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.

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• 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.

Newly elected National Party Leader Todd Muller speaks to the media while Amy Adams looks on during a press conference to announce a new Shadow Cabinet. Photo / Getty Images
Newly elected National Party Leader Todd Muller speaks to the media while Amy Adams looks on during a press conference to announce a new Shadow Cabinet. Photo / Getty Images

• 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.

Business update

• 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.

• TV3-owner MediaWorks has revealed it will cut 130 jobs while Stuff announced it is being bought by its chief executive Sinead Boucher for $1.

Around the world

for the first time since March as the country's death toll approached 100,000 - a tragic milestone strikingly

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Donald Trump's 2014 tweet about Barack Obama playing golf comes back to bite him. Video / CNN

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

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.

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