been providing emergency accommodation a stopgap service before they are referred to in Bea's temporary accommodation service this is business as usual for them but they also now have powers activated by the state of national emergency and support the co with 19 responses you're all well aware so far that's being used for things like closing roads to prevent vehicle access to backcountry to stop activities that might result in rescue activity and taranaki they have moved on freedom campers and Canterbury they've requisitioned a car park for use as a community based assessment Center coordination is a role not to be underestimated it's what helps get what is required to those who need it most and I do want to pass on my thanks to the amazing work that's being done by those civil defense groups in our local areas short word on hunting well food parcels keep family our families feed we know that in many parts of New Zealand hunting is also a part of providing for many people's families and farno you would have seen that decisions have now been made for this activity elute level 3 hunting can go ahead under alert level 3 so long as you stay in your region so long as you stay in your bubble and we're asking that people please don't put themselves at risk of needing rescue so that means don't use quadbikes off-road motorbikes or any motorized vehicles for the purposes of hunting dockland is closed for tramping and other activities and also for hunting at level 3 on private lands you will of course need landowners permission hunting is an important part of life for many New Zealanders and many places around the country at fills freezers for the months ahead it also rids farm land of pests these restrictions allow for it to happen safely and in a way that minimizes the risk of losing the great great progress that we've made and also is in keeping with the principles that we've set out for aleut level 3 around travel around bubbles and around activity we've also had discussions with Fish and Game about the duck hunting season as many of you will know the season is gazetted in advance and was due to begin on the 2nd of May cabinet was concerned that under the level three guidelines for hunting some people would be excluded from the season pets in part because they lived it too great a distance to where they may need to be it was also concerned that if it started soon and people weren't able to take part it would end up being a shorter season for some people for that reason the don't duck hunting season will go ahead in the second weekend after New Zealand moves to elute live or to the season once it gets underway will be extended to make up for the delay I know this will be disappointing for many but we recognize that opening weekend is quite a social event for many people and we still must reduce down contact at level 3 as much as possible this decision means all those who usually take part and don't duck hunting will be able to just on a slightly different time frame than otherwise I also want to be clear that hunting will be able to resume normally at level 2 once we get there just today is not that day on Saturday in Zach say I will be one of many New Zealanders who will take part and an initiative called stand at dawn the RSA has encouraged all of us to commemorate our service personnel by standing at the end of our driveways or near our leader boxes at 6 a.
to stand at dawn I know how hard it will be this year our first Anzac Day in history where services have been canceled due to Cove at 19 but that doesn't mean we can't show our support as a collective as dawn breaks we can stand at the end of those driveways and together and silent and pay tribute to those we should never forget we can still take time to pause reflect and pay our respects to the people who have given so much to us this year we are calling for Kiwis worldwide to stand at the alittle box the front door their balcony or their essential place of work it's 6 a.
on April the 25th the official dawn service broadcasts will be on errands of national radio at 6 a.
and will include an address by the man stur of Defense and minister of the veterans Ron Mac you know I want to find out more details I encourage you to visit stand at dawn calm and so in the spirit of recognizing those who have been a part of our covert 19 response today I want to thank the New Zealand Defence Force past present and future for all that you do to keep peace to keep us safe to help us recover from natural disasters to help our Pacific neighbors to reflect our strength of spirit across the world and more recently for your work on covert 19 some sixty expert planners and logistics personnel have helped with central government operations such as health and police centers as well as regional emergency operation centers more than 600 have helped to manage isolation facilities and distribute care packages to those in need this comes alongside usual works such as search and rescue and disaster relief I'd like to make special mention of the crews from five squadron and 40 squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force who have also been flying relief flights in support of our Pacific neighbours and Vanuatu Fiji and Tonga helping hard-hit by tropical cyclone Harold we as always are grateful for your service thank you now happy to take your question the number of people have recovered has increased by 29 and is now 1065 so I haven't personally but I know the medical officer of Health has and we throughout comms team cleared the statement I have made today with the family so yes yesterday prior to yesterday the information I have what head was that the person who has subsequently died was in critical condition and yesterday it said stable which which reflected the fact there had been no change but I am very sorry because I think that from that story that did create some anxiety and concern for the family so I'm sorry that that happened and I I'm certainly happy to be in touch with them personally if they would like to we've also talked about in the future maybe distinctions that talk about people being in ice you without necessarily the breakdown of this status within ICU because in this case perhaps the health terminology will mean different things to different