Kiwi dollar pares gains on looming RBNZ review

The New Zealand dollar got a strong lift from positive jobs data today but pared the gains late in the day ahead of tomorrow's Reserve Bank's monetary policy review.

That is when it may attempt to jawbone the currency lower.

The kiwi rose as high as US73.45c after government data showed a lower-than-expected unemployment rate, and traded at US73.07c as at 5pm in Wellington, up from 72.63c in Asia Tuesday.

Markets were closed for the Waitangi Day holiday Tuesday, avoiding much of the major market volatility of the past two days when stronger US jobs numbers stoked inflation expectations and eroded stock markets around the world.

Things settled down and a resumption of risk appetite coincided with higher dairy prices at the GlobalDairyTrade auction, stoking demand for the kiwi.

The local currency got a further lift when Statistics New Zealand data showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.5 per cent in the December quarter to the lowest level since the December 2008 quarter.

"Risk aversion dissipated very quickly ... overseas markets turned around and said it's all good now," after a global sell-off earlier in the week, said Imre Speizer, senior market strategist at Westpac.

Investors were cheered when the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 2.3 per cent. "Then we had our good jobs data, which gave us another leg up," he said.

Mr Speizer said the kiwi pared some of those gains late in the trading day, which could be due to concern that "tomorrow we may get a strong warning that the kiwi dollar is too high" from the central bank.

The local currency rose to 79.89 yen from 79.23 yen and gained to A92.68c from 92.18c. It increased to 58.98 euro cents from 58.72 cents Tuesday and rose to 52.34 British pence from 52.03 pence. The kiwi traded at 4.5698 Chinese yuan from 4.5648 yuan.

New Zealand currency fifty dollar note money
New Zealand currency fifty, dollar note (file picture). Source: istock.com

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Mobile laundry and shower service launched for rough sleepers in Auckland

A mobile laundry and shower service for rough sleepers has been launched in Auckland, providing the facilities for free out of a van. 

Orange Sky, an Australian charity organisation, made the jump across the ditch and would be partly funded by Ministry of Housing. 

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the mobile services could bring rough sleepers "one of the simple things we take for granted". 

"While superficially the service is about clean clothes and showers, the main benefits are the social interactions, the conversations and the opportunity for social services to reach out to rough sleepers.

"It continues to build our picture of homelessness and helps us shape the support systems we need on the ground," he said. 

Orange Sky would work with Housing First in Auckland, and would be introducing other services around New Zealand. It currently has 27 van across Australia. 


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Kiwis fined by Israeli courts over cancelled Lorde concert raising money for Gaza mental health

The Kiwis behind an open letter urging Lorde not to perform in Israel are raising money for mental health in Gaza after they were ordered by the Israeli courts to pay a NZ$19,000 fine.

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab must pay three Israeli teenagers thousands in damages for harming their "artistic welfare" over the cancelled concert, which was to to be performed in Tel Aviv. 

The concert, scheduled for June 2018, was cancelled by the Kiwi singer last December, after the women wrote an open letter to the star asking her to reconsider. 

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab say they won’t pay, and are fundraising for mental health services in Gaza instead. Source: 1 NEWS

"We will not be paying the court ordered amount. Instead, we would like to redirect the support extended to us back to Palestinians in need of mental health support," the pair said on their givealittle page.

Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab said the crowdfounding campaign was launched in the hopes of raising USD$12,000 for the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, which helps provide financial support for mental health support organisations.

As of 4.44pm, the pair raised $1,651.36 in donations from 40 donors.

To donate to the givealittle page, click here.


Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab. Source: Givealittle / Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab


Weasel caught in trap at Wellington wildlife sanctuary after footprints found

Zealandia has caught a weasel after its footprints were found in the Wellington wildlife sanctuary on Monday last week.

The female weasel was found in a Department of Conservation trap today by a Zealandia ranger, at the southern end of the sanctuary where the animal was first detected.

Conservation and Research Manager Dr Danielle Shanahan is delighted with the result, saying the quick detection of the weasel dramatically reduces the risk to the sanctuary's wildlife.

"We'll continue to monitor things closely, keeping traps, camera traps and tracking tunnels out there until we're convinced that it was just the one animal," Dr Shanahan said.

Around 110 DOC200 traps were set in the urban wildlife sanctuary, baited with rabbit meat and eggs. 

Camera traps were also set, capturing the weasel on video three times at the same location.