Access to essential appliances and electrical goods allowed

Another gentle easing of rules on essential goods and services from MBIE:

The Government has decided that the sale of essential goods such as heaters, whiteware and computers will be allowed – in recognition of the need for people to safely isolate, stay connected to one another and work or study from home. In order to protect public safety, there are conditions around the selling of these goods.

Essential goods are those that will keep people warm (heaters, blankets), replace key household appliances, and maintain people’s health. Examples of essential products are blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets to work from home or do distance learning, or simply connect with people.

Public to be able to access essential goods during shutdown

Published: 30 March 2020

The Government has decided that the sale of essential goods such as heaters, whiteware and computers will be allowed – in recognition of the need for people to safely isolate, stay connected to one another and work or study from home. In order to protect public safety, there are conditions around the selling of these goods. These are outlined below.

The Government indicated at the start of the shutdown that we were considering whether some products could be made available online or by phone and we have decided there are essential non-food products that people should be able to buy so they can safely isolate and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Essential goods are those that will keep people warm (heaters, blankets), replace key household appliances, and maintain people’s health. Examples of essential products are blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets to work from home or do distance learning, or simply connect with people. If people can’t buy these, then we risk people venturing out of their homes more often.

Businesses must operate responsibly and only make available for sale genuine essential goods – goods that are necessities of life while ensuring we restrict the movement of people and workers to combat COVID-19.

The public must order responsibly purchasing only those items that are absolutely necessary to facilitate life and work during the lock down period.

In order to be able to sell these essential goods, businesses must:

  1. Only take orders online or by phone and keep storefronts shut.
  2. Take orders for only essential non-food goods.
  3. Home deliver all essential goods in a contactless way and not allow people to visit stores to select or collect goods.
  4. Take all appropriate public health measures to protect their staff and customers (e.g. physical distancing, hygiene basics, appropriate personal protective equipment).
  5. Notify MBIE that they meet these conditions and intend to offer essential goods for sale and provide a list of those products. See covid19.govt.nz(external link) for more information on how to do this.

If a business cannot meet these conditions, they should not offer to sell essential goods while the country is at Alert Level 4. If businesses are too generous in their interpretation of what is “essential” or flout these rules, Government will take further action.

We would like to acknowledge the support of Retail New Zealand who assisted us in developing this new approach.

We recognise it may take some time for businesses to amend their systems in order to comply with these conditions so we ask the public to be patient.

Information on Essential Services is being regularly updated on covid19.govt.nz(external link)

Leave a comment

11 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th March 2020

    Are shoes essential? A significant portion of NZers including children rely on The Warehouse for shoes that don’t last very long and they don’t have the affluent luxury of spare pairs.

    If this lockdown runs into months rather than a small number of weeks the Govt will have to get The Warehouse reopened. And the same goes for winter clothes for these people.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  30th March 2020

      The poor already go barefoot…maybe not in the swanky parts of the Bay of islands

      What about bicycle tyres and brake pads for the lycra set if ‘cheap’ shoes are allowed

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  30th March 2020

        I go barefoot for much of the year; I hate wearing shoes. Even if I won Lotto, I wouldn’t want to wear them.

        In a way it makes sense to buy cheap shoes & clothes for children; they outgrow them very fast.

        I hadn’t thought of bike tyres; these are essential for people who travel by bike.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  30th March 2020

        You don’t go winter barefoot in Chch or further south if you want to have feet.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  30th March 2020

          It’s possible here to go barefoot even in winter; not all the time, of course. But the last few winters have been very mild.

          Reply
  2. Corky

     /  30th March 2020

    I see Crackerjack( a Warehouse like store) is still open. They claim 70% of their product is essential stuff. While it’s true they have a large selection of such goods, I doubt it would be 70%

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  30th March 2020

      ‘Staying open’ like that isnt allowed , online or phone orders only which have to be delivered , if Im reading the instructions properly.
      A few essentials and a large number of non essentials doesnt work , unless they cordon off the store.

      Reply
  3. Pink David

     /  30th March 2020

    I salute our insect overloads for allowing us to buy heaters. Thankfully, I’ve now left NZ and I’ve just had a nice meal with friends in a restaurant. Remember those?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      I have a dim memory of being in one a long time ago…

      How did you manage to escape the Gulag ?

      Reply

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