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NZ moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 immediately; will move to Alert Level 4 in 48 hours; rent hikes banned; wage subsidy scheme expanded; support for mortgage holders and business borrowers on the way

NZ moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 immediately; will move to Alert Level 4 in 48 hours; rent hikes banned; wage subsidy scheme expanded; support for mortgage holders and business borrowers on the way

New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert level has moved from Level 2 to 3, as the Ministry of Health has detected community transmission.

It will move to Alert Level 4 as at 11.59pm Wednesday, where it will remain for four weeks. This is the most severe alert level and will effectively put most people in lock-down. 

The Government is providing more financial support, further to announcing a $12.1 billion rescue package last Tuesday. It will:

  • Expand the wage subsidy scheme, including by removing the $150,000 per business cap. This means all businesses, self-employed, contractors, charities, non-government organisations, incorporated societies and post-settlement governance entities will be eligible. These changes are expected to take the cost of the scheme up to $9.3 billion from $5.1 billion. The scheme will still be available for 12 weeks. See this Work and Income page for more information. 
  • Ban rent increases and look to extend no-cause contract terminations. More details will be unveiled in coming days. 
  • Introduce a business financing guarantee scheme. The Government, Reserve Bank and retail banks have agreed "in-principle" that banks will be able to leverage the Crown's balance sheet to help them keep lending to firms. More details will be available in coming days.
  • Introduce "significant support for mortgage holders". The Government, Reserve Bank and retail banks have agreed to this "in-principle". More details will be available in coming days.  

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the Government is also making "urgent preparations for further income support for all workers". 

Under Level 3 - "Restrict":

  • Non-essential businesses closed
  • Discretionary domestic air travel between regions must stop
  • Schools only open for children of "essential workers"
  • Mass gatherings cancelled
  • Public venues closed (e.g. libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks)
  • Workplaces must implement alternative working with everyone who can to work from home
  • Public transport only available for people undertaking essential services and transport of freight 
  • Non face-to-face primary care consultations
  • Non acute (elective) services and procedures in hospitals deferred and healthcare staff reprioritise

Under Level 4 - "Eliminate":

  • People instructed to stay at home
  • Non-essential businesses closed
  • Educational facilities closed
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services

Essential services to remain open at Level 4 include supermarkets, banks, financial service providers, GPs, pharmacies, service stations, couriers, building and construction-related services, food and beverage production and processing, courts, social services, utilities and communications services, media outlets and others. See a full list on the Government's COVID-19 website here.

The change in alert levels comes as the Ministry of Health can’t be certain where two cases of COVID-19 came from, so it treating them as showing “community transmission”.

It confirmed there were 36 new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand as at 8am Monday. This brings the total number of cases up to 102.

Over half of the 36 new cases relate to overseas travel. Most of the remaining cases are close contacts of previous cases, or relate to events where there were infected people.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “If community transmission takes off in New Zealand the number of cases will double every five days. If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated, and thousands of New Zealanders will die.

“Together we can stop that from happening and our plan is simple. We can stop the spread by staying home and reducing contact."

National supports the moves the Government has made. It will put its election campaign on hold and has offered the Prime Minister its full support in the fight against COVID-19.

See this Ministry of Health document for a detailed break-down of the measures that need to be taken at the different alert levels. 

Here is a statement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern:

The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.

Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ahead of it. 

On Saturday I announced a COVID-19 alert level system and placed New Zealand at Alert Level 2.

I also said we should all be prepared to move quickly. Now is the time to put our plans into action.

We are fortunate to still be some way behind the majority of overseas countries in terms of cases, but the trajectory is clear. Act now, or risk the virus taking hold as it has elsewhere.

We currently have 102 cases. But so did Italy once. Now the virus has overwhelmed their health system and hundreds of people are dying every day.

The situation here is moving at pace, and so must we.

We have always said we would act early. Today 36 new cases were announced. While the majority of these cases continue to be linked to overseas travel in some way, I can also confirm, as did the Director General of Health, that we have 2 cases where public health officials have been unable to find how they came in contact with COVID-19. On that basis, we now consider that there is transmission within our communities.

If community transmission takes off in New Zealand the number of cases will double every five days. If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated, and tens of thousands New Zealanders will die.

There is no easy way to say that – but it is the reality we have seen overseas – and the possibility we must now face here.

Together, we must stop that happening, and we can.

Right now we have a window of opportunity to break the chain of community transmission – to contain the virus – to stop it multiplying and to protect New Zealanders from the worst.

Our plan is simple. We can stop the spread by staying at home and reducing contact.

Now is the time to act.

That’s why Cabinet met today and agreed that effective immediately, we will move to Alert Level 3 nationwide. 

After 48 hours, the time required to ensure essential services are in place, we will move to Level 4.

