Trade Me users can now buy and sell essential items via the auction website.

The company today announced that, following the Government's latest guidance on essential items, it will now allow traders to list and purchase items deemed "essential".

All trades must be contactless, which means traders cannot pick up items and shipping is the only option.

Non-essential items can still be listed on the site and users can place bids on these but the purchase can only be completed once alert level 4 lifts.

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Users can continue to create new listings for non-essential items but those new listings will also only be completed once lockdown finishes.

Trade Me has asked its users to ensure pricing is fair and follows Trade Me's National Disaster & Civil Emergency policy.

Any user who needs to withdraw an auction will not be charged a withdrawal fee.

Trade Me has told users it may need to provide the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) with details of the purchases, including the user's name and the item that was sold.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this afternoon that New Zealand will not be out of alert level 4 before the four weeks of lockdown are done, despite positive signs that the number of cases has flattened over the last few days.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website