Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has defended her recovery Budget as more reaction flows from sectors heavily affected by Covid-19. Get all the important news and read the full stories in the links below.

Key developments in NZ

• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has used her first public appearance in eight weeks to defend her recovery Budget - and to call out National for playing "cynical politics". She also appeared to distance Labour from any talk of tax increases to help pay for the Government's $50 billion Covid-19 recovery package. Pay cuts for the Prime Minister, other MPs, mayors and police and Defence Force heads can also now go ahead – but some MPs may end up with a smaller cut than the 20 per cent the Prime Minister wanted ministers to take.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made her first public appearance in eight weeks. Photo / Supplied
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made her first public appearance in eight weeks. Photo / Supplied

• The Prime Minister says any transtasman travel agreement will not happen quickly. Ardern said she could not put a timeframe on when travel to Australia might resume - but warned "it won't be weeks" - it would be longer. She said she did not want travel to and from Australia to endanger the very low rates of the virus in New Zealand, with just one new case of Covid-19 today - a patient linked to the Marist College cluster and who had previously tested negative.

Listen live to Newstalk ZB's coronavirus coverage


• A controversial law that gives police the power to potentially enter homes without a search warrant will be reviewed after public calls from academics. Parliament today voted to send the law, which gives police powers to enforce the rules of different alert levels, to a select committee for consideration. The Covid-19 Public Health Measures Act was rushed through on Wednesday in time for lockdown lifting, but opposition parties, the Human Rights Commission, the Salvation Army and legal experts have criticised how quickly the law was rushed through without proper scrutiny.

• Gyms gearing up to reopen in the next few days are busy ensuring physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place to keep gym-goers and staff safe. Exercise NZ expected most gyms to be back operating by Monday, and some welcomed back customers today.

As New Zealanders head into the first weekend of Level 2, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield shares what we all have to do. Video / Supplied

The Budget

Passengers wait to board their flight amid social distancing regulations at Christchurch Airport. Photo / AP
Passengers wait to board their flight amid social distancing regulations at Christchurch Airport. Photo / AP

• The Budget delivered a $400 million targeted tourism recovery fund and an eight-week extension of the wage subsidy, among other measures for one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. More support is likely to follow. Here's how some tourism sector groups rated the Budget.

• Beneficiaries and migrant workers have been left out in the cold by the Budget, unions and advocates say. These groups had hoped for a further lift in welfare payments at a time of crisis and for benefits to be extended to migrants who were out of work or stranded in New Zealand because of Covid-19.

• Finance Minister Grant Robertson says New Zealand will pay down its increased debt level - driven by the Government's Covid-19 response - over time as a result of the economy growing, and it won't be putting a capital gains tax back on the agenda.

Focus Live: Finance Minister Grant Robertson gives Budget 2020 update

Around the world

• Donald Trump has threatened to "cut off the whole relationship" with China, as tensions between the US and China continue to rise over the origins of Covid-19. The Chinese government has hit back at the President through its state-controlled Global Times newspaper, which said cutting off China "may put world peace in a dangerous position". The report accused the President of "talking nonsense", claimed he was "bluffing and acting tough towards China to win more support", and called him a "giant baby on the brink of a meltdown".

• Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began, has announced an ambitious plan to test all of its 11 million residents for the virus in the coming days, a campaign that will be closely watched by governments elsewhere. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website


In sport

• The All Blacks' two home tests against Wales and test against Scotland in July have been postponed.