These decisions will place the most significant restriction on New Zealanders' movements in modern history. This is not a decision taken lightly. But this is our best chance to slow the virus and to save lives.

Let me set out what these changes will mean for everyone.

Supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations, access to essential banking services will all be available throughout New Zealand at every alert level. If you do not have immediate needs, do not go to the supermarket. It will be there for you today, tomorrow, and the day after that. We must give time for supermarkets to restock their shelves, there will be enough for everyone if we shop normally.

In the meantime, we will be working through practices like those used overseas to make sure that social distancing is maintained at supermarkets when people are undertaking essential shops.

Non-essential businesses in New Zealand must now close. All bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face to face function.

Over the next 48 hours as we move to Level 4, takeaway services must move to close their operations.

All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed.

In short: we are all now preparing to go into self isolation as a nation. Just as you’ve seen with other countries.

Staying at home is essential. It’s a simple but highly effective way to constrain the virus – it denies it places to go, and will help give our healthcare system a fighting chance.

So over the next 48 hours every workplace must implement alternative ways of working, people must work from home so that interactions with others are limited.

Essential services will need to put in place alternative ways of working that ensure physical distancing of staff of 2 meters, or utilise appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Schools will be closed from tomorrow, except to the children of essential workers such as our doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and police – this will give them time to plan. This will be temporary, and schools will close entirely from midnight Wednesday.

The school term break will be brought forward. For the remainder of this week and through the term break schools will establish ways to deliver teaching online and remotely. All students across the country are currently being given information on this decision for their parents, including the list of who is considered an essential service. This will be communicated directly to parents.

To be absolutely clear we are now asking all New Zealanders who are outside essential services to stay at home, and to stop all interactions with others outside of those in your household.

I understand that self isolation is a daunting prospect. So we are being practical. You can leave your home for fresh air, a walk, exercise. To take your children outside. But remember the simple principle. It must be solitary. We are asking that you only spend time with those you are in self isolation with. And if you are outside, keep your distance from others. That means 2 meters at all times. This is the single most important thing we can do right now to stop further community transmission.

Travel around New Zealand will also change.

Over the next 48 hours, people will need to get home, be it locally or throughout the country. We have asked all air transport providers to ensure social distancing for that period. After 48 hours we will be moving to air travel only applying to the transport of people undertaking essential services and the transport of freight.

Public transport will also begin to transition over the next 48 hours will only be available for those working in essential services, for medical reasons, and to move essential goods – including ferry services between the North and South Island.

Further details on the transition we are all now making will be made publicly available on the COVID-19 website.

Now I want to share with you what will happen while we are all in alert Level 4 to get ahead of COVID-19.

We will continue to vigorously contact trace every single case. Testing will continue at pace to help us understand the current number of cases in New Zealand and where they are based. If we flush out the cases we already have and see transmission slow, we will potentially be able to move areas out of Level 4 over time.

But for the next wee while, things will look worse before they look better. In the short term the number of cases will likely rise because the virus is already in our community. But these new measures can slow the virus down and prevent our health system from being overwhelmed and ultimately save lives.

To be successful though, to stop community transmission which has a lag time, these measures will need to be in place for 4 weeks. Again, I want to reiterate, you will be able to make regular visits to essential services in that time.

If we after those 4 weeks we have been successful, we I hope will be able to ease up on restrictions. If we haven’t, we’ll find ourselves living with them for longer. That’s why sticking to the rules matters. If we don’t – if you hang out with that friend at a park or see that family member for lunch, you risk spreading COVID -19 and extending everyone’s time in Level 4.

Our low number of cases compared to the rest of the world gives us a chance, but does not mean we have escaped. I do not underestimate what I am asking New Zealanders to do. It’s huge. And I know it will feel daunting. But I wanted to share with you the stark choice we face.

New medical modelling considered by the Cabinet today suggests that without the measures I have just announced up to tens of thousands of New Zealanders could die from COVID-19.

Everything you will all give up for the next few weeks, all of the lost contact with others, all of the isolation, and difficult time entertaining children – it will literally save lives. Thousands of lives.

The worst case scenario is simply intolerable. It would represent the greatest loss of New Zealanders’ lives in our country’s history. I will not take that chance.

I would rather make this decision now, and save those lives, and be in lockdown for a shorter period, than delay, see New Zealanders lose loved ones and their contact with each other for an even longer period. I hope you are all with me on that.

Together we have an opportunity to contain the spread and prevent the worst.

I cannot stress enough the need for every New Zealander to follow the advice I have laid out today.

The Government will do all it can to protect you. Now I’m asking you to do everything you can to protect us all. None of us can do this alone.

Your actions will be critical to our collective ability to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Failure to play your part in the coming days will put the lives of others at risk. There will be no tolerance for that and we will not hesitate in using enforcement powers if needed. 

