Jacinda Ardern says a 4-day workweek could help New Zealand's economy recover from the coronavirus downturn

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes a tour of Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute on May 19, 2020 in Rotorua, New Zealand.

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a four-day
    workweek could help the country save its faltering economy after
    the coronavirus downturn.
  • People could use the extra day to travel across New Zealand and
    spend money on local economies, Ardern said in a Facebook Live on
    Monday.
  • “If that’s something that would work for your workplace … it
    certainly would help tourism all around the country,” she
    said.
  • Tourism is key to New Zealand’s economy — making up 6% of the
    country’s GDP — but borders and tourist sites have been shuttered
    during the outbreak.
  • The economy is expected to shrink as much as 20% by August, and
    the government is working to offset the damage any way it can.
  • Visit
    Insider’s homepage for more stories
    .

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a four-day
workweek could help
revive the country’s wilting economy
from the coronavirus
downturn.

Speaking in
a Facebook Live video on Monday
, Ardern said the country’s
tourism industry was suffering especially, and a four-day work week
would allow people to travel their country more easily.

“The question for me is, how do we encourage Kiwis to … get
out and about and visit some of the amazing places and tourism
offerings that we have,” she asked.

Ardern said that it would be up to employers to enforce this
workweek, but that it would help greatly.

“I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day
workweek. Ultimately that really sits between employers and
employees,” Ardern said.

“I’d really encourage people to think about that if you’re an
employer and in a position to do so. To think about if that’s
something that would work for your workplace, because it certainly
would help tourism all around the country.”

Arden went live after a visit to the Rotorua region, a tourist
hotspot famous for its geothermal geysers, striking scenery, and
MÄori culture.

Tourism is vital to New Zealand’s economy.

In the year to March 2019, it brought in $16.2 billion,
according to the government
, making up 6% of GDP. One in every
eight New Zealanders works in the sector.

However,
the country’s economy is expected to contract by more than 20%

between May and August this year, with the government left with few
options to stall the crash.

Advocates of four-day-weeks say they also increase employee
productivity and foster better mental and physical wellbeing.

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New Zealand businessman Andrew Barnes gained international
attention in 2018 when he took his 200-person company Perpetual
Guardian to a four-day workweek.

“New Zealand could definitely go to a four-day week in the
aftermath of COVID, and in fact, it would be a strategy to rebuild
the economy and particularly the hard-hit tourism market as it
pivots to a domestic focus,”
he told Newshub
on Monday.

“We need to retain all the productivity benefits working from
home has brought (including cleaner air and a lack of gridlock,
lost productivity from commuting), while helping businesses stay
afloat. We have to be bold with our model. This is an opportunity
for a massive reset.”

australia new zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern Scott Morrison

In her Facebook Live video, Ardern also reiterated supported for

a unique Australia-New Zealand travel corridor
, once Australia
moves past its outbreak, as New Zealand has.


Many experts say
New Zealand responded to the coronavirus
better than any other country. The country shut down immediately
and ultimately recorded 1,503 cases, with 21 deaths.

During the monthlong “Alert Level 4” lockdown people could not
interact with anyone outside of their households, and supermarkets
and pharmacies were the only stores still open.

Restrictions were
eased at the end of April
, and no second wave of infections has
emerged so far.

Eight hundred thousand New Zealand children returned to school
on Monday after classes were suspended on March 24.


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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
Jacinda Ardern says a 4-day workweek could help New
Zealand's economy recover from the coronavirus downturn