people and no one wants to create any kind of extra additional distress for families as obviously has been caused in this case sorry do you mean under aleut and under current under level 3 yes there is some new guidance going up on a website around us and so that will be at the discretion of the senior clinician if the person does have Co vat19 and there will be provision for if the clinician feels it safe there will be provision for a family member to visit and people you will be provided and its use will be instructed so that will keep the family member safe sorry no change is unbelievable for that's an intention under level 3 you mean this was there was an aged residential care facilities that I was talking about the arrangement and aged residential care is still no visiting except in the circumstances of whether it's a pellet of situation and been compassionate visiting will be organized through the facility manager there will the the visiting policy is different in hospitals for people without code that 19 anyway there is an ability under alert level 3 for individual family members to visit I don't have that information but I will seek out that information and we can make that available certainly it is the case doctor Bloomfield that there there are obviously a number around boys would who have been identified as having contracted covered 19 and you know devastatingly of course you're seeing then the impact of that on a vulnerable community and so when we saw those initial deaths it's obviously indicative of the fact that when it reaches those vulnerable communities it is devastating but there were a number who were positive well if you think about the the unit in which the infection happened and the people who were transferred to build these are people with quite advanced underlying conditions anyway and so we have seen through the deaths as I alluded to might happen and there may well be others is with the death today even when there isn't a positive test as it was in this case we are being inclusive to make sure that we are capturing any death that could be Co 219 related but this is the group that is the most vulnerable and tends to have the worst outcomes from this infection I think right from the start of talked about the fact and that's one of the reasons that we move thoughtful about when we're using testing because a negative test and and for example you know sometimes we've seen cases that are still classified as probable even though they may have had repeated negative swabs and it doesn't reflect a problem with the testing and I think underscores our inclusive approach for making sure we are capturing and treating any probable cases as if they were a case and acting accordingly we mentioned yesterday they're provided that they collaborate with policing operate appropriately that these largely we based checkpoints that your came with them when we move to level three will you still be comfortable with these yeah to the degree that they are working with civil defense and police because keeping in mind it is only the police and civil defense who are lawfully able to stop people and so I'm comfortable with the message I've received from the police that they're working well with communities on the ground we some of these checkpoints have existed to make sure that they are operating within the law and with the best interests of the community at heart we just haven't done the analysis but we can provide that we've we provided an updated analysis in the last few days or by ethnicity and by region and we can go further and do the breakdown by region acknowledging that in some of the regions the numbers are relatively small so the breakdowns may well you know there will be maybe small numbers and some of those groups but yes we're happy to do that it can be done because when we publish those laboratory data we are linking them to the nhi number and now we don't get 100% match but we get at ninety-six percent match and then the nhi carries information about age ethnicity and so on and the ethnicity is prioritized so it has multi prioritized so we can we can do that I'll talk to the team when I get back today it's not something I've had race with me so a bit difficult for me to make a statement off the cuff I'm sure in New Zealand have been doing some work around you know what is what is fear under these current circumstance she wouldn't mind I wouldn't mind taking a look at the issue before just giving your response or a credit because sorry is it reasonable for them to say that they've I mean many look I mean it's obvious to people that many of the flights in question are not still departing I would want to just go and look at some of the circumstances under which this is being applied we are asking people who though to be fair and reasonable under the circumstances I know that there will be many people who will have trips booked that just aren't possible to undertake now so if you wouldn't allow allow me just to go and have a look at some of some of the policies that are being released on that yes and we did spoke to this at some length yesterday so we've in having ongoing discussions with the aged gear Association the what we agree on and what happens is any older person who's going into residential care or is returning because they've been in hospital who is symptomatic and there's a low threshold for testing is tested and anyone who is positive is not does not go back until they have recovered and have clinically been determined to have recovered but every resident going in or returning goes into 14 days of self isolation and is tested if they developed symptoms and the whole point of that 14-day period is that if they did have Co vat19 and had been exposed I should say if there is any history of exposure they are also tested symptomatic or not however the advice of a range of professionals including you may have seen yesterday the New Zealand microbiology networkers that routine testing is not helpful because it is a point in time and asymptomatic people and this goes to the point I made earlier on that actually even when we think someone is a probable case with a clear history of exposure the tests can still be negative so we do not think routine testing is indicated public transports