We’re in this together and must unite against COVID-19.

I am in no doubt that the measures I have announced today will cause unprecedented economic and social disruption. But they are necessary.

I have one final message. Be kind. I know people will want to act as enforcers. And I understand that, people are afraid and anxious. We will play that role for you. What we need from you, is support one another. Go home tonight and check in on your neighbours. Start a phone tree with your street. Plan how you’ll keep in touch with one another. We will get through this together, but only if we stick together. Be strong and be kind.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Here we go...

Could've built 10 hospitals with all the money the quarantine is going to cost. The panic is doing far more damage than any virus ever could. Every government trying to one up each other with an abundance of caution without a rational thought between them. It's a total disgrace.


I think you are the one who's underestimating this pandemic. My partner lived in Italy for one year and there are already 6 deaths in her group of friends. Most people won't take this seriously enough until their loved ones start dying.

A handful of idiots like skudiv (above) could wreck it for everyone else.

My excellent neighbours (who happen to have a low level of literacy/numeracy and English as a second language) have grasped the urgency/seriousness of the situation far better than skudiv has.



Look at Italian hospitals on youtube. This is not a joke. Kiwis need to educate themselves before commenting.


Still lagging with the adjustment?
Still think this will be all over in a couple of months and you will be laughing at those who took it seriously?




Finally. Good call from the govt. So sorry to those of you with financial survival in jeopardy, I hope the govt can assist you in meaningful manner.

Look at an upside. Like Venice things might clean up so to speak. Plus no drunk drivers, no hookers & nasty associates. No drug dealers. All under lock down & off the streets. Might be safer now to go out at night.


Ease up on the hookers.


And the drug dealers. Pharmacists are usually good people.


Not the c**t in Mairangi Bay who's selling $45 boxes of Vitamin C for $90. What a muppet, angering his own customers for life just to make a few hundred bucks now...

Don't buy off him, then, citrus fruit is rapidly ripening

Unichem chemist in Orewa selling 50ml hand sanitizer for $16.
Before this such an item was $2.

You Tube DIY sanitizer. Bunning's Mitre 10 have bulk products to help.

We bought 5L online from a Wellington manufacturer for $90 two weeks back. Filled up old liquid soap bottles in our house and cars. Seems much more sensible.

How else do you suggest you allocate scarce resources? Higher prices will encourage alternative sourcing etc.

Interesting, all the other pharmacies nearby have the same stuff at the old price...
And no, I didn't buy any.

Put him on a list for "Don't buy from after this".

A close friend of mine works in Oncology in a Melbourne Hospital. They had to cable tie down their hand sanitser because people kept stealing it. And then this week they caught someone emptying the sanitiser from the dispenser into a bag and trying to run off with it.

Just for context, people receiving chemotherapy are amongst the most vulnerable to the virus, so protecting them really is a matter of life or death. These people are stealing resources from the most vulnerable.

Also my friend has not been able to source any fresh vegetables all week. She's about to go on her night rotation and doesn't know when or if she will be able to shop to sustain herself.

I tried to warn you all the danger we were in, not just from the virus, but from each other. Many of you mocked.

Unfortunately Gingerninja the worst of the worst will surface at the worst moments. For instance, UK ports circa 1941. Wharf workers stealing the survival supplies from the life boats of outbound mercantile and naval vessels.

Hey Ginger, I thought you might have been a nurse or doctor. This treatment document may be of interest to you. A Chinese friend of mine from Wuhan who's wife is a doctor sent this to me. Apparently entecavir is an effective medication they're using in China.


Agreed with what you say, with the exception of the prostitute comment.

Theyre impacted worse than most. 100% reduction in income anyone?

Same boat as Pilots all on LWOP for the foreseeable

Drug use won't stop, can't stop. Users will get more desperate. Expect a spike in associated problems as desperation kicks in.

A massive kick off. A stab in the dark the A class will dry up and some ugly stuff happens after that.


well done PM,
and grant robertson for keeping people with money coming in


Are you kidding this is reactive, the frontline medics rebellion delivered this policy shift. Thank you to them

The relationship, trust with the medics is critical, we are relying on them to do the heavy lifting, while being aware of the under resourcing of.... everything.

Grant Robertson has finally discovered where money comes from and that it isn't from taxpayers.

i called it no terminations of tenants during level 4 and no rent increases


No rent increases? Was anyone even thinking of increasing rent in such a scenario? If anything, rents will fall. Govt might even put a break on mortgage repayments and rent.

Govt might even put a break on mortgage repayments and rent.

Meh. Mortgage repayment holiday. In Australia, this is already happening. Cost of servicing still keeps ticking over.

