Summary From today, unvaccinated health workers are unable to come to work unless they have an exemption. Petrol pump prices could rise if NZ’s only refinery is forced to close early due to key staff jumping ship ahead of its closure due in the first half of next year.
Covid update Some doctors, nurses, orderlies, midwives and patient transporters will lose their jobs from today if they failed to get vaccinated by midnight last night. It is estimated up to 2,400 out of a nursing workforce of 80,000 will be out of a job, and about 20 GPs. Meanwhile, Waikato moves to level two as vaccination levels climb and the covid outbreak there remains limited. Covid has been diagnosed in a Dargaville school student, and has also been found in Woodville and Taupo. Former AM host Duncan Garner is awaiting test results today to confirm covid.
Urgent attention Three deaths in home isolation have prompted the Health and Disability Commissioner to request an urgent Ministry of Health review of the system. “I am concerned about increasing media reports of people with Covid-19 who may not be receiving the clinical care they need while self-isolating,” commissioner Morag McDowell told The Spinoff.
Port update Napier Port announces its full-year results today, with investors looking at the pandemic’s impacts including supply chain disruption and rising shipping charges. Napier is regarded as better placed than its nearest competitor, Wellington’s CentrePort, as it is on the main domestic shipping lines. Napier Port regards Wellington ratepayers’ subsidisation of their port as a source of frustration. The port will benefit from a massive new freight hub proposed for Palmerston North that is similar to the Tainui hub underway in the Waikato.
Jumping ship Petrol pump prices could rise by as much as 40% as uncertainty reigns over the closing date for NZ’s only oil refinery. The refinery is delayed in negotiations with petrol companies over access to its pipeline, with speculation they are being asked to lock in ten-year deals at high prices. Staff jumping ship before the scheduled closure in the first half of next year may put pressure on the refinery to close earlier if it loses critical skills.
Stepping down Pavan Vyas says his friends might joke that a mid-life crisis is why he’s stepping down from his chief executive role at Rush Digital. At 40 years of age, the outgoing CEO of the technology company behind the NZ covid tracer app seems a little young for a full Harley Davidson meltdown. “It honestly isn’t that,” he told BusinessDesk. “I want to make sure as and when, because I really believe it's a matter of when tech becomes the number one sector in this country, all of our communities benefit.” He said he’ll be concentrating on Take2, the organisation that helps incarcerated individuals learn to code where he is director, and Frankie, the Rush off-shoot property and facilities management platform where he is director and shareholder.
Purchase deal NZX-listed pub owner Good Spirits Hospitality has agreed to buy Nourish Group’s ten venues in a deal that will more than double the size and earnings of the group. But the team behind the transaction are quick to say this wasn’t a pandemic-related fire sale despite Nourish-owned restaurant Euro closing for good last month.
Allegations persist More allegations of bullying and sexism have emerged from KiwiRail following BusinessDesk’s stories on an independent workplace review. TVNZ reports on the departure of 11 senior women and three key executives in recent weeks including its deputy CEO Todd Moyle. KiwiRail and its union go into bargaining today, with a strike in December to go ahead if no agreement is reached.
Inflation worries Australia’s reserve bank will address inflation jitters in a lunchtime address on recent trends in inflation at the Australian Business Economists webinar today. The RBA is also due to release minutes of its Nov 2 board meeting.
Robo-manicures Manicures are going robotic, with three startups in New York looking at ways to automate the perfect nail polish application. The US nail care market is estimated to be worth about $10 billion.
Solar industry spotlight A group of Australian senators, human rights experts and lawyers are calling out forced labour used to produce solar panels in China. The group has asked for assurances from the federal government calling that the solar industry, which exports most of its products from China, is not exposed to human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang province. New Zealand’s solar industry is likely to have the same exposure as Australia.
UK alerts raised A taxi driver in Liverpool locked the doors to prevent a terrorist carrying explosives from getting out at a women's hospital. The ensuing blast injured the driver and caused the UK to upgrade its terrorism level warning to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.
Shell shifts Royal Dutch Shell is moving its headquarters from the Netherlands to the UK to simplify its operations. The move means a name change, which will remove the “Royal Dutch”, and a new tax residence.
Markets update European indices closed modestly higher, with continued optimism for company earnings and growth heading off concerns about a covid resurgence that has seen Austria move into lockdown. The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 0.35% the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose slightly by 0.05%, Germany's DAX rose 0.34% and France's CAC 40 was up 0.53%. Early afternoon trading saw the S&P and the Dow Jones remain flat, while the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3%. Crude oil prices fell today amid expectations of increased supply.