PM declares National State of Emergency to deal with Covid-19

Jacinda Ardern
RT HON JACINDA ARDERN

A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops 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,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“As the country moves into Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, at midnight, we need all the tools at our disposal to ensure everyone reduces down contact with one another across the board.

“Through the early and hard measures we’ve taken at the border, using the powers under the Health Act, the signing of Epidemic Notices, and now, being in a State of National Emergency, we have all of the legislative means possible, all the enforcement powers, all the tools we need, at our disposal to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, today’s 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.

“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,” Jacinda Ardern said.


More detail in Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice

Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of New Zealand under section 66 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 on March the 25th 2020 at 12.21pm.

This is to manage the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic within New Zealand.

The Minister of Civil Defence took this step because of the unprecedented nature of this global pandemic, and because he considered the response required to combat COVID-19 is of such a degree that it will be beyond the capacity of local Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups to respond to on their own.

This pandemic also requires a significant and coordinated response by and across central and local government.

Also, under section 5 of the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006, yesterday I issued an Epidemic Notice, nationwide, to help ensure the continuity of essential Government business due to the unprecedented effects of the global pandemic, COVID-19, which is likely to significantly disrupt essential governmental and business activity in New Zealand.

This Epidemic Notice came into effect today, the 25th of March 2020, just after midnight and it will remain for three months with ongoing review, and from which, now further Epidemic Management Notices and Epidemic Modification Orders can be given – particularly across local government, immigration and social services – crucial services that now need flexibility to operate due to the effects of an epidemic in our country and an impending lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

At 11.59pm tonight, we move to the highest Alert Level of 4, and we, as a nation, go into self-isolation.

Statement continues…

Leave a comment

44 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  25th March 2020

    The powers that the Government is assuming need to be monitored by Parliament. It must be able to be reconvened now when sufficient MPs demand it.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th March 2020

      I agree, this high-handedness is totally unacceptable in the case of an ‘epidemic’ with 200 people, no deaths and no serious illness.

      What on earth will they do when the flu season arrives and hundreds die ?

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  25th March 2020

        They’ll cope and we’ll cope. There will be emotional and irrational ones. Maybe they’re the ones showing signs of serious illness.

        Having said that, if overnight you were made the Lady Ruler with absolute power, what would you do? For goodness sake don’t say you’d consult ‘experts’ because experts have been consulted and you don’t agree with them. What would YOU do?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th March 2020

          I wouldn’t cripple the economy for 2 people in hospital and 0 deaths.

          The number with it is not even 1 for every thousand flu cases, and we have 5-600 flu deaths every year.

          The PM may think that she has absolute power, but she may well go too far on this.

          Reply
          • What we are doing here is similar to what is being done on many places around the world. It isn’t just a local whim, it is widely seen as very serious with many lives at stake.

            I guess we could just do nothing and wait and see if they are all wrong, but we could also be very worried about what has happened in Italy and what is brewing in the USA, where many of those with virus have travelled to NZ and Aus.

            Reply
            • david in aus

               /  26th March 2020

              Or NZ could follow Singapore, Taiwan, or South Korea: aggressive testing, contact tracing, public education, with social distancing.
              Those countries still have businesses running with restrictions.

              NZ is in total lockdown, more severe than Australia. I don’t know NZ’s public health capabilities but I suspect the government’s abilities are more similar to Italy’s than the advanced Asian economies. Perhaps the lack of testing masks the true size of the outbreak.

              If they have lost control of the epidemic these measures are appropriate.

          • We could follow Brazil.

            Nearly 19,000 Deaths, 2.6 Billion Under Lockdown But Brazil’s Bolsonaro Thinks Covid-19 is a ‘Media Trick’
            https://www.news18.com/news/world/18000-deaths-2-6-billion-under-lockdown-but-brazils-bolsonaro-thinks-covid-19-is-a-media-trick-2549895.html

            About 2,200 people in Brazil have been infected so far, with 46 dead.

            Maybe Bolsanaro will only change tack if Covid deaths match flu deaths, or cancer deaths.

            Ironically a number of his staff came back from a visit to Trump’s Florida resort with the virus.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  25th March 2020

              “About 2,200 people in Brazil have been infected so far, with 46 dead.”