Yeah, except in NZ the banks are all sending massive profits to Australia. I wouldn't be surprised if the government does call for reduced interest rates for some period (<3 months) of time.

my landlord did just 3 days ago, telling me the bank manager advised him to do so . D*ck (s). I was so appalled that started to search for a new place for my family (I am lucky I can pay I just started to search for the place owned by human being , who knows what happens next) , but now I 'll seem to be locked in and will have to pay , unless government addresses previously issued rent increase notices

Just refuse to pay it. Tenancy tribunal would not kick you out.

Yep, two can play that game.

And wait for the AirBnBs to all flood the rental market.

Landlords are about to get some harsh karma on supply demand dynamics, price elasticity of demand and, not least, leverage.

Sobs for them.

the problem is you won’t be able to view the properties during the lockdown and move hose, so , I’ll have to deal with my current landlord for a bit longer, hopefully not for long

Rents will fall for sure. And house prices will come down to more sane levels. House speculators will be monumentally shafted.


Well, in a world that makes sense, speculators would get monumentally shafted. But in 2020 nothing makes sense anymore, and the savers will bail out the gamblers.

I think you might find there would be mass rioting and social unrest if that were to happen.

Didn't last time. We had the Occupy Wall St movement but that was a fizzer.

With tourism and I guess, though not seen much mention, immigration coming to a screaming halt, I strongly suggest we might end up with a bit of a housing surfeit in some places.

Despite what the real estate industry says, house prices will start tumbling in about 2 months time when present agreements finish. I have never known a recession when house prices have not fallen. This one is no different. Rents should be frozen or reduced by 10 per cent as landlords will try to put rents up when beneficiaries get an increase as happened last time.. Landlord have benefitted by big interest cuts.

Landlord have benefitted by big interest cuts.

Something like 85% of lending is on fixed terms so landlords will not have benefited from big interest cuts. Yet.

They have, as interest rates have been dropped for a few years now to benefit them.

"I have never known a recession when house prices have not fallen."

The GFC mate, the came down by about 7% and then rocketed away. This is a fully underwritten recession.

Yes so I think, I'm not certain but guess we'll find out, that we have a bubble on a bubble (AUS and NZ property didn't reset at GFC like many others). We have a long way to fall if we do fall.


We were joking at work, that by the time of the election, the government will have: lowered migration, reduced house prices, fixed Auckland's traffic, and significantly reduced the road toll! I'm not sure how well they'll have done on the poverty metrics though.

Corona Rules..

And taken a environmental stand as well.

Peak Prosperity.
Check out the data


Any threat to their own life and wealth, and Boomers will do "whatever it takes"...including putting the country into an economic depression.

Threat to their grandchildren's lives (climate change etc) and you just hear tumbleweeds...even when the ultimate cost is greater.


Yep, it's not okay to slow down the economy to save entire ecosystems. But it's completely fine to absolutely ruin the economy to save old people's lives. Double standards again.
I hope once this is over, old people will remember the sacrifice they were willing to make to save their own asses, and apply the same standard when dealing with climate change woes.

They won't. Taxes will be jacked up on the productive to prop up their asset base.

Globally carbon emissions have dropped, water quality in some areas have improved. Overall pollution levels around the world have decreased. So if the economy is ruined the environment improves - you should be celebrating CourtJester.

I'm celebrating this development. It shows that it's possible to achieve the significant changes we urgently need.
I just wish people didn't have to die for this...

This sort of change will always result in death. If not from the virus from increasing suicide rates.


While it seems it kills older people more, it also kills young people. And if it doesn't kill young people it may have lasting health impacts.

And let's not forget that the prime minister and her cabinet, aren't that old. This was done to stop the health system being over run, and if that happened it would lead to the unnecessary deaths of people from all age groups.


If hospitals are overwhelmed ~3% of adults 20-45 die (about 7-15% for over 45's) That is not just an 'old person' problem.
Keeping those old people out of hospital (long term quarantine!) is the most sensible move you have when you are short on ICU beds.

"I hope once this is over, old people will remember the sacrifice ***we*** were willing to make to save their asses"

Fixed it for you.

We're the generation currently with young families & saddled with debt.

Seriously, you lot are just a greedy bunch of arseholes

Oh we're the greedy bunch of assholes.

We'll wait and see the cries from 'not-greedy-assholes' who own multiple properties now squealing for Government bail-out money.

bUt mUh aSsEt vaLuEs???

So the majority of the Labour coalition are boomers - cabinet made the decision.

I understand your feelings, I really do. The old generations have screwed this planet, and many don't care if it is the new generations that will have to pay the price. However, it is wrong to generalize to an entire generation. Moreover, this virus does not kill only the elders. If you look at overseas statistics, this virus also kills middle aged individuals, even fit and healthy ones. The difference is in percentage terms, but nobody over 40 (and even younger) can assume to be immune.

