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State of National Emergency declared

25 March 2020

The Government has declared a State of National Emergency in efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent the very worst that we’ve seen around the world from happening here,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, the State of National Emergency declaration allows the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management to direct and coordinate personnel, material and other resources, and provides access to other extra-ordinary powers that will support delivery of an effective and timely response to COVID-19.

While in force, the State of National Emergency will allow the Director and local controllers, as needed, to provide for the:

  • conservation and supply of food, fuel and other essential supplies
  • regulate land, water and air traffic
  • to close roads and public places
  • to evacuate any premises, including any public place
  • and if necessary to exclude people or vehicles from any premises or place.

“Failure of anyone to play their part in coming days will put the lives of others at risk, and there will be no tolerance for that," Ms Adern says.

“We do not expect to use the full extent of these measures but, as with everything we have done in response to COVID-19, we plan, we prepare, we have in place everything we need to get through.

“For now, I ask that New Zealanders do their part. Stay home, break the chain, save lives."

Last updated on the 26th March 2020