asking passengers I'm delivering three to wear them on buses and trains whereas the consideration F where the New Zealand will see these sorts of measures under a level three enjoy so at this point we're not recommending people use face masks routinely we don't think it as an important part of our overall measures the most important parts of the physical distancing and hygiene and other safety measures and of course maintaining the bubbles that's the really critical thing this morning actually quite early myself and colleagues were on a call with our British counterparts to share experiences and this was one of the issues raised like us they are carefully watching the evidence and is their chief medical officer has said you can find very high-level specialists on both side of the argument so again I think if people want to wear a mask they should they should know how to use it but we don't think at this point there is any indication for routine use of masks and in public what you just want to do just that it's it is no supplement it is no substitute for social distancing so when it comes to public transport we will still ask people to try and keep your distance keep seats free sit further back from other people if you're able all of those basic measures were asking people to maintain all the way through these alert levels at this point we don't again we don't think that that's the important thing the important thing is where we have emphasized our key messages and those have served us well to date and will continue to if people want to use a mask they can but they should know how to use it as we're calling again that there are disadvantages of using masks as well as possible advantages what do you mind expanding on the correct use and disadvantages of use as well well the the correct use depends on the type of mask but it is very important that you put it on and keep your hands away from your nose and mouth and they usually hook behind the ears the the then and as we have all found as we tend to unconsciously put our hands up to our face and often if you're not used to wearing a mask for example you don't spend a day after day in an operating theater the tendency is to then keep putting your hands to your face and when the mask is wet including as we have seen recently down in Burwood when the mask is weird then it can transmit viruses including co vat19 so the key point here is meticulous hand hygiene and of course most importantly not going out if you're unwell Prime Minister did you want to talk to that because I know cabinet has looked at We certainly have been having active discussions with private hospitals because we were keen to see that that capacity should it have been needed during this period if we if our number of cases had gone up and so we've been an active discussion and we have asked each District Health Board to get in place an arrangement with their private hospitals and their areas well there will be and there will be a discussion one thing one thing I should just as a general principle for our health professionals and those who are working within the health sector and this includes in primary health care is that we haven't made moves to reimburse lost revenue because there are businesses around the country who have lost revenue during the response to Coba 19 what cabinet has been very careful around is making sure where people have occurred kovat related costs and that's been something that we've responded to for our GPS for instance with the fact that they may be doing consultations online or over the phone and haven't been able to and collect fees for that or without being undertaking testing we wanted to make sure there was nothing that stops them from undertaking testing for instance for a returning non-resident or the like there we were been wanting to make sure we're covering those costs but there are many who have lost revenue during this period and it's not just in the health sector take some in the front the Prime Minister the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is pushing for the World Health Organization or another body to have inspection powers to be able to enter countries and trace the source of the outbreaks if you have any recent discussions with your Australian counterpart as he raised this idea with you no no that's not something we've specifically discussed uh he would have heard me she yesterday just the general principle with that of course I think the entire global wish to learn from the experience that we're all in the middle of right now and we of course in New Zealand would be very open to that there are things that all of us of course want to make sure that we've learned and particularly from best practice but also that includes the speed at the beginning of outbreaks and also determining source so I think we're open to that but that again isn't something we've been particularly at the forefront of I've seen in Kohanga REO but also some from within EC the ECE provision who are making decisions based on what they see as their best interest for their personal workforce in the community and we trust them to make those decisions of course our overarching message as still if you can work and learn from home you should work and learn from home and that of course includes our our children and young people and what we're wanting to make sure though that is there is provision for those who are unable to do that but that that can be done safely within ECS my understanding is that there's no current work underway in that regard and no plans to look at the moment we don't have anything definitive to give us a sense of numbers I've only heard anecdotal feedback from the likes of some high schools and primary schools but very small numbers and but from what I've heard the numbers that are that are registering for a tune are relatively small we see we've had good provision and good stocks we've always been wanting to make sure that we have distribution performing at the level we expect right now one of the areas where we we think that there has been a need to improve has been from within DHB seen out into those community health providers is particularly the Minister of Health has focused with this audit what we've been very careful around is just