More people die from obesity, smoking, drinking etc. name your vice, 140million people die every year!!!! Even young people.


Your logic is just idiotic. You can apply this to everything that kills.
In your opinion, the occasional murder is just fine... suicide is just fine... mass shootings are just fine... it's all good because smoking and obesity kills more people.

Why did the police stop that mad man in Christchurch? More people die a year on our roads, what a waste of resources.....they should just stick to the state highways chasing down speeding drivers.

Everything that we have now, is handed down to us from previous generations. From those who fought with their lives for our freedom (social and personal) to those who dedicated their lives to enrich our knowledge.
If it was not for knowledge revolution in food and health most of us would have not been around to complain that there is too many of us around want to enjoy a high standard of living.

We (Gen X onwards) have been handed an infrastructure deficit and a debt bomb.

Mucho mucho gracias Boomers.

Gen X - no not really. The real future belongs to generations after that. We boomers have faith in the younger generations to step up to the challenges they face - just like generations before them. Boomers had to pay for Muldoon's Think Big Projects. In the UK they didn't finish paying off the debt from WWII until 31 December 2006.

Yep, center stage left the boomer haters.
Boomers and Gen X know hard times and will shrug their shoulders and just get on with it.
Let's see how much the young ones can handle this.

I missed it - what did they say about mortgages and rents?

Freezing rent increases and support for mortgage holders. No detail yet.

Not sure I agree with support for mortgage holders when they are doing so much else to limit job losses.
Also mortgage holders get support but not renters (other than limiting rent increases) ???


I think the most important thing in a recession is to stop people from being dislocated. So taking care of owner-occupiers and renters is the most significant objective in my opinion. That is why i think it is daft to subsidies businesses instead of directly help the unemployed. Off course, strategically significant businesses should be exception and be provided with a lifeline. But, other than that if businesses are unable to survive they are doomed to fail. So waste of money to sustain them now. Instead help the unemployed (which includes many small business owners) for a few month. Not only this makes sense from a strategic point of view, it is way easier and less prone to abuse from administration point of view (IRD income records for the year ended 31 Dec 2019 are readily available)

I also think the landlords and the bank must take a controlled share of these losses to reduce the burden on everyone else. This would off course require banks to freeze charging interest (and probably paying interest on their deposits).

By supporting income they're already supporting mortgage holders. And by pushing interest rates down too.

I dont think they will do too much for mortgage holders as there are still heaps areas need government support. Now the prioties are medical sector and businesses. It will be just waste of money to support mortgage holders.

The sharemarket is in another tailspin today. The silver-lining for people with a few hundred thousand dollars sitting within easy reach is that they could become multi-millionaires if they can pick the bottom of this.

The question is, where do you keep that few hundred thousand dollars where it's safe and accessible? Cash in a safe at home?

what do you see as bottom?if it matched 1987 it would drop to 5500

Globally 1918. NZ not so bad if we have nipped this in the bud.

lastlegs: definitely 1987 levels but don't discount the sharemarket falling 80 % if it were to match the late 1920s, early 1930s of the Great Depression.
Be interesting to see what Mary Holmes says in her NZ Herald Saturday column as to whether she still holds to her position that the sharemarket will always recover from any disaster over a 10 year period; I hope she's right for the sake all those in Kiwisaver funds holding a good proportion of shares.
I can't even face looking at my portfolio summary at the moment; I must have lost at least $50,000 + over the last week or so. I'm a baby boomer so all you generation X's (or whatever) out there can indulge in a spot of schadenfreude.
And don't foreget it was baby boomers who invented those marvelous toys__the computer and the Smartphone__to keep the next generations distracted while us babyboomers amassed all the property.

Careful, to predict the bottom in such an unprecedented scenario can really be a risky, risky step.

It's my only silver lining in this insanity, I still have to work while everyone else has a holiday. I get nothing :-/

I like the Facebook templates that allow you to identify as an essential worker. Nice as one is able to say thanks to all those friends of yours that are. And thanks to you too!

The silver-lining for people with a few hundred thousand dollars sitting within easy reach is that they could become multi-millionaires if they can pick the bottom of this.

Why? You think the "high prices" will return? How do you know? Mary Holm, Sam Stubbs say so?

J.C: They always have historically. However, despite my intensive research, I can't find any relevant statistics for the 1351 Black Death.

So maybe this historical/possibly hysterical event may upset the past historical conceptions.

Is that another way of saying "this time is difrunt"? Not that I'm disagreeing necessarily, after all PDK might be right.

PDK is right. Logic has got to tell you he is.


