State of National Emergency extended again

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 22, 2020

The State of National Emergency to support the Covid-19 response will be extended a fourth time, for a further seven days.

The initial declaration was made on March 25, and the seven-day declaration Covid-19 alert levels or affect the decision to move to alert level 3.

“On the advice of the director of Civil Defence Emergency Management and after consultation with the Prime Minister, I consider the State of National Emergency should remain in place to support the Covid-19 response,” Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said.

“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.

“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.

“Use of these powers has included authorising local councils to restrict vehicle access to roads or streets to support social distancing, directing freedom campers to relocate, requisitioning a carpark for Covid-19 testing, stopping people from lighting outdoor fires to reduce the risk of fire related emergencies, and allowing necessary maintenance to happen at a waste water treatment plant.

“As we enter the fifth week under a State of National Emergency I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary sacrifices every New Zealander has made to protect our people and our communities. Getting this far has required a collective effort.

“It is vital that everyone remembers we are still at alert level 4 until 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. Stay home and stay strong – kia kaha Aotearoa,” Henare 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 being taken against Covid-19.

A State of National Emergency provides the people managing the response in an emergency, in this case Covid-19, access to powers they would not normally have, but might require now to implement and enforce these measures.