Ponsonby hotspot Midnight Gardener will pivot to a picnic venue while it waits for Auckland's new level three settings to drop to a lower level.

The outside eatery and bar, which can cater for 110 diners, will allow single bubbles of 10 people to make bookings in the venue's outdoor garden space at $100 for a two-hour session.

The wrinkle is that until current level three settings change, families will need to bring their own 'bubbly', food and even music, as booze won't be sold or served during the lockdown.

Bar owner Luke Dallow said guests would also be welcome to have their Uber eats or click and collect food/beverage options delivered to the urban picnic site.

After each session, seating, tables and toilet amenities that are used will be hygienically cleaned to prep for the next booking.

Dallow said bookings will be taken from tomorrow, for any time from noon to 11pm, until Auckland moves to level two.

"We're fairly unique here in that we are outdoors, so when Jacinda said picnics were ok, I thought it's an obvious opportunity to move within the intent of the rules."

While the bar owner won't exactly be paying his overheads from the small groups, "it's more about making smiles than money".

Few smiles

Hospitality NZ chief executive Julie White says there aren't too many operators smiling in the city's restaurant and hospitality scene after the government's continued refusal to provide targeted support.

White said with changes to indoor settings only scheduled under 'step three' of the government's plan to transition Auckland out of lockdown, it is likely that "many won't survive that long".

She said it was ironic that the same people who have been the most compliant are the ones being hardest hit.

According to the latest numbers from consumer credit group Centrix, company credit defaults rose 13%, closures remain high and company registrations fell by 11% over the past quarter. 

Centrix managing director Keith McLaughlin said the levels of defaults were across accommodation, food services, transport and property services. 

Newmarket Business Association chief executive Mark Knoff-Thomas said the plan was a "confusing maze of arbitrary rules conjured up by Wellington, moving a four-tiered alert system into a three-tiered alert level three".

Knoff-Thomas said businesses rely on certainty and need to know that they can rely on continued support through alert level two and beyond.

"Hospitality doesn't experience the same bounce back as other sectors. Letting hospitality suffer, as this government is doing, is an attack on NZ culture."