I wish all the best to everybody here. Now is the time to show the globe why New Zealand is the best small country in the world, and New Zealanders the best people anyone could hope to meet...

the Crown will guarantee bank loans to businesses

That is nationalisation in everything but name and actual equity in the lenders.
Is that coming? We'll know soon enough.

I will do my part!


Kia Kaha NZ.
Grab your number 8 wire and a roll of electrical tape.

Wrongthink. "Ministry of Health has detected community transmission." MoH cannot relate two cases to recent travel. They're not widely testing for evidence of community transmission, otherwise test numbers would be 4 or 5 figures per day and would include serological (bloods) to detect relevant antibodies. The reason they aren't testing is that they did not Prepare/Plan/Position for this. Plus, other news reports mention 'the ability to trace 50 cases per day'. 50! Oldest story: when TEOTWAWKI is only seconds away, Gubmint is there for you within hours.


I reckon my surfing is going to get a lot better in the next month or two.

"Working" from home has its perks aye


(This is the title of a poem that is considered to be one of the finest of the 20th century: by Robert Frost)

I think it's an apt summing up to our response to the Corona virus which is typified in the link below:

You need to read the whole link from beginning to end.

(google the poem if you are interested.)

Calling mass layoffs or lots of leave without pay. Will everyone be able to pay their mortgages/rent? Will be interesting to see how the Govt navigates that issue based on the leverage deployed by banks and their specuvestor proxys.


Well done PM and NZ government.

You are acting as responsible and even more swift than the Chinese government at very early stage.

Now, the rest will depend on you and me so let's do what PM asks us for all and our loved ones and this lovely nation of tremendous hope!!!

Exactly, at this early stage the Chinese government were still trying to hide the problem from the world, suppressing the whistle blowers and the netizens.

Parliament suspended.

Jacinda now has dictatorial powers.

As long as they stick to dealing with the crisis and don't try doing unrelated stuff this is probably not the worst thing. But would be better to get Opposition in to help - set aside partisan politics for the meantime.

"Jacinda now has dictatorial powers"

About time!
No use having the likes of Peters, Jones, Simon Bridges, Judith Collins, Paula Hunt, the Greens and other useless baggage just taking up space.

Since when?

Time will tell what would have cause the most deaths...the virus, or the destroyed world economy from the actions being taken.

You'd have to guess that it won't be the virus.
Suicides from asset obliteration and job loss; family violence born of fear and uncertainty; pregnancy terminations that can no longer be afforded and just plain worried to death for the aged and on and on. Let's just hope we don't have to count the war dead as well.
But that's what happens when you construct a debt soaked society dependent upon never-ending GDP figures.
It had to end. The only thing we didn't know was "What would cause it?" None of us saw the pandemic as the reason. Yet here we are....

That would be my guess...but this is the new religion and heretical thoughts will not be appreciated.

How many million deaths would the virus have caused if left to run rampant?

No one knows. Pick a figure between 50,000 'normal' flu outbreaks and 50 million Spanish Flu ( the actually 15 mill factoring in the increased global population since)
Let's hope it's the 50,000 at worst. But no one knows...
What we do know is:
We aren't going back to what we had on 1/1/20. Not socially; not economically and not politically. Too much has been spent for it be otherwise.
Those are the better question that need answering.

So we have to isolate ourselves but can drive to go for things like going to the beach for a walk? Is this a Clayton's Level 4 alert?

Lockdown everywhere else is that you can go for a solitary walk, that includes to the supermarket, etc. The only place that has banned exercise in public places is Italy, but they are in a lot of trouble.

A friend in Central Paris cannot leave their apartment for 15days - the army will deliver food if you need it.

To all of you bemoaning the move the govt has taken, stopping just short of suggesting that we actually do throw our oldies under real buses, we know sweet FA about this virus. Some things have flow on effects later on in life, and those that escaped major illness when younger may experience more serious issues later on in life, such as happens in the case of chicken pox and shingles.
I think you are all very, very foolish thinking that we should not take serious measures against this.

PocketAces: We know sweet FA about this virus because our entrepreneurs would rather be in the more glamorous industry of despatching satellites into overcrowded space than the less sexy industry of developing a more efficient means of identifying viruses and developing vaccines for them.

Incidentally, Rocket Lab is just one more expensive useless vanity project.

We know sweet FA because it has not been around long enough for us to know it. Agree with some of your other sentiment.


Mortgage support! Still want the non asset owners to support the over leveraged.

Gotta keep the bubble inflated.

Let the banks provide the mortgage relief..not the tax payer. This irritates the b jeezus outta me.

I agree. Appalling.

Fritz +Rastas - I'm assuming it'll be a payment holiday, not a bailout. The money will still need to be paid back.

Typically payment holidays are the same as ones organised for those in financial distress. They still accumulate regular interest while the payments are stopped.

Yes - debt never goes away until it is repaid.