acknowledging that we're in a point in the process where we are working through the range of options for making sure that we are continuing to help our economy to recover and of course the first best example of that has been the speed of the wage subsidy program the Minister of Finance has always been also being very quick to point out that we've got to make sure that what we do works is certain points in a recovery we something us payments like that aren't necessarily successful or create the stimulus you want but we haven't ruled things in or out at this stage we are focused on doing what will help our economy recover the fastest again we haven't we haven't ruled anything in or out but we are focused on what is going to have the biggest effect in terms of supporting people's livelihoods and getting our economy recovering know at this point I'm actually not saying anything specific at all because we are wanting to work through all of the options that are available when it comes to stimulating the economy and ensuring our economy can recover quickly you would be you would absolutely understand though why something like helicopter payments at level four and especially successful I expect that we will move change up the schedule a bit at level three and part because of course the house will be returning and before everyone or not everyone before some additional New Zealanders started tuning in to press conferences daily you'll of course recall that I had one with you before Parliament or the house set on sitting day so I imagine we'll return to a bit of a routine that isolated it's probably for New Zealanders talent so rather than me well I do think that we shouldn't diminish or trivialize a fifty million dollar investment and supporting supporting broadcasting and the media print journalism things that people have been relying on but have been had had by covert 19 this first package though and acknowledging that your industry is only the third really to experience direct investment through covert 19 this is very much focused on something we can do immediately to provide immediate support what we need to do beyond that is actually work on some longer-term options no not at this point however what we are doing into Pocky is one of our cases there here's an association with a wasn't and doesn't interact directly but is involved with the one of the hostels here for Kiwi free workers and we felt it was important to actually test all of them and I've just spoken this morning with the medic loft sort of health up there and that testing is happening a pace and will be completed by early afternoon well there's nothing to suggest there's any problem there and of course they are and in a sense and a big bubble and be and that has been maintained through a Louisville four we're taking a precautionary approach here and testing them all so I'll let you know the results of that testing when we have it which will probably be at least some of it tomorrow you'll see that we've boosted the capacity so that they can make five thousand calls a day and then we've gone even further to ensure they've got surge capacity up to 10, 000 calls a day to help support contact tracing that's an addition to the cases that our local health teams are already able to manage so surge capacity is there and it's ready and we'll continue to invest in our public health units to make sure that we get that gold standard we want no it's not as the Minister of Finance to see that we have been constantly reviewing what's happening for specific businesses the impacts of specific alert levels so the wage subsidy the text changes had been particularly focused on those businesses who may have struggled with some of the short term but immediate impacts on their cash flow now we're looking beyond and looking at what specific sectors and businesses may continue to be impacted at level 3 and ways that others are not so that's part of our just our ongoing covert review to make sure that we are responding as quickly as we can to some of the need we see I have no announcements to make on it today but it is a constant piece of work that we do philosophy has existed in New Zealand for a number of years and it's never been one that I've subscribed to or believe actually achieves what people claim it does so my team's gone back through every case since the first of April to narrow down the ones where it's not entirely clear where the source was we were down to seven yesterday and of those even though we they were classified as community transmission it was quite clear where the person had been infected or the the route back to infection which was pre lockdown so we're down to just a couple where it's not necessarily clear and those we may never know but the important thing is and one of those is actually the rookie one yeah so that's why we are doing it wide testing around it just to make sure first of all that there's not covert 19 that the person has caught it from from the wider group but also to make sure that it's not being transferred on there's no reason to believe it is and in fact the closed context of their person have all tested negative but we are just being doubly sure so we're in a very good position I can't say off exactly but I will find out that information and we'll make it available I think what this goes down to and again some of these cases even of the others in that seven we don't know what the exact link back was to of course all our cases in New Zealand at some point have been imported so if we had if we were able to go back through manual means we could find out where they came from but one of the other things we're doing is we are asking ESR to do the the genome sequence on some of these to find out whether what other cases they are linked to and if they look exactly like the genome for example a virus when it was in Iran or had come out of Europe or out of China because there are very subtle differences so we're using es ours genotyping sorry genome sequencing capacity to also provide insights just a small handful really in recent times and even then you get a hint of what may have happened even if it's difficult to pinpoint precisely what has happened nice piece of eye contact trick the question yeah finally realize to say dr.
