Kiwi print industry back up and running

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The New Zealand print industry is open for business again, emerging five weeks after the country went into total lockdown to see off the coronavirus.

Back to business: New Zealand on Level 3 restrictions form Tuesday
Back to business: New Zealand on Level 3 

During the five-week Level 4 restrictions, only what the government deemed "essential print" could be produced, severely impacting the industry.

Ruth Cobb CEO of PrintNZ said, “Label and packaging printers were able to keep the presses rolling to a limited extent, but for the general commercial market, April sales will be virtually zero. That will have a major impact on cashflow.”

During the month, the country's biggest magazine publisher, Bauer, was unable to print any of its magazines, so it closed its business for good. Ironically, magazines that had been printed prior to the lockdown were flying off the shelves as Kiwis looked to keep themselves occupied.

Although printers are now open for business, they face a daunting task in finding jobs for their presses, with much of the economy still closed, including major print buying sectors retail, hospitality, sport, exhibitions, conferences, and events.

Printers have to operate under strict health and safety rules including social distancing, hygiene, contactless delivery, and contact tracing.

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