Hospitality, retail sectors 'devastated' by Auckland's COVID-19 lockdown extension

The hospitality sector is reeling from the extension of Auckland's lockdown, with one industry expert saying this weekend could be the final straw for some businesses.

On Monday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the city will stay at alert level 3  until midnight on Sunday.

Julie White, chief executive of Hospitality NZ, says many members of the organisation already have their backs against the wall.

"They've suffered huge economic impact - it's time the Government stepped up and gave us support because we are on our knees."

White says the wage subsidy is not enough as businesses have more costs than just staff wages.

"[When the lockdown was announced] we were given short notice, so we had huge amounts of wastage. Businesses had to throw away food, and half used bottles of unpaid wine will literally have to be poured down the drain."

"We are so confused as to why there is no targeted support."

Retail is struggling too with Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford saying there is "significant pain".

"Nationally sales are down about 40 percent but in Auckland it;s down about 80 percent".

He says 20 percent of the association's members are not confident they will last the year. 

"We are going to see a number of businesses, especially small businesses tip over the edge."

Harford is backing calls for the Government to step in and provide more help.

"We do think it's important for the Government to start providing some additional support for retail and hospitality - there's a lot of fixed costs that incur - rent, insurance, outgoings - we think that is something that needs to be looked at, including an extension of the rent subsidy."

The Government has remained tight lipped on targeted support but has extended the wage subsidy by an additional two weeks - costing around $510 million.

It's forecast to protect 470,000 jobs.