Bloomfield just in regards to improving the capacity of contact tracing that the capacity and timeliness on Sunday I think it was you said you were confident that within a week we'll reach what you described this is the gold standard is that we will on track and I'm at the team I'm expecting it through the report from by the end of today there are two key things happening this week one is ministry team as as can working a pace worth getting the information system up and and even further developed but have also got folk out visiting several of the public health units to do a guess and analysis and needs analysis about what additional capacity they need because actually the first recommendation and and doctor I severe Ellis report was that the public health units need to be boosted so we're out there and the fundings been made available and we want to make sure they get the skills and people they need of course we won't be able to pop them and within a couple of days but it means that over the coming weeks we'll be able to increase the capacity out in our public health units as well that's one of the one of the key indicators so that's what we're aiming to get to it will continue to evolve and develop that by the end of this week we're going to have a platform there to be able to do the sort of contact tracing we need to do so the community based assessment centers are for people who have symptoms and either they turn up themselves or are referred by general practice or by health line there's no there's no need for people to go and if they array symptomatic just to get a test for example because of their living conditions so saying there is some widespread testing happening across a range of workforces and settings by our DHBs this week and out in rural communities and you've seen that reflected in the the 6400 tests that have been done because actually a number of people with respiratory symptoms at the moment has almost record-low because we haven't been transmitting these infections to each other there's no such thing as never because it all comes down to our behavior from here and that's where that team of five million is so important we do need to keep in mind all of the public health principles that we've been using and practicing today washing your hands keeping your distance staying at home if you're sick getting a test if you're symptomatic those those will need to be with us for a long time so there is no such thing so it's definitely an end-to-end system and that's what we are setting up with a national view of that we're still working through the exact indicators because just for example one of the ones you talked about was understanding exactly when the onset of symptoms was and this can be quite tricky because often people will present several days or even a week down the track and they can't remember their exact onset of symptoms so there are three there are three key things we're wanting to do first of all get New Zealanders to get tested as soon as they get symptoms or seek advice about testing secondly get the test turn around from swab to result as short as possible and we're doing we know from our laboratory data that that's getting very good in the third bit and this is critical bettors identify and contact any close contacts within the three days and get them into self isolation and test that if they need to be tested so that's the sort of intern process and then make sure that they are staying in self isolation so that's that's the system we are setting up and want to be able to monitor and report one of the things that's really insightful from some of the reports we've been having even in recent days you can see that we might have a positive a positive test and we now teams from the ph d–'s are going in to try and identify where the origin of that case was and maybe and find that actually it was someone else in the household who was first symptomatic and that might have been some time ago and so even when we're producing weight we might then test them all the same as a probable case that data there won't be a fair representation of the speed of our contact tracing because that person never presented and was only identified through the work that those ph d–'s are doing so i think it's just important to keep some of that in mind it's not it's not necessarily always a linear process sometimes we're going back and identifying other cases as part of that investigate ori work and but the fact that we can come down and tell you within a couple of hours of the cases that we've had that day what we know of where they've come from tells you that our pear trees are working very very quickly that's where we want to be but is the prime minister said actually our public health units are very effective at doing this this is their core business and so it it's not this will help us have a national view and particularly if we as we have had we we've got clusters where there are people across the country that's very important but our public health units are very good at finding people and then getting them isolated and ring-fencing and and they do this very effectively and that's been a good part of why we have been able also to be in the position we're in now we're doing everything we can to prevent new zealand experiencing the second wave that we have seen in other countries and that's why we're moving slowly cautiously confidently down through our louisville system at the same time we're very prepared when taking nothing for granted but i'm confident with the path that we've carved ourselves we should prevent new zealand having their experience of all the probable cases well by different yeah well by definition that probable case is one that does return a negative test but the the census that given the clinical picture and the epidemiological link that this is probable case and it is treated and managed as if it was a case for example we're it's it might be a child and and symptoms where some time ago the the challenge of get doing a nasal swab it's not that Pleasant and also the likelihood of getting a positive test is low but to be inclusive we're including them in our probable we did have for instance an example of one of the patients and one of the aged care facilities whose family didn't wish for them to be tested but we still considered I'm I'm not going to get ahead of the budget which will obviously be released not too far away but what I would say is that New Zealand has has always been mindful of our resolve our responsibility to particularly our Pacific island neighbors in times of hardship and in good times and this is it's no different for us now we're there what I would keep in mind is actually some of the aid projects that we would usually be engaged with haven't been as easy to continue to roll out that's required entry into into our Pacific neighbors within their borders which has been limited so it does mean that we may be seeing some of the reorientation of support into areas of need where we can actually facilitate the investment of aid and development funding again I'm not going to get ahead of the budget process but you know from New Zealand's values so it will near is need New Zealand does its but we certainly haven't gone backwards and you'll remember that actually we were making very good progress before covered 19 and none of that progress has been lost but as you can imagine there hasn't been the ability to bring any finality or closure to that at this time just because really that face-to-face contact and our ability to facilitate some of those negotiations has been limited.