Closing New Zealand: an economy measure

New Zealand is to close two days a week as an economy measure, the Prime Minister has announced.

"Most people don't do anything useful at work on at least two days a week now so the government has decided that we might as well make it official. Cabinet this morning has agreed that shutting down altogether for two days out of seven just makes a lot of sense."

The Prime Minister admitted that he had got the idea from former Prime Minister Jim Bolger's bold plan to reduce household postal deliveries to every second day and also to cut out Saturday deliveries.

This was in response to falling letter volumes. Many houses don't get more than one letter a week, some none at all for weeks at a time, Mr Bolger has said.

The current Prime Minister Mr Locke said that he was personally ambitious for a five day week with two days total shutdown. The shutdown will include all shops, schools, offices, universities and airports.  Swimming pools, theatres, bars, cafes, restaurants, sports grounds, along with radio and TV stations, will all be closed.

"Nothing will happen. Nothing will move. Everything will be still. Think of the carbon emissions that will be saved, Green party co leader Russ Planet-agent said.

"We propose to transform this country from one where people work long hours for not much money into one where people have the maximum amount of leisure of any country on earth," the Minister of Recreation, Doing Nothing and Looking Good said.

An economist with the Council of Trade Unions Will Rosygarden said there were significant issues of workers' rights involved which the CTU would want to discuss urgently with the government. "We don't want anyone interfering with Kiwis' leisure time, so the two days of closure would have to be two of the days between Monday and Friday."

Absenteeism is already at its highest on Mondays and Fridays, "so we can't have workers deprived of even more of their paid working time. Closures will have to take place on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays," he said.

Business New Zealand spokesman Phil  Oh Oh Oh said the plan fulfilled a long term objective of employers to cut wages and benefits. He agreed that paying staff for only three days work in a week would help turn New Zealand into a third world paradise.

"Now if only the government could be persuaded to go a step further and throw open the gates to unlimited immigration and abolish minimum wage rates, we could have a third world industrial economy that would rival those of Bangladesh and Malawi."

Airlines reported a flood of inquiries about flights to Australia and other countries as honest, decent, hardworking Kiwis and their families began a mass exodus to sunny counties where services like mail deliveries were maintained, electricity was cheaper, finance companies were honest, doctors were plentiful, teachers actually taught kids, and where hard work, thrift and enterprise were rewarded.