New Zealand further extends state of national emergency

WELLINGTON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The state of national emergency to support the COVID-19 response in New Zealand will be extended a fourth time for a further seven days, Civil Defense Minister Peeni Henare said on Tuesday.


A motorway sign reads "Essential workers we thank you" in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and the efforts of those working during the crisis, along a quiet street in Wellington on April 20, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

The initial declaration was made on March 25, and the seven-day declaration can be extended as many times as necessary. It does not change the COVID-19 Alert Levels or affect the decision to move to Alert Level 3.

"As we prepare to move to Alert Level 3 next Tuesday, it is important that we continue to have the powers activated by the State of National Emergency available to maintain the level of success we have seen to date in making progress towards stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," Henare said.

"The powers activated by the State of National Emergency enable critical work to be carried out during this time including managing roads, traffic and public places; providing first aid, food, shelter and accommodation," Henare added.