Dawn Chorus: Extra dose deal due

Govt set to announce new Pfizer doses; Australian ICUs face being overwhelmed in October/November as NSW and Vic open up; Desperate singletons using Tinder to get into housing


TLDR & TLDL: Morena! Fresh from announcing a shift to ‘Delta Two’ tonight outside of Auckland (see details and subscriber comments here on that), the Government is set to announce later today it has secured extra Pfizer doses to keep up a now-scorching pace of vaccinations. Australia just did such a deal and needed it desperately.

Despite worrying new case number modelling, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a plan to start reopening New South Wales’ schools from October 25. Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

New modelling out overnight shows New South Wales is set to go over 2,000 cases a day next month and Victoria is headed for 4,000 a day. Both states will struggle to cope with more than a thousand Covid cases in ICUs by early November. The trans-Tasman bubble looks off until late next year at the earliest.

Meanwhile, there’s good news for Tiwai Pt smelter workers with a fresh rise in aluminium prices overnight to a 10 year high because of a coup in Guinea, but that’s bad news for electricity consumers elsewhere, and our hopes to stop burning a million tonnes a coal a year, because it means the smelter will likely keep using 12% of NZ’s power production for many more years.

Coming up: Watch for the Pfizer doses deal, probably at 1pm, and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly money printing decision at 4.30pm our time. It is expected to keep printing A$20b a month.

My view: Our Reserve Bank has stopped printing and others still expect it to hike interest rates on Oct 6. I think they probably will, but shouldn’t, given delta is slowing GDP growth and inflation pressuresglobally and locally.

For example, the ‘Delta Two’ restrictions (a maximum of 50 people indoors and tables two metres apart) announced last night are expected to severely curtail hospitality and events until Christmas at least.

Scoops and news breaking this morning

In Covid news:

‘They’re coming’ - The Government is expected to announce later today if it has found extra Pfizer doses needed to keep up the current pace of vaccinations, which is double that planned for (Stuff)

‘They’re not coming’ - The RSE one-way bubble scheme for vineyard and orchard owners to get extra workers from Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu was put on hold late yesterday because of restrictions on MIQ space. (Stuff)

Sydney’s painful re-opening - New South Wales published fresh modelling showing its daily case load would peak next month over 2,000 (it was 1,281 yesterday) and the numbers of Covid cases in ICU beds would increase the numbers in ICU to almost 1,000 in early November, which is above the state’s capacity of 924.

Victoria’s awful outlook - New modelling of Victoria’s outbreak found daily cases could explode to over 4,000 by the end of this month. (AFR-$$$)

Ready. Fire. Aim - Meanwhile, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a plan yesterday to start reopening New South Wales’ schools from October 25. Only 41% of adults in the state are now fully vaccinated. That rate is on track to hit NSW’s 70% reopening threshold on Oct 18. Nuts. (Guardian)

In our political economy:

Supply constrained - Home builders are increasingly applying price escalation clauses and dropping fixed price contracts for buyers, which will make it harder for banks to lend to buyers off the plan, Phil Pennington reported on RNZ.

In the global political economy:

Tiwai celebrates - Global aluminium prices rose again overnight to a fresh 10-year high as it became clear a coup in Guinea would restrict bauxite supply from the world’s second biggest producer after Australia. (CNBC)

Crikey…finally - Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will end its long-standing editorial hostility towards carbon reduction policies and advocate in Australia for the world’s leading economies to hit net zero emissions by 2050 with an editorial campaign next month. (SMH)

Signs o’ the times news

Climate change - New Zealand just had its warmest winter ever. NIWA reported an average temperature of 9.8 degrees C this winter, which was 1.32 degrees above average. Seven of the 10 warmest winters have happened since 2000.

Swipe up - Tinder says New Zealand users are increasingly using the app to look for partners to buy houses (Stuff)

“Apparently it's easier to buy a house with someone else. Genuine outdoors bloke looking to settle down hopefully.” “Looking for someone to combine incomes with so we can buy a house using the Kiwibuild $180,000 couples limit.” Another joked: “Just want someone to buy a house with, nothing serious.”Another read: “Bank told me I needed to find a partner to buy a house.” Quotes from Tinder profiles.

Useful longer reads and listens

Some fun things

Have a great day

Ka Kite ano