As New Zealand moves towards a nation-wide four-week lockdown from Wednesday mid-night triggered by coronavirus pandemic, local authorities warned businesses which received wage subsidy and still fired employees, the local media reported on Wednesday.

New Zealand businesses “taking the available wage subsidy but firing their staff were committing fraud and police should be informed of this,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, quoted by the daily New Zealand Herald.

Ardern also said her government has taken measures to save jobs and businesses and help home owners and renters.

“I know how hard this will be, especially for New Zealanders who

Read more: COVID-19: New Zealand warns subsidized businesses