Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is urging businesses to stop price gouging and "act responsibly" as the city enters its fourth day in level 3 Covid-19 lockdown.

Goff said he has heard reports of price gouging, especially essential items such as masks.

"We had similar concerns during the last lockdown and it would be unfortunate to see a repeat this time around."

There were similar claims during the nationwide lockdown.

In March, the Herald reported Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had set up a website for New Zealanders to raise concerns about supermarkets raising prices during lockdown.


At the time, officials were in daily contact with supermarkets and while there had been no confirmed reports of price-gouging, the Government set up the reporting website.

Ardern asked for anyone with suspicions to send through any pictures or copies of their receipts to the website.

A business legally had to have a good reason to increase prices, she said.

By mid-April, while the country was in a nationwide level 4 Covid-19 lockdown, 3000 New Zealanders complained about price-gouging.

Most complaints had been made about prices of food such as meat, eggs, bread, fresh producer and other food staples.

Similar complaints had also been made about the prices of hand sanitisers and face masks - especially at pharmacies.

Ardern said at one of her daily press conferences in April the most common complaint to the Price Watch inbox had been about cauliflower prices - which were up to $13 each.

Chris Hipkins addressed the issue of price gouging during Saturday's 1pm briefing, and asked people to report that behaviour.


• Aucklanders are advised to contact MBIE by filling out a web form at or go to if they are concerned about price gouging.