The nation was placed into a complete lockdown and a national emergency was declared. The state of emergency has been further extended another seven days to assess if the lockdown is effective in keeping the number of COVID-19 cases low.


  • New Zealand locked its borders to all foreigners and later went into lockdown on 25 March.
  • All essential and non-essential services have been clearly defined by the Government. All non-essential services, including delivery services for cooked foods, cannot operate during the lockdown.
  • Social distancing and isolation rules have been strongly imposed by authorities.
  • A NZ$12.1billion stimulus package has been announced to counter the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on wage subsidies, tax breaks and a boost to healthcare.


  • The domestic supply chain is holding up well. Any entity involved in the supply, delivery, distribution and sale of food, beverage and other key consumer goods (FMCGs) are defined as an essential service. This includes food and beverage production and processing, and the continued operation of supermarkets and dairies.
  • The food service sector (restaurants, cafes) is heavily impacted from the lockdown.
  • Spike in air and sea freight costs and volume, as well as bans on the export of certain commodities (by other countries) are affecting the global supply chain.


  • Having FMCG businesses formally acknowledged as an essential service has ensured that the domestic supply chain continues to operate with minimal disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This definition will be shared with regional industry associations, which could benefit their advocacy efforts with local governments to have food and beverage sector recognised as essential and ensure continued operations.