Wellington, 15 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) — New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will take a 20 percent pay cut for the next six months amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The salary reduction would also apply to government ministers and public service chief executives, Ardern said as she announced the move in a press conference on Wednesday.
“It’s about leadership,” she said.
“If there was ever a time to close the gap between different positions, it’s now.”
Ardern emphasized the salary cut would not apply for public service workers on the front-line, such as police officers or health workers.
Ardern currently earns about 470,000 New Zealand dollars a year (285,700 dollars), while cabinet ministers make about 300,000 New Zealand dollars.
New Zealand on Wednesday reported 20 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number to 1,386.
At the news conference, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said 728 patients had now recovered from the virus, more than half of the total number of cases.
There were no new deaths announced, but Bloomfield said medical staff were investigating the case of a man who died in his home while self-isolating for COVID-19 on the South Island.
New Zealand’s total death toll from COVID-19 stands at nine.