Kaitaia businesswoman Michele Mitcalfe has written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark, seeking an exemption from the lockdown that has prevented her from supplying her customers with natural health products, so far without success.

Ms Mitcalfe said her letters had been forwarded to a number of other ministers, but she had not been granted permission to resume trading. She continued to believe, however, that she had a good case.

"I believe that during this lockdown imposed on us to halt the virus, people should be able to access natural health products. Many people choose to use these products for their mental health and wellbeing," she said.

"It would be great if health food, organic and whole food shops can continue to open and deliver their valuable service."


Her business, Kotare Krafts, in Kaitaia's main street, stocked products that people were needing and requesting, but as she lived at a rural address north of Kaitaia it was difficult to access couriers to sell online. Most of her products and courier packs were at the shop anyway.

"I was hoping that I would still be able to sell these products online and from my shop, keeping a firm distance," she said.

"Another option could be to set up a roadside stall for people who go past on their way to the supermarket, and let people know what I am doing on line. And if I could opened the shop even on a couple of days a days a week, and for fewer hours, I could let people know the times online."

Her products included essential oils, which were useful for treating numerous health issues. For example, she said, eucalyptus, with its antiviral and antiseptic properties, helped those suffering colds and influenza. Lavender, frankincense, tea tree, peppermint and other oils could be used for similar conditions, lavender also aiding sleep.

"White sage is used to clear positive ions that are no good at all for us," she added.

"It can be used in tea or baths; soaked in boiling water and then added to a bath it helps to wash away worries and stress. Also Himalayan pink salt is great when dissolved in boiling water then added to the bath.

"I also supply many quality Tibetan healing incenses, used to prevent depression and anxiety, as well as promoting good sleep and peace of mind. All this is very important, especially in these very testing times, but I am still awaiting a response."