New Zealand extends state of national emergency

April 14, 2020
Wellington: The state of emergency imposed in New Zealand to support the COVID-19 response will be extended a third time for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said on Tuesday.

The initial declaration was made on March 25, and the seven-day declaration can be extended as many times as necessary, reports Xinhua news agency.

It does not change the length of the Alert Level 4 lockdown which started midnight March 25.

“While the recent COVID-19 case numbers have shown that we are turning a corner, it is essential that we continue to have the powers activated by the State of National Emergency available to maintain the Level 4 restrictions and ensure we do not squander New Zealanders’ good work,” Henare said in a statement.

The powers activated by the State of National Emergency enable civil defence emergency management professionals to carry out critical work during this time including managing roads, traffic and public places; providing first aid, food, shelter and accommodation.

“These powers have been used to direct non-essential businesses to close, direct freedom campers to relocate, requisition a carpark for COVID-19 testing, and close some roads to boost the enforcement of Alert Level 4 rules,” he said.

The State of National Emergency and the COVID-19 Alert Levels are two distinct and separate things.

The Alert Levels specify the range of measures that the government is taking against the COVID-19, he added.

This comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the country has increased to 1,366 with nine deaths.IANS