Although the movement of people across the globe has come to a near standstill, New Zealand’s exports mean that we still have a large connection to the outside world. Revenue from goods exports are income for many New Zealanders and have thankfully been quite resilient to the effects of COVID-19. It’s hard finding cheerful good news stories during a global pandemic and subsequent global recession.
The movement of freight around the country has changed dramatically since the Level 4 lockdown, both in terms of the content and quantity of cargo. The most notable change, of course, is that the roads are eerily quiet because most human movements have ceased. As for remaining traffic flows, what road freight services are required to allow essential services to keep functioning, and what do we expect to happen to road freight once lockdown restrictions are uplifted? In this article we try shed some light on these questions during these very uncertain times for road freight.
Comparing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Zealand to some of our key international partner economies can help us to understand how we’re tracking and what might be ahead for us. There’s no one correct chart to show how COVID-19 is affecting the world, but we hope this chart provides a different way of looking at the numbers.
New Zealand’s connections with the outside world was upended on 14 March when the Prime Minister announced a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for all travellers arriving in New Zealand (excluding the Pacific Islands). The self-isolation requirement was a response to the escalating severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and came after the US banned European travellers for a month just days earlier. This requirement to self-isolate will be a major blow to the New Zealand economy, as the requirements will effectively halt the majority of travel in and out of New Zealand.
New data released by the Ministry of Education shows that 7,033 school leavers had no qualification in 2018, up 615 people from 2017. The percentage of school leavers without any qualification increased from 10.2% in 2017 to 11.2% in 2018. Delving into the data we found considerable differences between regions.
Plastic packaging is being talked about more than any other time since it was first invented. With single-use plastic bags now banned, and our ability to outsource soft plastic recycling overseas becoming less viable, there are some fundamental shifts occurring for New Zealand. With more efforts to switch to reusable alternatives, and a rethink about plastic recycling, we need to focus much more on how we manage our waste.
There’s plenty of talk these days about how employment will change in the future, as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation see a decrease in traditional jobs, the emergence of new jobs, and more job transitions. But these forces appear to be sculpting the workforce already.