WELLINGTON: Owing to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, ministers in her cabinet and chief executives of the public sector will take a 20 per cent drop in salaries for the next six months.
“This is where we can take action and that is why we have,” Ardern said on Wednesday (Apr 15) in a news conference announcing the decision.
She said the decision was taken in the light of the economic difficulties New Zealanders would face in the months ahead.
Despite having fewer cases of COVID-19 than many other countries, New Zealand imposed a one-month lockdown in a bid to eradicate the disease entirely from the region.
On Tuesday the country reported four additional COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the country’s total to nine deaths. It has reported 1,366 infection cases.
But after the lockdown and the health ministry said it was sure the country had passed the peak, the number of new cases has remained considerably small.
“We have passed the peak, that seems to be clear now,” Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health said in a news conference.
“We will be more confident once we know more about each of those new cases that has been occurring in the past week,” he added.