They've been having more and more mortgage support over the last few years, and just got another massive drop a week or two ago. When does that particular form of social welfare ever stop?? Especially when income support is already being given.

Agree. Leave it to the banks to make arrangements.

More like gotta keep people housed.

I imagine the support will be in the form of mortgage holidays - granted by the banks themselves.

Well an occupier either has to pay rent or the mortgage, so are you saying renters should get bailed out, but not mortgagors?

And for landlords, are you saying their tenants should get bailed out, but not the landlord? Bit ridiculous really.

Obvious to me that the cry of''''Don't Panic'''is not being heard.
Supermarket in Dinsdale chocka.
Shelves half empty and people appear to be very much on edge.People leaving trolleys in aisles and leaving.
Carpark like driving in stockcars.Horns being blasted,threats being made people driving like Mario Andretti.

Horrid ey

Otago anniversary today so a public holiday. Supermarkets were dead quiet even at 5.00pm.

Obvious to me that the cry of''''Don't Panic'''is not being heard.
Supermarket in Dinsdale chocka.
Shelves half empty and people appear to be very much on edge.People leaving trolleys in aisles and leaving.
Carpark like driving in stockcars.Horns being blasted,threats being made people driving like Mario Andretti.

Anyone find any guidelines for businesses ??? On deciding what is essential and what is not. Using farm supplies as an example , need stock food and remedies , not fencing etc . or , what if a fence to a main road breaks , then fencing is essential .
In my own business , there are parts i would consider essential to some customers , Maybe 30 -40 % . others purely discretionary.

I heard Farmsource is considered an essential business as is those who service farm machinery etc (anything needed to keep a farm operating but not for wants as opposed for needs.

Will be interesting to see what happens for hort and viticulture. A winemaker was a bit concerned this morning as they have just started to pick.

Talking wine..... will supermarkets be able to sell it while the bottleshop next door is forced to be closed?

Probably yes.. until stocks run out because the liquor industry is not essential and no resupply comes. Drove through a West Auckland suburb on the way home, no queue at the supermarket, but 15 odd people lined up on the footpath for the WestLiquor store. Stay classy West Auckland.

Was wondering about fertilizer. I'd consider it essential.running into winter after a drought. Not sure how I'll feed cows without it. It is part of logistics so maybe?

Heard in one of the press questions, that ag is considered an essential service.

Booze shops will remain open. People will be self medicating during the apocalypse.

Apparently Bunnings are also remaining open.

So drunken DIY sounds fun, amarite?

sounds perfect to me

Granny Herald is reporting the list, but it's not really that helpful :

Arguably fencing for livestock might fall under "animal welfare", but you might need to convince the fencing contractor of that...

I doubt you'd need to work too hard to convince them.


Good call from our Government, I fully support this. Anything to prevent an Italian situation.
There will be a massive economic fallout from this but we have a good chance to stamp it out like China did.
Not taking this action and having the very sad Italian experience we would still end up with a massive economic fallout so taking action now is the only logical thing to do.
Thankyou Jacinda !

With every office seemingly implementing their disaster plan it looks like Wellington CBD is being evacuated.

On the way in to Wellington there were so few people on the train it was possible to observe social distancing. Many public areas were empty when I went for a walk before the announcement. So it looks like a lot of people were ready for this.

I just happened to be in the local Countdown when the news hit.
When I went in, it was all calm and civilised.
As I left it looked like one of those "Attack of the Zombies" movies, as a hoard of people virtually ran in.
I shudder to think what's looks like now....

I guess in future days it will likely look calm again. Limited numbers of folk at one time, having to keep further apart...more worried about actually catching it rather than just whether they have enough food to last a month.

Yip - was at supermarket before. Some very nervous looking people around. Nobody really knowing how to interact with one another. Very strange.

Happened to need to be on the road about 20mins after the announcement. The driving on Aucklands Southern motorway was frankly pretty scary. Increased following distance and chilled in the left lane keeping eyes out for panic braking in front of me. Luckily managed to get where i was going without having any issues.

Depressions are a great leveller. All those 'superior bosses' will soon be just one of the boys again. Lets see how that goes for them. Their overblown egos will find it hard to adjust and their sychophantic favourite employee will soon move onto their next 'best' boss.

There's a bit of a difference between being able to tell someone to get their hands dirty for you, and having to get your own hands dirty.

I wonder how those leveraged to oblivion "young landlords" the Herald's been showcasing will be doing after this... Gary Lin, it's time to toughen up and join the army!

Gary works for a bank, so he will be OK.

If you owe millions to the bank that suddenly becomes bad debt as house prices crash you could work for the Sultan of Brunei and still have a problem.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee....

