New Zealanders face at least another four weeks under alert level 2, with the Government marking June 22 as the date it will consider a move to level 1. This followed another day of no new Covid-19 cases - and a dramatic shakeup of the political and media landscapes in the country.
Key developments in NZ
• Limits on social gatherings will be increased to 100 from midday on Friday, allowing churches to resume services and making it easier for professional sport to return to action. Physical distancing rules would, however, still apply as the country faces at least another month at alert level 2.
• There are again no new cases of Covid-19 but also no recoveries with one person still in hospital. Another 17,000 Kiwis have downloaded the NZ Covid Tracer app.
• New Zealanders who lost their jobs due to the pandemic will be able to get $490 a week tax-free for 12 weeks, as part of the Government's $570 million scheme for temporary income support payments. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the scheme was "very similar" to the Job Loss Cover payment introduced during the Canterbury earthquakes.
Listen live to Newstalk ZB's coronavirus coverage
• Thousands were sent ducking for cover this morning following a powerful 5.8 magnitude earthquake northwest of Levin, with reports of "long and rolling" tremors lasting more than 30 seconds. Ardern herself was in the middle of a live TV interview from the Beehive when the earthquake struck.
• Ousted National Party leader Simon Bridges will remain in politics, for now, following the announcement of successor Todd Muller's new caucus. Senior National MP Amy Adams has been given a surprising new role while Bridges' former deputy Paula Bennett is shuffled down the ranks.
• The Reserve Bank has asked trading banks to be ready to implement a negative official cash rate (OCR) by December 1, potentially sending banks scrambling into a system-wide overhaul similar to that just over 20 years ago ahead of the new millennium.
Around the world
for the first time since March as the country's death toll approached 100,000 - a tragic milestone strikingly
The last word
It doesn't take long for something to become a big issue in the glare of the spotlight, as Todd Muller has discovered - but just how have the first few days gone for the new Leader of the Opposition, asks Claire Trevett.