COVID-19 pandemic

People protesting against COVID-19 lockdown arrested in Melbourne

Officers said the "most significant activity" took place at the Queen Victoria Market where protesters chanting "freedom" were met with a heavy police presence.

The demonstrators at one point linked arms as they were surrounded by police officers.

Scuffles broke out as arrests were made.

A Victoria Police spokesman said there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protest activity, and 176 were fined.

Oceania Sevens for 2020 cancelled

The announcement follows confirmation last week that the Sydney and Hamilton legs of the World Sevens Series have also been axed.

Oceania Rugby General Manager Bruce Cook said scrapping the November tournament was unfortunate but the right decision, with the health and well-being of the players, officials and public their top priority.

Australia completed a clean sweep of the men's and women's Oceania titles in Suva last year, with the Australian men and Fiji women sealing qualification to the now delayed Tokyo Olympics.

Lego set to open 120 new stores despite pandemic

The Danish toy firm told the BBC bricks-and-mortar stores had a solid future, despite the drop in footfall on high streets and social distancing restrictions in shops.

"When our stores have reopened after lockdown, there have been queues," boss Niels Christiansen said.

"We give people the brand experience in our shops which we can't do outside."

It comes as the toy firm announced revenues of DKK 15.7bn (£1.8bn) for the first half of the year, up 7%, while operating profit grew by 11%.

Pacific doctor urges family focus on elderly during pandemic

Etuini Ma'u of Waikato Hospital said there had been an increase of anxiety and depression among the elderly.

Pacific families needed to take extra care to ensure their elderly were supported during these uncertain times, Dr Ma'u said.

"The impact of lockdown is affecting the elderly deeply. There's been an increase of anxiety and depression. The longer this drags out, the harder it will be for them," he said.

"It's about maintaining that social connection and recognising that this is a very disruptive and uncertain time for your parents, for your elderly."

Zoom revenues skyrocket as profits double

 Revenues leaped 355% to $663.5m (£496.3m) for the three months ending 31 July, beating analysts' expectations of $500.5m.

Profits soared to $186m, while customer growth rose 458%, compared with the same period in 2019.

Video conferencing apps remain crucial due to the increase in remote working.

Air New Zealand pins hopes on more passengers, funds for freight service

Air New Zealand is about to dip into the government loan after reporting huge losses yesterday.

The carrier reported the biggest corporate loss in recent history and its first loss in 18 years - a deficit of $454m for the year ended June compared with the previous year's $276m profit.

Much of the loss centred on the costs associated with 4000 redundancies, asset writedowns and grounded planes. Stripped of these one-off costs, the underlying loss was $87m.

Air NZ posts an after tax loss of $454 million

The carrier reported an after-tax loss of $454 million for the year ended June compared with the previous year's $276m profit.

Much of the loss was because of write downs in the value of planes, and restructuring costs as it cut costs and sacked about 4,000 staff, which altogether totalled $541m.

Stripping out one-off costs its underlying loss was $87m against $387m profit, as revenue fell 16 percent to $4.84 billion. The airline has received more than $100m in wage subsidies.

Pacific community come out in force during Covid-19 testing

At a news conference for Pacific media on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, paid tribute to the community for the way it had responded to the call to get tested.

"That's a 23.2 percentage of testing for Pacific people and of course New Zealand's Pacific population is less than half that," Ardern said.

That could be seen in the long queues that had formed at testing centres right across Auckland's south in the past week, with queues that had stretched for kilometres down roads.

Auckland Airport's profits down 63%

The net profit for the year ended June fell to $193.9 million compared with $523.5m in the previous year, which included significant property value gains.

However, underlying earnings fell by nearly a third to $188.5m, as operations were severely curtailed from March when border restrictions were put into place and domestic travel all but dried up during the lockdown.

Chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the company had faced some of its most challenging conditions, which were set to continue for some time.

Covid-19 pandemic hits ANZ's profits

The New Zealand arm of ANZ's net profit for the three months ended June has fallen by 10 percent or $40 million on the previous quarter to $351m.

It also put aside $79m to cover bad and doubtful debts, on top of the $233m it set aside for the first half of the year.

ANZ chief financial officer Stuart Taylor said the bank's performance had been solid given the economic blow dealt by the pandemic, but he expected bad debts to increase further before the end of its financial year.