New Zealand leaps out of coronavirus lockdown with bungee jumps, midnight haircuts

first_imgTopics : Traffic returned to the country’s roads and office towers filled up with employees returning after weeks of working from home. Schools only open next week but offices were allowed to start on Thursday.New Zealanders are allowed to travel between regions, students will be able to return to school from Monday, while bars will reopen from May 21. Social gatherings, including for weddings and other religions ceremonies, are to be limited to 10 people.Back in Queenstown, Boult embraced the prospect of now-permitted domestic tourism.”Enthusiasm for local travel will bring a much-needed boost to our local economy and the thousands of locals that will benefit from the return to work this will deliver,” said Boult. After seven weeks trussed up with some of the world’s toughest coronavirus curbs, New Zealanders like Jim Boult leapt at the chance to cheer the end of the country’s lockdown on Thursday – literally in his case, with a bungee jump.As the mayor of South Island adventure tourism resort Queenstown, Boult’s vault off Kawarau Bridge was as much a move for TV cameras to attract visitor attention as an act of sheer exuberance. But the sense of relief at the prospect of a return to some kind of normality was shared across the country.In Auckland, residents queued from midnight at barber shops and salons for their first chance of a professional hairdo in nearly two months, according to local media reports. In Wellington, families strolled along the waterfront, while others waited at stores set to reopen with safety measures in place.center_img “It’s been an onslaught of people booking in so we’re flat out for the next two three weeks,” Ali Kamaruddin, a barbershop owner in northern coastal city Tauranga, told state broadcaster TVNZ. “We’re expecting everything, long hair, home haircuts, big stuff.”While dramatically reducing the spread of the disease, some of the stricter social distancing restrictions worldwide delivered a big economic hit to New Zealand’s $200 billion economy, which is dependent on trade and tourism.The country had fewer than 1,497 confirmed cases and fewer than 90 people are still sick. It reported extensive testing and no new cases for the third consecutive day on Thursday, and only 21 people have died.Restrictions were eased by a notch in late April, but Thursday’s further easing to ‘level 2’ in the Pacific nation’s scale of alert allows for retail, restaurants and other public spaces including playgrounds to reopen.last_img read more

Mum power: The moment mum bought a house for the kids

first_img MORE PROPERTY NEWS Best time ever for first home buyers, but many still in doubt Dad in quarantine, mum in lockdown: Brisbane’s three state auction drama Hayley Granato cheers after winning the auction of 34 Killawarra Rd, Ashgrove. Photo: Debra BelaAN ORIGINAL condition Ashgrove Queenslander that cost two years’ salary in 1972, has sold at auction for $1.31m, more than 13 times the average annual salary in Brisbane today. It has been 48 years since this house last went to auction.Real estate agents lost count of bidders who rushed to register for the auction of 34 Killawarra Road, Ashgrove in Brisbane’s inner west. center_img FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK “I can’t give you exact numbers, we had some late arrivals, you could say 12 to 14 bidders,” Ray White Lutwyche agent David Lazzarini said. Yellow bidder paddles could be seen scattered through the crowd in the front yard of the 911sq m property.“This is the strongest interest I’ve had in a property for quite some time due to the location and the land size and the prestige properties around it. It’s a grand Queenslander in good condition for it’s age. It’s 90 years old.” The house as it looked when it was first built in circa-1930.David and Alan Mooney’s mum and dad bought the three bedroom house at auction in 1972 for $16,000. Alan and David Mooney with a framed copy of The Courier-Mail newspaper clipping that advertised the auction in 1972.With their mother now settled in a nursing home, the brothers had tidied the house on its 911sq m elevated block before putting it on the market. Inside the home at Killawarra Rd, Ashgrove.In the auction crowd of more than 80 was Peter and Hayley Granato, whose own 1930s family home in Bardon had just gone under contract after an extensive renovation. Hayley and Peter Granato after the auction.“We’ve been looking for years really,” Mrs Granato said. “We renovated our last place and then had three babies and now the youngest is three so we thought maybe it’s time to renovate again.“Pete’s cousin lives around the corner and it’s a great pocket for us, plus we needed something to move the kids into because we’ve just sold our house.” More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours agoParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoRay White New Farm principal and auctioneer Haesley Cush reminded everyone to social distance before starting the auction.Bidding in the front yard started at $900,000 and rose in $50,000 lots with the Granatos joining the auction with a bid of $1.15 million. At $1.2m the property was announced on the market and bidding slowed with the Granatos bidding against a couple who currently live in Ashgrove but wanted an elevated position. The property sits in the Avenues of Ashgrove and is only the second house to sell on Killawarra Rd in five years.At $1.310m Ray White auctioneer Haesley Cush’s hammer fell and Mrs Granato fist-pumped the auction win. Peter and Hayley Granato at the moment they won the auction of 34 Killawarra Rd, Ashgrove.Property activity in Ashgrove has remained steady in the first half of 2020 compared to last year, with 115 houses selling in both periods, CoreLogic property data shows.However the sales volume was 10 per cent higher in the first six months of 2018 when 129 houses sold.The median sale price for houses in Ashgrove broke the $1 million mark in March and sustained that through the COVID-19 lockdown period during April, the latest property data shows.October 2018 was the last time Ashgrove recorded a median sales price of $1 million.last_img read more

City whispers inspired Caballero

first_img Press Association Caballero, who will replace released Romanian Costel Pantilimon in the squad, said: “I knew that Manchester City were interested in me so I tried to do my best for my previous club to make the move to a very big club possible, and finally it’s a reality and I will try to prove myself.” Even though he has principally been signed as back-up to Hart, Caballero hopes he can push on at City and earn full international recognition. Caballero won the Under-20 World Cup with Argentina in 2001 and was also a member of the 2004 Olympic gold medal-winning squad. He said: “The first goal is to do things well and show why City were interested in me. “Obviously it would be good to get back with the national team and hopefully I can achieve that.” Caballero believes playing under Manuel Pellegrini, his former manager at Malaga, will give him the confidence to succeed. Getting the chance to work with Pellegrini again was one of the main attractions of City to Caballero. Pellegrini signed the former Boca Juniors keeper for Malaga from Elche in 2011. He went on to become a key figure in the Andalusian club’s rise to prominence in Spain, which included a run to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2013. Caballero, who is City’s third summer signing after Bacary Sagna and Fernando, said: “I think his best quality is giving players the confidence to achieve their potential.” The Argentinian goalkeeper joined the Barclays Premier League champions in a £4.4million move from Spanish outfit Malaga. The 32-year-old will provide competition for first-choice Joe Hart, the England number one, at the Etihad Stadium. center_img Manchester City’s new signing Willy Caballero has revealed how word of the club’s interest motivated him last season.last_img read more