New Zealand spending plan includes rebuilding Antarctic base

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand plans to rebuild its Antarctic base and spend billions more on welfare payments and infrastructure to lift its economy out of a coronavirus slump. Those plans are in the government’s next budget revealed Thursday. They indicate the economy is doing much better than forecast after the pandemic hit. That’s thanks in large part to the nation’s success in stopping the spread of the virus, as well as strong international demand for milk and other agricultural exports. Treasury figures indicate the nation’s economy is expected to grow by 2.9% this year and rise to a robust 4.4% growth in 2023.