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COVID-19 | 39% Of Kiwis Unable To Purchase Certain Items At The Shops

In response to the growing threat of COVID-19, the New Zealand Government has declared a nationwide lockdown commencing at 11.59pm tonight.

All non-essential businesses will close during this time, however the Government has confirmed that supermarkets will remain open throughout the lockdown.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has urged Kiwis to shop normally. This comes after weeks of rampant panic buying which has emptied supermarket shelves across the country and led to widespread product shortages.

Please see below for further figures and commentary from Finder.


  • According to a Finder survey of 1,508 respondents, two in five New Zealanders (39%) have been unable to buy certain items from the supermarket this month.
  • Hand sanitiser has proven to be the most sought after supermarket item in New Zealand, with 18% of Kiwis unable to find this in stock.
  • This is followed by toilet paper (6%), dry food such as rice (5%) and fresh food (4%).

Commentary from Kevin McHugh, Finder's publisher in New Zealand

  • “These are uncertain times. New developments are unfolding every day, and Kiwis are feeling apprehensive about what will happen next.
  • “Naturally, people want to be prepared. This has seen thousands of Kiwis stock up on non-perishable food and health products over the past few weeks.
  • “But some people have gone too far and purchased an excessive number of products. Because of this widespread panic buying, thousands of other shoppers may have had to go without, including the vulnerable and disabled.
  • “Kiwis need to remember that although the country is going into lockdown, supermarkets will remain open and supply chains are operating as normal.
  • “This means that if everyone were to shop like they normally do, there will be enough supplies to go around,” McHugh said.

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