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Parts of the New Zealand economy are more vulnerable now to downturns than before the pandemic as border restrictions have hit key sectors like tourism and education, which have suffered an "extended period of weak demand," the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said in its semi-annual Financial Stability Report.

The banking system was stable, with strong capital and liquidity levels but higher capital ratios were needed "to support the resilience" of the system. The RBNZ shelved higher capital requirements at the beginning of the pandemic, but they will be introduced from October.

On the housing market, which has surged around 20% in the last year, the RBNZ said it was prepared to implement additional lending measures to cool prices on top of the restrictions to loan to value ratios for investors effective May 1.