Coronavirus: Man who lost his job due to COVID-19 starts business making hands-free sanitising stations

A man who lost his job in the COVID-19 pandemic has come up with a simple and innovative way for people to sanitise their hands - with hygiene more important than ever as NZ moves to alert level 2.

On the New Zealand Made Products Facebook page - a group created to connect shoppers with Kiwi companies - Michael Gartrell posted his clever contraption and it's been subsequently shared nearly 600 times.

"With the tools I have available I have come up with an affordable answer to hands-free sanitising, by means of a Foot Operated Hand Santiser Dispenser," he said.

Gartrell said he had lost his job due to COVID-19 like many others. With a background in engineering, he enjoyed being creative and problem-solving, he said.

"All parts are sourced locally and the product is designed and made by myself in Whitford, NZ," Gartrell wrote.

After just more than three weeks, the New Zealand Made Products page already has nearly 430,000 members. It was founded by small business owner Sarah Colcord, who told Newshub last week she hoped reading about Kiwis behind the companies would help them during the crisis.

Buy New Zealand Made chief executive Ryan Jennings said he's seen a huge increase in companies looking to register for a Kiwi trademark.

"This is about keeping Kiwis in jobs, so we want to see that the substantial transformation of that product happens here," he said last week.