              168 people are murdered in Brazil every day. His sense of proportion is correct.

            • david in aus

               /  26th March 2020

              In the developing world, letting the virus make a run may be better. They don’t have ICU bed or capabilities anyway. They get ‘herd’ immunity and they may have fewer deaths due to starvation or from the consequences from economic decline.

              In India, I am not sure many of the poor could survive a lockdown for a month. Lockdowns are for the rich, the poor won’t get ventilated anyway.

          • duperez

             /  26th March 2020

            You told us what you wouldn’t do – you wouldn’t ruin the economy. You didn’t tell us what you would do. I presume that means by and large you’d carry on, ‘business as usual.’

            In a situation of 58 dying from the virus and 58 dying in road accidents over the same period you seem to suggest as we weren’t prepared to shut the country down for the road deaths we shouldn’t do it for the other.

            And if the health system were overwhelmed with every bed taken for covid-19 cases and 6,300 health professionals were laid low with it? What for the numerous victims who didn’t die in road crashes but were merely seriously injured? And the many others needing to be hospitalised in the normal events of illness and need? When would that end?

            And the businesses carrying on with ‘business as usual’ with owners and staff laid low?

            ‘This too will pass.’ Hopefully I’ll be here to help those I can to get back on their feet. At least they’ll be here and I won’t have to attend their funeral or them mine.

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  25th March 2020

          don’t expect a cogent answer…Grimalkin and co…are desperately trying to play politics with this issue…disgraceful.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  26th March 2020

          as her answer shows ..she has N.F.I about what to do,but claims to know …what not ..to do.

          Reply
  2. GEoffrey

     /  25th March 2020

    Kitty, when the case total passes by the first thousand, please look back and really reflect on the misplaced sense of invulnerability that our relative isolation has imbued in you. You may then conclude that prattling on about “unacceptable” containment measures when the casualty count is only 200 is seriously misguided.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  25th March 2020

      How many deaths of not already seriously ill people can we use as the benchmark for concern?

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  25th March 2020

      200 is an absurd measure..it’s like to really be 500.
      The only numbers that matter are those in hospitable…do we really shut down the country because 200 people out of 500 have a cough and or a very sore throat, while 6 in hospital aren’t even in critical care.
      A normal flu season kills 50 plus people …viruses kill no matter the fancy names we give them…and that’s with a vaccine and well known anti virals …I think there is even a pill for severe cases…to keep you out of hospital

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th March 2020

      5-600 in the flu season. 200-230,000 get it.

      1000+ for every person with Covid.

      The idea of closing down the country over this number is insane.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  25th March 2020

      “Kitty, when the case total passes by the first thousand, please look back and really reflect on the misplaced sense of invulnerability that our relative isolation has imbued in you”

      What is the death toll you expect from shutting down the economy?

      Is it 1,000, or is it 10,000?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  25th March 2020

        100 plus people drown every year….what measures do we take to make sure this is totally eliminated as surely any unnecessary death is to be prevented.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  25th March 2020

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th March 2020

          6% of the population have diabetes and half of them die of it.

          The road toll kills ? but we are still let to drive.

          My neighbour needs heart surgery and it’s been postponed because of the supposed risk…as she said, if she doesn’t have it soon, she’ll die anyway. She’s prepared to take the chance.

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  25th March 2020

    Just received a message from our overlords telling us we must stay wherever we happen to sleep tonight. What silly crap.

    Reply
    • I think they are mainly using it to test the alert system.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th March 2020

        No signature. Otherwise they could measure its effectiveness by the number of F.O. replies they got.

        Reply
        • I think it is more intended for an incoming tsunami or asteroid or something like that.

          There was actually a temporary tsunami alert in the Pacific a couple of hours ago after a 7.5 earthquake north east of Japan (M 7.5 – 219km SSE of Severo-Kuril’sk, Russia). The tsunami alert was cancelled soon afterwards.

          Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th March 2020

      Stalin’s Russia, here we come. They’ll be doorknocking next to see who’s in the house.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  26th March 2020

        … or people in white coats. As long as they knock on the right doors.

