A rent freeze preventing landlords from raising the rents on residential properties has just been put in place by Government.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said landlords will temporarily be unable to raise rents in a bid to provide relief to renters facing reduced working hours or job losses as a result of the coronavirus downturn.

"The second decision we have taken today is to freeze rent increases and to look to extend no-cause terminations to protect people during this difficult time," he said during a televised announcement alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"We will release more details of how we will operationalise that in the coming days."


"We know that for many New Zealanders paying the rent is one of the biggest weekly bills they face."

New Zealand's coronavirus lockdown will be managed by a leadership team of some of the country's top officials. That team is Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, Sarah Stuart-Black, Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, Mike Bush, Commissioner of Police, and Dr Peter Crabtree.

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It comes as many workers would not be able to go to work in the coming days as New Zealand headed into at least four weeks of an alert 4 level response to coronavirus in which non-essential businesses would shut down.

The Government was also working on a relief package for those with home loans.

"The Government, the Reserve Bank, and retail banks have all agreed in principle to significant support for mortgage holders," Robertson said.

"Meetings are taking place as we speak to finalise the details on this which will also be announced in the coming few days."

Businesses and employees were also in line for far greater support measures.

"We do need to make sure we are securing New Zealanders' income during this period," Robertson said in response to a question about whether a universal income for all Kiwis would be put in place.