Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has announced all rent increases will be frozen to protect people during COVID-19 uncertainty.
He made the announcement after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the COVID-19 Alert Level to 3.
"We know that for many New Zealanders, paying the rent is one of the biggest weekly bills they face and we want to ensure that we ease any pressure on that," Robertson said.
He is also looking to extend 'no cause terminations', which is where a landlord can remove their tenants without giving a reason.
More details on how the Government will operationalise this will be released "in the coming days".
Alert Level 3
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the COVID-19 alert level to 3 on Monday, and signalled it will move to level 4 in 48 hours.
For New Zealand, the alert levels mean:
- All non-essential businesses must close, such as pools, bars, cafes, restaurants and playground
- In 48 hours all businesses which provide takeaway services must close their doors
- All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed
- Schools will be closed from Tuesday except to the children of essential services such as doctors, police and ambulance drivers. This will give them time to plan
- Schools will close entirely from midnight Wednesday
- People must work from home so contact with others is limited
- Public transport will begin to transition over the next 48 hours. It will remain for essential workers and transporting freight