There is a sense of inevitability in the progress of the virus and our reactions at individual and national, governmental level. Hopefully, we are going on the right track and the virus will be contained and die out soon. Time to show our solidarity behind the Government. There is no set template for this type of crisis. Got to use some old and some new measures. Any government in power now would be doing similar things only. Let us all be united and strong and do what we should.

Holy heck, sharemarkets sinks by more than 10%.
And The Herald thinks the RBNZ is doing 'qualitative' easing, ha. New term?

If you want to make money in the shares market right now, buy shares in funeral services sector..

...and the brain dead NRL remain committed to move all the teams in the competition to some small Qld village where there are the remains of a coal industry accomadation enclave and play the comp on the local sports ground. Time for them to join the real world.

To the Warriors I say come home guys. Your families will need you.

Bread and circuses. Gotta keep the supermarkets open and the footy playing!!

No mention of international travel? I can only assume we don't let people come from overseas otherwise what's the point of all of this!?

On that note, let's play this out. Say Europe and the US fail to get this under control and it becomes widespread, but after the initial hit on health things return to normal, herd immunity etc. Are we going to prevent travel to / from these countries? Otherwise we're right back at square one! And here's a statistic - the flu vaccine is only sixty something percent effective, so let's not go pinning our hopes on a vaccine.

I'm not sure today's announcement is good / bad or otherwise, but have our leaders thought the longer term through or are they just reacting?

Just talking with a cousin in town. He reports that the countdown carpark, normally 1/3 to 1/2 full, it chocker full and people were running toward the entry! Wow.

It's funny because supermarkets are still going to be open. They should be running to Bunnings to get paint and brushes in order to do some much needed home maintenance while they are waiting this out.

Indeed. I said a couple of days ago that the government would throw landlords under a bus before they let food become a problem. Hungry people enmasse are dangerous.

They were. Queue 10 deep at Mitre10 Porirua's paint desk this afternoon.

Long queues at Bunnings Mt Maunganui paint desk this afternoon. Most popular items in trolleys were paint and related supplies and compost.

Wondering if I brave Carters for timber tomorrow.

Idiots. I thought we were better than that. I'd hazard a guess and say that community transmission in New Zealand has been around a lot longer than we realise. Do these people at the supermarkets have a potential death wish for themselves or other people?

Finally, I just wish the Level 4 lock-down happened sooner then this, March 1 would have been much better.
The 2002 SARS virus had enough historical data and our NZ experts must have seen this coming long ago before the average person did.

The fine balance has been between how many people die and how badly the economy dies. Now its clear the economy will die, probably very badly, so at least we can hope not so many people die.

Government going end up buying all big business in NZ after this. We be able sell them to Chinese in five years

We looking at shedding 1000 workers, and we were one of save sectors in this..sigh..let's hope only last 4 weeks

General Hub Hub and Houseworks must be out prepping, I don't see any comments from them.

I've been doing some rough calculations. There are 7.5 billion people. If the virus is left largely unchecked about 60% will become infected which is 4.5 billion. Of these about 1% on average will die which is 45 million.

45 million is in the ballpark of WW2 level of casualties. However it will be more evenly spread around the world. In WW2 Germany, Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia and Japan had a disproportionate number of deaths. This would lessen the shock on any one country somewhat.

However 80% of deaths will be in the 65+ age group. That is 36 million. Most people above 65 are unproductive in an economic sense.

That leaves 9 million deaths of economically productive people worldwide.

Translating those figures for New Zealand there would be approximately 6,000 deaths in the productive age group. For comparison with WW2 there were just under 12,000 deaths of economically productive people, mostly males.

My conclusion is that the economic impact would be somewhat less than that of WW2. Keep in mind that many of those over the age of 65 will die over the next few years naturally. Currently about 35,000 people die every year in New Zealand , mostly in the 70+ age bracket. We seem to be able to psychologically cope with this and frankly I'd rather die of the virus than cancer or dementia.

Isolating the elderly would greatly reduce virus casualties in this group. If our threat level 4 actions don't work out we may just have to let it burn. If it is a choice between civilization and Mad Max it could well be better to bite the bullet and keep civilization.

Again, if the health system is overrun then other people will die of currently treatable conditions too as suddenly beds aren't available and staff may be down. All elective surgery will be deferred too, affecting the quality of life for thousands more. You need to factor these things in.

ZS - Economic impact wasn't necessarily bad as NZ was better developed by the end of the war than it was in 1939. Far from being physically damaged by the war – apart from the loss of 11,625 lives, the highest percentage of population in the Commonwealth – New Zealand emerged from the war better-developed than in 1939. A series of war measures had expanded its secondary industry, while its primary industries had been sustained by bulk-purchase arrangements. Careful financial management had ensured that inflation was kept under control and that New Zealand, which devoted a third of its national income to the war effort, had largely paid for its war effort.

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