Weekly Digest – 4 November 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest.  Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

NZ to Start Easing Travel Restrictions

From November, travelers from Pacific countries such as Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu won’t be required to quarantine on arrival.  The 14-day hotel quarantine period will also be cut to seven days for fully vaccinated travelers from overseas, with a plan to move to a system of home isolation by 2022.

Starting 1 November, all foreign nationals entering the country will need to be fully vaccinated.  Meanwhile, quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated travelers from New Zealand to certain areas in Australia has resumed on 1 November, as the country prepares for a partial reopening of its international borders.

Lockdown in the Northern Region

Part of the Northland region has been placed into Alert Level 3 lockdown, over fears of an undetected community transmission of COVID-19.  The decision to seal off the area will be reviewed on Monday.

NZ Hits Two Vaccination Milestones

The Ministry of Health announced that two “vaccination milestones” were reached, as 75% of eligible Kiwis nationwide have now been fully vaccinated.

On Saturday, 42,000 vaccinations were administered, while 80% of Auckland’s population are now fully vaccinated.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country will move into a new traffic light system to manage COVID-19 once every health board region achieves 90% fully vaccination rate.

NZ to Ratify Trade Agreement with Asia Pacific Nations

Final steps are being completed for New Zealand’s ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Trade Agreement which will extend trade rules across the Asia-Pacific region.  Aside from useful market access benefits for New Zealand exporters, other commitments in services and investment will add to the rule book for trade and investment with Asian countries.

Buy Now Pay Later Market Expected to Grow

The New Zealand Buy Now Pay Later Markets Report 2021 showed Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payments in the country are expected to grow by 58% annually to hit US$ 771.9 million in 2021.

The strong growth over the last four quarters was supported by the increase in ecommerce activity combined with the impact of economic slowdown due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.  The BNPL payment adoption is expected to grow steadily, recording a compound annual growth rate of 27.4% during 2021-2028.

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Building Green Hydrogen Fuelling Stations in North Island

Hiringa Energy is investing $50 million to build the four green hydrogen fuelling stations along key transport routes in the North Island.  The stations will be located in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, and Palmerston North.

The funding was supported by a $16 million loan from the government through the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

Cybersecurity Attacks on Small Businesses Double

In the past three years, cybersecurity attacks on New Zealand small businesses have doubled.

The 2021 HP New Zealand IT Security Survey found cybersecurity attacks on small businesses doubled compared to 2018, with 54% of respondents seeing evidence of security breaches in their workplace in the past year.

This is despite mid-market businesses nearly tripling their investment in IT security over the past three years.  With businesses facing an average cost of $159,000 per attack, 37% of respondents reported increasing their investment in cybersecurity amid the pandemic.

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