        Reply
    • Zedd

       /  26th March 2020

      Im one of the minority who does not have a ‘mobile’ (tracking device) phone.. I heard that they sent out a message.. to ALL; BUT not recieved by I&i 🙂

      > OD HS NM 😀

      Reply
  4. Pink David

     /  25th March 2020

    On a similar matter, here is an ‘expert’ demand the right to control what everyone in the UK eats….

    Click to access PM-Letter-TL-TJM-EPM-final-20-03-20.pdf

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th March 2020

      Where’s the rest of it?

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  25th March 2020

      I spent 3 months on sabbatical at City Uni once. They had twice as many staff for half as many students as ours and thought they were hard done by.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  26th March 2020

        There are probably some lovely mathematical equations to be devised around that. About the intellectual deficit in the students which saw them needing whatever extra percentage of help to get them ‘educated.’ Imagine the research possibilities in the causes and effects. A whole new department could have been established. 🙂

        Reply
  5. Gerrit

     /  25th March 2020

    I would suggest that unless immediate supplies are readily available, by week three we will see civil unrest in terms of defiance in regards the stay at home order.

    There will not be enough law enforcement officers to contain the crowds that will spill out into the streets, nor enough infrastructure to process the delinquents, if supplies are not readily available.

    Already the home delivery service for groceries is out to two weeks from click to delivery.

    If we get communist Russia style queues outside supermarkets, expect the populace to get very angry at the government. Already we are questioning why butchers and greengrocers had to close to give supermarkets a monopoly on distribution. Cauliflowers at $9 a pop is but the beginning of a price increase across the board duo to the monopoly.

    There is already an anger that we are in lock down whilst the major source of contamination (visitors to New Zealand and New Zealander’s returning home – some 20,000 people) were not placed in quarantine at least one month ago. Instead we have 5 million people in lock down due to not closing the borders earlier and placing those New Zealanders returning home in monitored isolation.

    Some lame Ardern excuse “This meant quarantining those that were symptomatic, weren’t planning to self-isolate or didn’t have the means to safely return to their home to self-isolate.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12319721

    So those coming in without symptoms, but carrying the virus, were free to contaminate the rest of us.

    I doubt there will be a mood to accept a second 4 week home detention period. However we can expect inflated figures on deaths and infection rates (just like Northern Italy) to justify continued suppression.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  25th March 2020

      easy to be clever after the event.

      The Govt is damned no matter what they do…too early,too late.
      Look at the bitter,barren duo on here who think the economy is more important than..saving lives.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th March 2020

        Stupid. We think not saving lives at horrendous cost by incompetently avoiding dealing with obvious threats and deficiencies should be exposed and addressed.

        Gerrit is spot on. Despite the Government’s currently sycophantic media it’s likely to go belly up sooner rather than later.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  25th March 2020

        “Look at the bitter,barren duo on here who think the economy is more important than..saving lives.”

        You make exactly the same decision every time you get in a car.

        Reply
    • Griff.

       /  26th March 2020

      I doubt there will be a mood to accept a second 4 week home detention period. However we can expect inflated figures on deaths and infection rates (just like Northern Italy) to justify continued suppression.

      oh look a gibbering conspiracy theory from the right .
      Da guvement is doing it to control our lives and is gonna fake numbers so they can keep doing it.

      Coronavirus: Poll shows Kiwis back harsh measures but are extremely worried about virus. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120534052/coronavirus-poll-shows-kiwis-back-harsh-measures-but-are-extremely-worried-about-virus

      # right wing nut bars.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  26th March 2020

        “Kiwis back harsh measures”

        That’s because they are being lied too.

        Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th March 2020

    MBIE has become power-crazed and madly intent on stopping everything irrespective of actual risk. Public tolerance will end fast.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  26th March 2020

      MBIE have Steven Joyce syndrome.

      The Zoologist that…couldn’t.

      Reply
  7. All i can say.. “Im so glad Jacinda is our PM.. not that fool; Bridges “

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  26th March 2020

      one thing Im certain of.. USA can keep that Imbecile.. who thinks hes running the ‘Free world’ :/

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  26th March 2020

        They will Z. His popularity there is rising. If Jacinda keeps on her present trajectory hers will plummet.

        Reply

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