More revelations have been uncovered from the Government's coronavirus document dump, while new cases remain low as Cabinet prepares to decide when to move to alert level 2. Get all the important news and read the full stories in the links below.
Key developments in NZ
• The full extent of human rights New Zealanders gave up during lockdown and alert level 3 have been revealed. Included among the Government's dump of hundreds of documents was the implementation of moving down alert levels and the Solicitor-General's advice on the legality of the nationwide quarantine order. The paper said the lockdown and level 3 had "the most significant impact on human rights in living memory". The document dump also revealed what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Cabinet before they agreed to lock down New Zealand for four weeks.
• The Government was mostly flying blind on how essential workers were being protected during the level 4 lockdown or whether people with Covid-19, or suspected of having Covid-19, were properly keeping to themselves. A report from the All of Government team, dated April 15, also found that one-third of Kiwis felt the lockdown didn't go far enough, opening up the possibility of tougher measures to be rolled out if necessary.
• The Prime Minister's office has directed all ministers not to give interviews on the document dump, saying there is "no real need to defend" themselves – but the leaked email reeks of arrogance, writes Derek Cheng, arguing that it blatantly flouts Ardern's cultivated reputation for openness and transparency.
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• There are two new cases of Covid-19 today, one confirmed and one probable. Both cases are linked to the St Margaret's Hospital & Rest Home in Auckland. 92 per cent of all cases have now recovered, with two people in hospital. The number of case numbers today and tomorrow will be of particular interest to inform Cabinet's decision on Monday about when to move to level 2.
• Under lockdown, some of our most traditional businesses were fighting for survival. Under level 2, the adaptations forced on them could help them thrive.
• Take-up of the $6.25 billion Government-backed Business Finance Guarantee Scheme has been slow so far. Just 174 loans have been approved across nine banks with a total of $23 million lent – but the loans could be more attractive once businesses have a clearer view of their longer-term prospects.
• Does Covid-19 make Thursday's Budget the most important in history or render it redundant? Liam Dann analyses Finance Minister Grant Robertson's epic timing dilemma.
Around the world
• The United States has suffered the largest coronavirus outbreak in the world by far, with five times as many reported cases as any other country and more than twice as many deaths. Unemployment is now at its highest point since 1939. How did the world's most powerful nation find itself in such a calamitous position? The answer is a long, bumbling series of mistakes, committed by everyone from the President to federal agencies, state governments and the American people themselves.
• Sweden's former top virus expert has said lockdowns are just a way of delaying the inevitable and warned that New Zealand could face years of quarantining foreigners entering the country, even after wiping out Covid-19.
• The Government's response to sport's plight during the Covid-19 crisis has been labelled deficient by one of the sector's most influential powerbrokers. Multiple sporting organisations have told the Herald it feels like sport has been left out on a limb, despite it being one of the most devastatingly affected sectors.