New Zealand has declared a State of National Emergency, following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s issuing of an Epidemic Notice on Tuesday.
It was declared by Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare on Wednesday.
With another record amount of COVID-19 cases identified, the New Zealand government has been granted extraordinary operating powers to implement a nationwide lockdown.
With parliament not due to sit for another month, Ms Ardern’s government now has a barely-checked ability to enforce a national lockdown deemed necessary to fight the coronavirus.
This consolidation of power comes with the blessing of the opposition, and with support from Kiwi citizens eager to see the containment of the spiralling pandemic.
A fresh 50 cases in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning has the country’s overall tally at 205.