Responding to COVID-19

Last updated: 30 March 2020

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, New Zealanders can have confidence that the Reserve Bank has their backs, and is committed to do what it takes to support the functioning of the economy in times of uncertainty.

The evolving situation has unsettled communities around the world, creating uncertainty about the future. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is carefully monitoring the developments and responding accordingly to ensure Aotearoa’s financial system remains sound and continues to work effectively.

Our financial system is in good shape, with our trading banks having lots of capital and plenty of cash to help their customers through these testing times.

For our latest responses and actions around the COVID-19 situation, see the ‘Latest News’ section below.

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Need Help or Support?

For those who are needing health advice or information, please go to the government-dedicated website on COVID-19 or the Ministry of Health’s website.

We encourage those who are financially affected by COVID-19 to contact their bank or financial institution to discuss their situation and potential options for support. You can also talk to a financial adviser.

Latest News
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The Reserve Bank is deploying another tool to provide additional liquidity to the corporate sector, and support smooth market functioning.
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Following the government announcement that COVID-19 Level 4 alert will be introduced from 11.59pm on 25 March only essential services will be permitted to remain open at a central place of business.
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The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.
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The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds.
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The evolving COVID-19 outbreak has unsettled communities around the world, creating uncertainty about the future. New Zealand is no exception. But we start in the best possible relative position.
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New Zealand’s financial system remains sound, with strong capital and liquidity buffers.
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“The Reserve Bank and the banking system have plenty of cash on hand to meet demand under any circumstances,” says Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby. Mr Hawkesby made the statement today after public interest and discussion about cash availability and use.
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The Reserve Bank will delay or slow down most of its regulatory initiatives for an initial period of six months. This action is being taken to reduce the regulatory impost on financial institutions and free up Reserve Bank and industry resources to support our economy and tackle the challenges created by COVID-19.
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The Official Cash Rate (OCR) is 0.25 percent, reduced from 1.0 percent, and will remain at this level for at least the next 12 months.
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New Zealand’s financial system is sound, with strong capital and liquidity buffers, but faces significant uncertainties from the impacts of COVID-19. The Reserve Bank is announcing additional measures to support the provision of credit and market functioning.
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New Zealand banks are ready to respond to the impacts of coronavirus, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and New Zealand Bankers’ Association say.

Related Government Resources

Contact Us

Please get in touch with us for any concerns or questions about the Reserve Bank’s initiatives or questions you may have relating to the economic impact of COVID-19: