COVID-19 Business Support and Advice

Contacts What's new? Business and Employee Resources

Southern Lakes Business Response Group

In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, a Southern Lakes ‘Business Response & Recovery team has been formed by Southern Lakes business agencies - QLDC Economic Development, Ignite Wanaka Chamber, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Destination Queenstown and Lake Wanaka Tourism.

We understand that businesses and employees within our local businesses are concerned about the future of our economy and we know it’s a difficult time for us all.  We are here to help by providing a co-ordinated local response and support network for the Southern Lakes business community following the impact of COVID-19 which has been identified as a health emergency locally, nationally and internationally.  Our role is to:

  1. Gather intel and provide consistent and accurate information via organisation’s and other channels.
  2. Ensure businesses have the resources and support they need now, when they need it and know where to go for it.
  3. Once appropriate move into a co-ordinated recovery phase to ensure businesses can return to their new normal as soon as possible.

We have created one on-line platform (a source of truth) where information can be shared and updated now and in the future.  Further information is available here.


Contacts

We are here to help, even over the long weekend, so if you have any concerns or are not getting the support you need from the below resources, please contact anyone below.

Destination Queenstown
Ann Lockhart - CEO
annl@queenstownNZ.nz 

Queenstown Chamber
Anna Mickell – CEO
ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz 

Ignite Wanaka Chamber
Naomi Lindsay – Executive Officer
naomi@ignitewanaka.co.nz 

Queenstown Lakes District Council
Peter Harris - Economic Development Manager
peter.harris@qldc.govt.nz

Regional Business Partners
Tara Bruce - Business Advisor
tara@otagorbp.co.nz


What's new?

For the latest local business information, please click on the relevant date below. We will regularly update information here for you.

  • For Thursday 6 August's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 23 July's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 9 July's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Friday 5 June's update on what's new, including updates on the wage subsidy, click here.

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  • For Thursday 4 June's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 28 May's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 15 May's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Monday 11 May's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 7 May's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Tuesday 28 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Friday 24 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Friday 17 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 16 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Wednesday 15 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Tuesday 14 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Thursday 9 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • For Monday 6 April's update on what's new, click here.

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  • Well before you know it, we’ve hit Friday. The end of our full working week in Level 4 lockdown.The Group continues to meet daily to discuss the key issues facing our business community and our talk has started to turn to recovery, including re-deployment of people once we move out of Level 4. The local viticulture and horticulture industries are already well staffed for harvest, but we are exploring regional and national opportunities to share when appropriate.

    We look forward to an update on the Covid-19 response and emerging plans for recovery from QLDC Mayor Jim Boult next week, see below. The Government has released updated information on the essential services and businesses that can now operate safely via online sales-see below.

    Next email update Monday, with any urgent updates online over the weekend. Stay safe and please continue to adhere to the health messages and advice under Level 4 lockdown.

    What’s new?

    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. For more information click here.

    The temporary changes include:

    • Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties under the Companies Act,

    • enabling businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they are able to start trading normally again,

    • allowing the use of electronic signatures where necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions,

    • giving the Registrar of Companies the power to temporarily extend deadlines imposed on companies, incorporated societies, charitable trusts and other entities under legislation, and

    • giving temporary relief for entities that are unable to comply with requirements in their constitutions or rules because of COVID-19.

    Essential services - Updated

    • Businesses who have registered to sell essential, non-food items with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment can do so.

    • All stores selling these essential items must adhere to strict guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

    • This includes limiting sales to items that keep people warm, replace key household appliances, or maintain people’s health, eg: blankets, heaters, kitchenware and appliances, whiteware, computer equipment, and mobile phones.

    • Essential items can be purchased online from Mitre 10, Noel Leeming, The Warehouse, Harvey Norman, Briscoes and Farmers.

    • If you need to order, do so responsibly, only purchasing items that are absolutely necessary to help your household safely isolate, stay connected to work, or study from home while we all unite against COVID-19.

     

    The Government will make sure essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance will still receive income.

     

    Air Travel

    • Foreign nationals in New Zealand can now drive, take private or public land transport, or take domestic flights, in order to connect with commercial or chartered international flights to their home country.

    • Scheduled domestic flights will be available from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson.

    • Ferries are not available, and those needing to move between islands should take flights if available.

    • More information is available on the Covid19 website.

     

    Air New Zealand will operate a limited domestic schedule from today (3 April 2020) to enable essential travel only and to keep air freight moving. Overall, domestic capacity will reduce by 95 percent from pre-COVID-19 levels. The Air New Zealand domestic schedule while the country is at Alert Level 4 is as follows.

    Route

    Services

    Aircraft type

    Auckland-Christchurch

    3 x return services Mon-Fri
    1 x return service Sat/Sun

    A320

    Auckland-Wellington

    1 x return service Mon-Sun

    A320

    Wellington-Christchurch

    2 x return services Mon-Fri
    1 x return service Sat/Sun

    Q300

    ATR

    Wellington-Nelson

    1 x return service Mon-Fri

    Q300

    Christchurch-Dunedin

    1 x return service Mon
    1 x return service Fri

    ATR

     

    Queenstown Airport - While New Zealand is at Alert Level 4, Queenstown Airport is supporting the transport of people undertaking essential services and the transport of freight. Air New Zealand adjusted its domestic network yesterday to enable essential travel only and to keep air freight moving. Therefore there will be no scheduled domestic flights at Queenstown Airport for the time being. However, staff from the airport company, border agencies, aviation security and the airline are on stand-by to manage any ad hoc flights.  All non-operationally essential staff continue to work from home.

    Minimum Wage Increase 1 April 2020 - The adult minimum wage rate has increased $1.20 from $17.70 to $18.90 per hour on 1 April 2020. During Alert Level 4, employees must be paid at least the new minimum wage for each hour they work regardless of whether they are working from home, or from premises to do essential work. Visit here for more information.

    Welfare Update

    Civil Defence Otago is working with Volunteering Central and Volunteering Otago to provide safe and coordinated volunteer support at this time. A regional COVID 19 help centre has been set up and will operate 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week to receive requests for welfare assistance.  Anyone requiring welfare support at this time should in the first instance email help@otagocdem.govt.nz or call 0800 322 4000 for more information on how to get support. Over 1,000 people have registered via the online form and are receiving the help they need.

    Mayoral Update - Tuesday 7 April, 12:00-12:45pm

    Mayor Jim Boult will update the business community on the Covid-19 response and emerging plans for recovery. This will be followed by a Q & A session. All businesses welcome. No need to register. Click here to join. Meeting ID: 691 269 505 and Password: 517244.

    Work from home advice - As working and learning from home becomes the new normal, make the most of your home broadband Wi-Fi connection with these tips and tricks from Vodafone. Click here.

    Social and good reads

    9 insights into the future of air travel - Click here.

    Reminder:

    Redundancy support- If you are in the Southern Lakes area and have concerns about redundancy or you are an overseas worker looking for help, you can contact the local representatives below:

    Webinars

    Tourism and Hospitality specific

    How to be open when you’re closed - Weds 8 April -2-3pm- An interactive webinar and learn how hotels, travel and tourism businesses should respond to the current COVID19 virus situation when they are closed for business. Click here to register.

    With little or no bookings coming, and forward bookings non-existent, the travel industry and how we target future travellers and how they book, may have changed forever. And this is where the greatest opportunity is for your right now. You will learn:

    The latest statistics and research from around the different travel sectors (hotels, accommodation, transport, tours, experiences, entertainment venues, tourism boards)

    • Being first off the mark - our industry will bounce back!
    • How to actually plan for a rebound
    • Has marketing & travel changed forever?
    • Great campaign examples
    • Practical steps to keep open when you’re closed
    • Q&A session - Ask your most pressing questions

    Hospitality industry - The Restaurant Association is holding weekly webinars for members and non-members on topics including restructuring, social media marketing, food costing and more.

    ●             New online professional development courses on topics including 'Level up your Service Skills' and 'Challenging your teams to up-skill, ready for reopening'.

    ●             Weekly COVID-19 update webinars with guest speakers from key organisations including MSD, Immigration NZ, IRD, MBIE, MPI, Mental Health Foundation and the Restaurant Association’s helpline.

    ●             Conversations with Hospo Heroes- talk to the people behind the scenes of the hospitality industry about various topics and some of the challenges they have recently faced in their businesses, how they have coped and managed to engage their staff.
    Click here for all training and webinars

    Covid-19 Business Response Screen Sector Forum

    Live stream Tuesday, 7 April at 10:00 am. Registration for this livestream Zoom meeting broadcast will appear on the WellingtonNZ Business Response page here.

     

    In collaboration with Screen Wellington, WellingtonNZ is hosting a forum on supporting the Screen Sector through Covid-19 Level 4 and beyond. There will be opportunities to ask questions of the presenters throughout the session via the Zoom online chat facility.

     

    General business and economic

    Harnessing your Resilience during COVID-19 - facilitated by Workplace Support Southern Training & Development Manager, Trudy Schievink.

    We are living through an unprecedented event that means our world is changing rapidly around us. Now is the time for us to ensure we are looking after ourselves so we can in turn, look after others.  How we view these challenges and respond to this specific event will influence the way we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis.  

    This one-hour online webinar introduces how resiliency can enhance our capacity to effectively manage during this crisis.  It includes identifying sources and symptoms of stress, explores the importance of harnessing resiliency and introduces resiliency strategies and resources.

    Contract Law, Employment Law and Health & Safety - Regular sessions will be run by John Farrow (Employment Partner) and Sarah Simmers (Commercial Partner) Anderson Lloyd on: New webinars will be posted here.

    • Health & Safety
    • Employment Law
    • Contract Law

    Economic and wage advice - BDO has some really great advice and tips here including webinars, advice on dealing with economic turbulence, wage subsidy info and more. Read online here.

    How do we thrive in a future that looks nothing like the past?

    Join this worldwide online summit with BOMA - a global network of local partners offering transformational learning experiences. Join more than 60 experts from 20 countries on the coronavirus pandemic, discussing Reinventing our World, Resilience Amid the First Outbreak, Making Smart Decisions in Turbulent Times, A Different Future, and Extreme Innovation for an Extreme Crisis.Watch live or videos afterwards

    Click here to register. 

     

    FAQs

    Business FAQs on COVID-19 - How do I apply for the subsidy, what does it mean for my business, the economy, my staff etc. BDO has set up a great resource here.

    General FAQs on COVID-19 - What it is, what self-isolation and level 4 means etc. Click here for the COVID-19 website.

    Local FAQs on COVID-19 - What services are available, how can I get help etc. Click here for local Council information.

    Local Business FAQs- Up-to-date local information for businesses here.

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  • Yesterday the State of National Emergency was extended for a further seven days, which allows the government to continue to deploy certain powers in response to COVID-19.

    The Prime Minister also announced updates to the essential businesses list and the Easter trading rules, as well as updates today on key infrastructure projects getting support to ensure we are ready to mobilize the workforce when we’re able to.

    We’re continuing to hear from local businesses, landlords and employees unsure on what next steps to take to make sure they minimise the impact of COVID-19. We encourage people to work together as a community to find a solution that works for everyone involved and continues to meet your legal obligations. We will all come together stronger as a region if we continue to collaborate, ensuring when it’s appropriate that we recover well and thrive, not just survive, post COVID-19

    We are hopeful that Minister Grant Robertson may make an announcement soon on financial relief or advice for commercial leases to provide guidance and clarity for both businesses and landlords.

    A fair bit to update you on today, details below. We’ll post updates online and via social media tomorrow and send email communications again on Friday.

    What’s new?

    Update on essential service businesses: More information continues to be updated here.

    • Businesses can sell essential non-food consumer products, but they must do so in a way that protects the public and minimises the risk of COVID-19 spreading. They must notify MBIE and they must take all appropriate public health measures.
    • Businesses offering this must take online or phone orders only and deliver the orders in a contactless way. Storefronts must not be open, and the public should not be able to visit stores to select or collect goods.
    • Supermarkets will close as usual on Good Friday but can open on Easter Sunday.
    • This will avoid people rushing to the supermarket if there’s two days of closure. However supermarket employees have the right to refuse to work that day.
    • The media are considered an essential service, as we must have ongoing access to independent news and opinions during this time.
    • The targeted production of community newspapers is added as an essential service. This is primarily aimed at small, rural isolated communities.

     

    Beehive update - 1 April 2020

    • Work is underway to look at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy once we can move forward with these projects again. Click here to read more.
    • The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read more.

    For employers

    Free employer advice line - Otago Southland Employers Association (OSEA) is extending its employer advice line to all Chamber of Commerce members. Call 0508 656 757 to speak to an employment advisor today about your specific issues.

    Wage Subsidy update - As an employer I had to let some of my employees go because of COVID-19. Can I rehire them now and get the COVID-19 wage subsidy to help pay them? 

    Yes, if you re-employ your employees before you apply and if your employees were;

    • employed by you as of 17 March 2020; and
    • you had to let them go because of COVID-19; and
    • you did not apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for the employees.
    • It is expected that employers and employees would operate in ‘good faith’ and employers would look to rehire on at least the same terms and conditions.

    For employees and employers

    The Ministry for Social Development has released fact sheets and FAQs for those facing redundancy - both employers and employees.

    Welfare support - If you are in the Southern Lakes area and have concerns about redundancy or you are an overseas worker looking for help, you can contact the local representatives below:

    Safety and Welfare

    Protecting essential workers - The Ministry of Health has issued new and clearer guidelines for accommodation suppliers operating as an essential business and a template for providing letters to essential staff outlining these guidelines.

    • Information for essential workers in health and non-health workplaces on using personal protective equipment (PPE). Click here for guidelines.
    • A quick guide on identifying, assessing and managing work risks from WorkSafe available here.
    • Click here for an example letter to give your employees outlining their essential service status.

    Welfare of our community and migrant workers - If you are vulnerable and do not have support getting the necessary essentials (e.g. groceries, medicines etc), assistance is available. Please contact the Otago COVID 19 Help Centre 0800 322 4000 or email help@otagocdem.govt.nz. This help centre will operate 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm. link to radio ad Otago CDEM are airing regionally in folder if useful.

    General Information for vulnerable people is available here.  We are expecting an announcement on a migrant support package within the next few days.

    Are you all right? It's a tough time right now. COVID-19 is changing everything for all of us. It's alright to feel scared, stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.

    All Right? is a partnership between the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and Community and Public Health (a division of the Canterbury District Health Board). They will be sharing things they know are important to help you look after your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your whānau, colleagues and community as we unite against COVID-19. Subscribe to Getting Through Together to register for updates on this new All Right? campaign.  ALSO AN ASSET for EDM’s/social saved in PIM folder

    Want to donate locally? A local fundraising campaign, Greatest Needs Fund, has been launched for people affected by Covid19 locally. If you are in a position to donate, the money will be used to support community agencies locally to give support to those in our community. Click here to donate.

    Social distancing - clarity around driving to walks - NZ Police has issued very clear guidelines around driving to local walks. This is not allowed under Level 4.

    • People should not be driving to access local tracks locations. If you need to drive to get to a track, it is not local. The more people using tracks, the harder it is to maintain social distance.
    • QLDC and DOC are working with Southern District Police and other agencies to close car parks at popular tracks to reduce traffic and ensure the safety of people during level 4 lockdown.
    • These include Roys Peak, Mt Iron, Lake Wanaka Outlet(Motor Camp entrance and Gunn Road entrance) and Diamond Lake track car parks. No concerns around Queenstown tracks have been raised at this stage.

     

    Social and good reads

    Good read  - The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will have massive implications for employers of migrant workers in New Zealand. Top tips for employers of migrant workers from Lane Neave, click here.

    Get Social -  Virtually - LockedIn Local Virtual Friday Drinks - Friday 3 April, 4-4:45PM - Time for a debrief of the week including: who you are and how you’re doing? LockedIn LinkedIn – how to make the most of LinkedIn now and in the future. How can we benefit from the opportunities created from #COVID19. Zoom meeting. Join here.

    What do you still need? Please continue to talk to us and let us know your concerns.

    B&B Specific advice - If you own or run a B&B, you can contact the B&B Association on email secretary@bandbassociation.co.nz  . Alternatively there is specific information for B&Bs online  

     

    Webinars

    Tourism and Hospitality specific

    Employment matters: what employers need to consider during COVID-19- Thursday, 2 April 2020 / 2pm NZDT. TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts will give an industry update and Lane Neave's Fiona McMillan will answer your employment questions. You can email questions for Fiona ahead of the webinar - The webinar will be recorded and shared on TIA’s social channels.  
    Register now.

    Hospitality industry - The Restaurant Association is holding weekly webinars for members and non-members on topics including restructuring, social media marketing, food costing and more.

    ●     New online professional development courses on topics including 'Level up your Service Skills' and 'Challenging your teams to up-skill, ready for reopening'.

    ●     Weekly COVID-19 update webinars with guest speakers from key organisations including MSD, Immigration NZ, IRD, MBIE, MPI, Mental Health Foundation and the Restaurant Association’s helpline.

    ●     Conversations with Hospo Heroes- talk to the people behind the scenes of the hospitality industry about various topics and some of the challenges they have recently faced in their businesses, how they have coped and managed to engage their staff.
    Click here for all training and webinars

    General business and economic

    COVID-19: Looking After Mental Health and Well-being with Mathew Peppercorn from TASK Mental Wellness. Thurs 2 April 2020- 10:00am.

    COVID-19 is changing our daily lives. It’s important to look after our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our whānau and community as we get through this – together. It's affecting business. It’s affecting $$$$. Register in advance for this webinar. Click here.

    Harnessing your Resilience during COVID-19 - facilitated by Workplace Support Southern Training & Development Manager, Trudy Schievink.

    We are living through an unprecedented event that means our world is changing rapidly around us. Now is the time for us to ensure we are looking after ourselves so we can in turn, look after others.  How we view these challenges and respond to this specific event will influence the way we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis.  

    This one-hour online webinar introduces how resiliency can enhance our capacity to effectively manage during this crisis.  It includes identifying sources and symptoms of stress, explores the importance of harnessing resiliency and introduces resiliency strategies and resources.

    Contract Law, Employment Law and Health & Safety - Regular sessions will be run by John Farrow (Employment Partner) and Sarah Simmers (Commercial Partner) Anderson Lloyd on: New webinars will be posted here.

    • Health & Safety
    • Employment Law
    • Contract Law

    Economic and wage advice - BDO has some really great advice and tips here including webinars, advice on dealing with economic turbulence, wage subsidy info and more. Read online here.

    How do we thrive in a future that looks nothing like the past?

    Join this worldwide online summit with BOMA - a global network of local partners offering transformational learning experiences. Join more than 60 experts from 20 countries on the coronavirus pandemic, discussing Reinventing our World, Resilience Amid the First Outbreak, Making Smart Decisions in Turbulent Times, A Different Future, and Extreme Innovation for an Extreme Crisis.Watch live or videos afterwards

    Click here to register.

     

    FAQs

    Business FAQs on COVID-19 - How do I apply for the subsidy, what does it mean for my business, the economy, my staff etc. BDO has set up a great resource here.

    General FAQs on COVID-19 - What it is, what self-isolation and level 4 means etc. Click here for the COVID-19 website.

    Local FAQs on COVID-19 - What services are available, how can I get help etc. Click here for local Council information.

    Local Business FAQs- Up-to-date local information for businesses here.

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  • So it’s Day 5 of lockdown and after the weekend this week may feel like a steep mountain to climb. The ‘buzz’ of nesting into lockdown, setting yourself up for working from home and building your bubble may have passed and now we face the working week, but not as we know it.

    For some, you will be off work four weeks giving you the chance to get on top of life issues, for many it’s busier than ever and for business owners, it’s a time of uncertainty as you come to terms with no longer operating your business as usual.

    The wellbeing of you and your team is key during these uncertain times. Wellbeing is a continuum and we’re likely to find ourselves at various points over the coming weeks and months. As well as resources on the COVID19 website, there is lots of useful information online through organisations including the Mental Health Foundation (www.mentalhealth.org.nz) and the Health Promotion Agency (www.hpa.org.nz).

    Business Finance Guarantee Loan Scheme - A Number of businesses  will need to borrow to get through this period. We are still waiting on the full details on the government-backed business loan scheme. Read this short update for details. Strong forward cash flow planning, with evidence that you have moved appropriately to reduce your OPEX where possible will be required by most lenders.

    You’ll find below some updates and clarifications on key issues and some additional areas of support.

    Thank you for all the feedback about the group communications, we appreciate it. It’s still really important that businesses receive  timely, accurate information during these times and we will continue our updates, moving to email communications on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after 4pm. Urgent and essential information will still be shared on other days if needed and we will continue to update the online local business portal here.

    What’s new?

    Commercial leases

    Many landlords and tenants are undertaking rent negotiations at present. It is strongly recommended that both parties seek legal advice during this process.  Each situation is different and will need specialist handling. Landlords, being asked to provide credit to a business (in the form of delayed rent payments), will likely seek the same credit guarantees as required by other lenders. 

    Covid-19 leases what does it mean for landlords and tenants?  What’s fair and reasonable for a lock-out? Due to the country-wide lockdown of all “non-essential” businesses, many tenants are questioning what this will mean for the rent obligations under commercial leases. If your commercial lease is drafted using the sixth edition of the Auckland District Law Society Deed of Lease (released in 2012), your lease should include a “No Access” clause in relation to rent abatement in an emergency. Click here to read more on this from AWS Legal.

    Immigration 

    Wellbeing of Employees- How are you checking in with your team? It’s important to continue to nurture social connections. As human beings we are socially orientated and during this lockdown period some people often feel isolated. So please reach out to your team via phone, zoom or skype. However you can and when you can. Another way of connecting is to task your team with some e-learning. It doesn’t have to be 100% related to your business, but upskilling can help break the boredom during this time. It’s also a great conversation starter for your next virtual connection. 

    Business planning under lockdown

    Once the wage subsidy is applied for, you’ve consulted your accountant or advisor and landlord on how they can help you get through, businesses could look at creating a resilient and adaptable business plan based around the four alert levels. Some questions you may wish to explore are:

    1. What will my business look like at each level?

    2. How can I operate at each level? Can I operate?

    3. What changes can I/should I implement now during Level 4 to be prepared?

    4. What innovation or technological solutions can I deploy to help with this?

    5. What assistance and resources do I need to do this (people and finances)?

    It can be overwhelming, but there are some great resources available below to help with this and your current providers should be your first port of call for help - accountant, bank, legal team and HR support. See below additional support from RBP.

    It’s also key to involve your team, so why not gather them together virtually and get them to share their ideas on how your business can move forward post-covid19.

    Resilient Organisations has prepared this advice to provide a structure for refreshing business continuity plans (BCPs) for COVID-19. Click here for updated info and advice.

    What do you need from us today? We are all doing our best to help our local business community, working together to ensure you are supported and informed and have information to hand, as well as looking into how we can access additional support. Please continue to talk to us and let us know your concerns.

    FAQs

    Business FAQs on COVID-19 - How do I apply for the subsidy, what does it mean for my business, the economy, my staff etc. BDO has set up a great resource here.

    General FAQs on COVID-19 - What it is, what self-isolation and level 4 means etc. Click here for the COVID-19 website.

    Local FAQs on COVID-19 - What services are available, how can I get help etc. Click here for local Council information.

    Local Business FAQs- Up-to-date local information for businesses here.

    Reminder - Covid-19 Advisory Funding - The Regional Business Partner Network has been given additional government funds to support businesses through COVID-19.  The focus will be to assist with funding for businesses to access 1-1 support with professionals in the following areas:

    ·    HR

    ·    Health and Wellness

    ·    Business Continuity Planning

    ·    Finance and Cashflow Management

    Businesses will be able to access up to $5,000 (ex gst) in funding to fully fund advice in the areas above. including for advice from their current provider which we encourage people to use. The goal is to distribute this fund to as many businesses as possible so allocations are unlikely to be to this maximum.  This will be managed by the growth advisors and will be at their discretion. Businesses should register here and will need to meet (virtually) with an advisor.

    Webinars

    • Economic and wage advice - BDO has some really great advice and tips here including webinars, advice on dealing with economic turbulence, wage subsidy info and more. Read online here.

    • Hospitality industry - The Restaurant Association is holding weekly webinars for members and non-members. Click here for more information.

    • Business Continuity - Join Jamie Adamson, Partner at Deloitte. Jamie will be talking about Business Continuity.Tuesday 31 March 2pm. Click here to register.

    • Contract Law, Employment Law and Health & Safety - Regular sessions will be run by John Farrow (Employment Partner) and Sarah Simmers (Commercial Partner) Anderson Lloyd on:New webinars will be posted here.

      • Health & Safety

      • Employment Law

      • Contract Law

    • The Importance of Self-Care Through Difficult Times with Richard Joseph - The spread of the Covid-19 virus has catapulted the world into a crisis. Every crisis brings with it its faithful accomplices, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Richard’s session will focus on the importance of self-care through difficult times and explain how purposeful action and self-care are the best antidotes to ensuring you stay healthy and don’t lose hope or perspective on the journey. Monday 30th March 10am- Click here to register

    • How do we thrive in a future that looks nothing like the past? Join this worldwide online summit with BOMA - a global network of local partners offering transformational learning experiences. Join more than 60 experts from 20 countries on the coronavirus pandemic, discussing Reinventing our World, Resilience Amid the First Outbreak, Making Smart Decisions in Turbulent Times, A Different Future, and Extreme Innovation for an Extreme Crisis.Watch live or videos afterwards. Click here to register.

    We are here to help,  so if you have any concerns, or are not getting the support you need, from the resources, please contact us.

    Close
  • Here we are now on day two of Alert Level 4 lockdown, many changes have happened in the last seven days and a lot of information has been shared with you.

    We’re mindful that there is still so much uncertainty to what all this means for you, your business, employees, our community and economy. This situation will be very challenging for all of our community, especially those who are being let go from their jobs and face financial uncertainty.

    It’s a difficult time, and patience will be required at this time as services who provide support, advice and funding are being pushed to the limit. But be assured that there are many people behind the scenes trying to get the help needed to the right people.

    One big question we’ve heard a lot in the last few days has been "How long will we be impacted for?" The simple answer is we don’t know how long this will last, as it’s an entirely new situation for us all and one we need to work through together.

    What we do suggest is that businesses should look at resilient and adaptable business planning based around the four alert levels. Some questions you may wish to explore are:

    1. What will my business look like at each level?

    2. How can I operate at each level? Can I operate?

    3. What changes can I/should I implement now during Level 4 to be prepared?

    4. What innovation or technological solutions can I deploy to help with this?

    5. What assistance and resources do I need to do this (people and finances)?

    It can be overwhelming, but there are some great resources available below to help with this and your current providers should be your first port of call for help - accountant, bank, legal team and HR support. See below just announced additional support from RBP.

    What do you need from us? We are all doing our best to help our local business community, working together to ensure you are supported and informed and have information to hand, as well as looking into how we can access additional support.

    Tourism is our region’s lifeblood and this unprecedented event will have a huge impact on our region, more so than many others.. We can assure you though that our Government is listening to our calls for assistance (see below great news regarding immigration and migrant visas following a call from Mayor Jim Boult). Daily we are feeding through the main local issues and concerns to our contacts at MBIE, NZTE, INZ, other direct agency contacts and ministers.

    We will keep you posted when we have any information to share. Remember to stay in your ‘bubble’ and  staysafe so we can keep the virus under control and recover as quickly as we can.

    Thank you also for your support in getting our migrant workers registered on the local EOC database. The EOC welfare team reports that there are 450 people now registered and food vouchers are being provided to those in need and are able to get themselves to the supermarket, with home deliveries going to those who cannot. Great work as a community.

    Please call any of the group if you need to chat through anything, have a question or need more support. Let us know what you need and we will work together to do our best to help point you in the right direction.

    FAQs

    Business FAQs on COVID-19 - How do I apply for the subsidy, what does it mean for my business, the economy, my staff etc. BDO has set up a great resource here.

    General FAQs on COVID-19 - What it is, what self-isolation and level 4 means etc. Click here for the COVID-19 website.

    Local FAQs on COVID-19 - What services are available, how can I get help etc. Click here for local Council information.

    Local Business FAQs- Up-to-date local information for businesses here.

    What’s new?

    Businesses

    Covid-19 Advisory Funding - The Regional Business Partner Network has been given additional government funds to support businesses through COVID-19.  The focus will be to assist with funding for businesses to access 1-1 support with professionals in the following areas:

    • HR

    • Health and Wellness

    • Business Continuity Planning

    • Finance and Cashflow Management

    Businesses will be able to access up to $5,000 (ex gst) in funding to fully fund advice in the areas above. including for advice from their current provider which we encourage people to use. The goal is to distribute this fund to as many businesses as possible so allocations are unlikely to be to this maximum.  This will be managed by the growth advisors and will be at their discretion. Businesses should register here and will need to meet (virtually) with an advisor.

    Changes to wage subsidy scheme

    Minister Grant Robertson announced today some modifications to the wage subsidy scheme so “as many people as possible stay in jobs and we soften the impact on workers, their families and can recover as quickly as possible.”

    The following changes are applicable from 4pm today:

    • Current sick leave scheme folded into the wage subsidy to avoid ‘double dipping’

    • To replace this, a sick leave provision scheme for essential workers is being explored and details to come

    • A reminder that the wage subsidy is a Government payment to help employers pay wages.

    • Businesses accessing the scheme must still undertake best endeavours to pay employees 80% of their pre-COVID income. Where that is not possible – in particular where a business has no activity whatsoever due to the shutdown and workers are not working any hours – they must pass on at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker..

    • Businesses must undertake to keep employees in employment for the period of the subsidy.

    • The government will publish names of employers online who have applied for the wage subsidy scheme and encourage anyone to report an employer if they are not passing the subsidy on or guaranteeing employees 80% of their salary.

    • The Minister reiterated the scheme does not change any other employment law obligations, meaning employees must be paid appropriately under their employment agreements for the hours they do if they work during the lockdown.

    Click here for the full details

    My business is part of the primary industries. Can I stay open?

    The primary industries have been included on the list of essential services. These services should register with the Ministry for Primary Industries. Learn more on the MPI website.

    Employees

    Redeployment and employee support for tourism operators and employees -

    Go with Tourism has pivoted from building New Zealand’s tourism workforce and capability to supporting the industry’s employees in light of the impact of COVID-19.

    • The government-funded initiative has now moved its focus to help the redeployment of displaced tourism workers as they navigate the outbreak and, in due course, begin a post-crisis rebuild. NB: people can not be deployed across regions under Alert Level 4

    • The ‘Go with Tourism’ online platform is now offering a range of free services including;

      • Personalised one-on-one interactions

      • Assistance and advice regarding redeployment, accessing government help and more

    • Go with Tourism will also assist directly with regional redeployment options across all sectors as they become available, for both business owners and employees

    To register for assistance go to: https://www.gowithtourism.co.nz/

    Support for Migrant Workers - Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister of Immigration, has announced significant initiatives to assist the district’s immigrant workforce. The Minister, following a conference call with QLDC Mayor, Jim Boult, undertook to urgently enable a number of initiatives aimed at easing the situation for those on an Essential Skills Working Visa. Click here to read the full release.

    Specifically these are:

    • An automatic extension of expiring working visas with immediate effect

    • The ability for working visa holders to be redeployed to alternative work places by the close of business today (Friday 27 March)

    • Eligibility for working visa holders to apply for Hardship Grants from the Ministry of Social Development, also with immediate effect.

    Temporary Accommodation Service - TAS is working to provide temporary accommodation to those required to self-isolate who can’t do so in their own homes, both New Zealand citizens and people visiting New Zealand.

    • People that need to register with TAS can contact us on 0508 754 163 where a member of our team will help them with registration, the line is open 24/7. After registering for the service, they will be contacted by a temporary accommodation staff member who will assess their needs and work with them to help find suitable temporary self-isolation accommodation. More information can be found the TAS website, under the COVID-19 section.

    • There is a cost for temporary accommodation and support may be available for helping people meet this cost.If you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident on a low income or benefit, you can contact Work and Income to see if you’re eligible for support. workandincome.govt.nz.

    • If you are a visitor to New Zealand and need assistance to meet the cost of temporary accommodation, we recommend you contact your embassy or consulate for further assistance and advice.

    Webinars

    Economic and wage advice - BDO has some really great advice and tips here including webinars, advice on dealing with economic turbulence, wage subsidy info and more. Read online here.

    Hospitality industry - The Restaurant Association is holding weekly webinars for members and non-members. Click here for more information.

    Contract Law, Employment Law and Health & Safety - Regular sessions will be run by John Farrow (Employment Partner) and Sarah Simmers (Commercial Partner) Anderson Lloyd on:New webinars will be posted here.

    • Health & Safety

    • Employment Law

    • Contract Law

    The Importance of Self-Care Through Difficult Times with Richard Joseph - The spread of the Covid-19 virus has catapulted the world into a crisis. Every crisis brings with it its faithful accomplices, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Richard’s session will focus on the importance of self-care through difficult times and explain how purposeful action and self-care are the best antidotes to ensuring you stay healthy and don’t lose hope or perspective on the journey. Monday 30th March 10am- Click here to register

     

    How do we thrive in a future that looks nothing like the past?

    Join this worldwide online summit with BOMA - a global network of local partners offering transformational learning experiences. Join more than 60 experts from 20 countries on the coronavirus pandemic, discussing Reinventing our World, Resilience Amid the First Outbreak, Making Smart Decisions in Turbulent Times, A Different Future, and Extreme Innovation for an Extreme Crisis.Watch live or videos afterwards

    Click here to register. 

    Reminder:

    Commercial accommodation providers

    Any entity that provides accommodation services for essential workers, isolation/quarantine, and emergency housing is considered an essential business. It has been confirmed that shared accommodation such as dorms can also still operate under strict management.

    This information is currently being updated on the www.covid19.co.nz website.

    Next update: Monday 30 March after 4pm.

    Local information updated here.

    All government updates can be found here.

    Close
  • Welcome to Alert Level 4 lockdown - an unprecedented time in all our lives. As we move into lockdown, and now the government agencies and council have ramped up their online portals for information, we will simplify our communications to focus on what’s new and FAQs.

    Minister Grant Robertson has urged commercial landlords to work with tenants citing things would be much better for everyone if they worked to keep tenants and businesses running, rather than them closing down.

    If you have any questions, please use the resources below in the first instance and then contact any of the groups below if your question is not listed and we will add it to our list for agencies and get answers as soon as we can. More information on many of the funds and initiatives announced will come to light in the coming days.

    ----

    Commercial accommodation providers

    Any entity that provides accommodation services for essential workers, isolation/quarantine, and emergency housing is considered an essential business. It has been confirmed that shared accommodation such as dorms can also still operate under strict management.

    In-house kitchens can continue to operate room service ONLY for both food and beverages, but ALL in-house restaurants and bars must close to both guests and the public. Please be mindful though that ID still needs to be sighted in most cases when serving alcoholic beverages.

    Essential communal facilities, such as communal kitchens, bathrooms and laundries in shared accommodation (like backpackers or hostels) that do not have self-contained facilities and do not offer services such as room service can still be utilised to ensure the guests have access to basic necessities.

    While these can still operate, operators need to create strict procedures to ensure physical distancing and rigorous hygiene practices can be maintained.

    For example:

    • The use of these facilities must be carefully managed and kept to an absolute

    • They are only to be used by named guests that have no alternative.

    • Heighten the level of your cleaning protocols.

    • Provide all guests that use the shared facilities – bathroom kitchen and dining – with disinfectant spray to wipe down contact areas after use.

    • In the case of kitchen, dining and laundry facilities you should allocate times for guests use and the hygiene expectations should be made very clear.

    This information is currently being updated on the www.covid19.co.nz website.

    Further guidelines for hospitality businesses can be downloaded here (pdf in file)

     ----

    Tax update

    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more information.This includes:

    • Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000

    • Allowing immediate low-value asset write offs

    • Bringing forward broader R&D refundability

    • Allowing more access to the in-work tax credit.

    Service providers wanting to help - If you’re a service provider that can offer support (ie Accommodation,  essential deliveries etc) please register here.

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    Telecomms

    The telecommunications industry advises the network will be able to deal with changes in both patterns and level of demand, and does not anticipate that there will be capacity issues if more people are working or learning from home.

    However, competing pressure from family members using the home Wi-Fi at the same time is likely to put pressure on home networks. See here for more information on how to get the best from your home internet network.

    Department of Conversation - The following DOC visitor facilities are now closed.

    • All Visitor Centres including those co-located with I-Site

    • All DOC Great Walks

    • All DOC bookable huts and lodges

    • All DOC bookable campsites

    Hospitality industry

    The Restaurant Association is holding weekly webinars for members and non-members. Click here for more information.

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    NEW Webinars

    COVID-19: Free Online Seminars - Contract Law, Employment Law and Health & Safety

    The following sessions will be run by John Farrow (Employment Partner) and Sarah Simmers (Commercial Partner) Anderson Lloyd on:

    • Health & Safety

    • Employment Law

    • Contract Law

    New webinars will be posted here.

     

    The Importance of Self-Care Through Difficult Times with Richard Joseph

    The spread of the Covid-19 virus has catapulted the world into a crisis. Every crisis brings with it its faithful accomplices, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Richard’s session will focus on the importance of self-care through difficult times and explain how purposeful action and self-care are the best antidotes to ensuring you stay healthy and don’t lose hope or perspective on the journey.

    Monday 30th March 10am- Click here to register

     

    How do we thrive in a future that looks nothing like the past? With BOMA - a global network of local partners offering transformational learning experiences

    Join this worldwide online summit with more than 60 experts from 20 countries on the coronavirus pandemic, discussing Reinventing our World, Resilience Amid the First Outbreak, Making Smart Decisions in Turbulent Times, A Different Future, and Extreme Innovation for an Extreme Crisis.Watch live or videos afterwards

    Click here to register. 

     

    Reminder:

    Welfare of our local community - Council would like to hear from those who have found themselves located in the Southern Lakes region for the four week lockdown period and are in a vulnerable position.This includes our displaced migrant workers and travellers who have been unable to return home. This will be done via an online form, enabling Council to pass on contact details to appropriate government departments and also understand the extent of the challenge. 

    The local form, which includes a welfare registration component, can be found on QLDC’s website here.

    NZ Residents and Citizens - If you need assistance your first port of call is Work and Income (WINZ). Call 0800 778 008  - NOTE: WINZ has now closed its offices and all enquiries should be directed to the 0800 number. If you also need social assistance (food, counselling and other support).

    Close
  • As we all come to terms with what moving to Alert Level 4 means for us all and our community, we have some important updated information below including accessing local welfare assistance and the updated non-essential businesses list.

    ----

    The Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of New Zealand under section 66 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 on March the 25th 2020 at 12.21pm. This is to manage the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic within New Zealand which requires a significant and coordinated response by and across central and local government.

    While in force, it will allow Civil Defence Emergency Management Controllers to provide for the following. The emergency is for 7 days but can be renewed.

    • conservation and supply of food, fuel and other essential supplies

    • regulate land, water and air traffic

    • to close roads and public places

    • to evacuate any premises, including any public place,

    • And if necessary to exclude people or vehicles from any premises or place.

    • Enhanced border controls for Kiwis returning home. Those who are symptomatic will be tested and put into isolation. Also those who do not have self-isolating plans, including an approved transport plan to get them from their arrival point and self-isolation point will also be isolated in an approved facility.

    Welfare of our local community - In order to understand the medium to long-term needs of our regional community, Council would like to hear from those who have found themselves located in the Southern Lakes region for the four week lockdown period and are in a vulnerable position.

    This includes our displaced migrant workers and travellers who have been unable to return home. This will be done via an online form, enabling Council to pass on contact details to appropriate government departments and also understand the extent of the challenge. 

    The local form, which includes a welfare registration component, can be found on QLDC’s website here.

    Rental support – Minister Grant Robertson has announced support for renters through a freeze on rent increases and end to no-cause evictions on top of existing support like the Accommodation Supplement and MSD grants to help with rent and hardship payments.

    NZ Residents and Citizens - If you need assistance your first port of call is Work and Income (WINZ). Call 0800 778 008  - NOTE: WINZ has now closed its offices and all enquiries should be directed to the 0800 number. If you also need social assistance (food, counselling and other support).

    Welfare - general info on staying safe and healthy -including mental health can be found here via the government’s updated Welfare Guide. (pdf in folder)

    Financial Support for our community - Want to help support our local community agencies financially such as Volunteering Central? The message is please wait. A co-ordinated community approach for this is underway now and will be available soon. More to follow, but please be patient while this is set-up.

    Migrant workers

    There is still no update from Immigration NZ on whether those on working visas can change their conditions of work to allow them to take up work with an employer not named on their visa. We will continue to work with INZ to provide updated information.

    Working from home securely- CERT NZ have provided a handy checklist to make sure you and you business stay safe online. Click here for the guide  -pdf in folder

    IRD - Can’t pay taxes on time?

    • If your business is unable to pay its taxes on time due to the impact of COVID-19, IRD understand and don’t panic you don’t need to contact them right now. Get in touch with them when you can, and “we’ll write-off any penalties and interest.”

    • IRD phone services will be severely limited and the only effective way to contact them will be online and through myIR.

    • All front office services in all localities are now closed and all staff, except a small number of special exceptions, will be working from home.

    • Click here for up to date information from IRD.

    Non-essential businesses - New decisions made by Cabinet, 24 March 2020 relevant to our region.

    • Dairies can remain open, with a one-in-one-out rule, and cannot sell cooked food.

    • Food delivery is prohibited, except meals-on-wheels and whole food delivery (eg subscription food boxes).

    • Every restaurant, café and bar must close all aspects of their operation.

    • Liquor stores must close, unless they are within Licensing Trust areas (in which case they can operate with a one-in-one-out rule).

    • Self-service laundries can stay open, with two meter physical distancing to be enforced.

    • Retirement villages are included as an essential service.

    • The Warehouse must close.

    • Bunnings, Placemakers, Mitre 10 and other retailers essential to the supply chain for building and construction can stay open to trade customers for essential purposes only.

    The entities listed above can continue to operate premises but must put in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing.

    Contact them essential@mbie.govt.nz  for more information.
    Further information on essential businesses can be found
    here

    ----

    Advice for travellers - Has been updated overnight online here.

    Department of Conservation - Given the rapidly changing events DOC is suspending all invoicing for all concessions/permits until further notice.

    • It is also currently considering how to respond to requests to waive or reduce fees. This includes any fees that have been ‘paid in advance’.

    • People may continue to send requests for a fee waiver/reduction to permissions@doc.govt

    • Click here for DOC specific information.

    Tourism industry - TIA is collecting personal email addresses of those tourism workers who wish to receive T-Mail and other TIA communications, even if they have to temporarily or permanently leave their current tourism place of employment. Please share this form with all your staff so that we can continue to support them. 

    ----

    Webinar - TIA held a 30-minute webinar today on unpacking the Government's wage subsidy programme with speakers from the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, as well as a Q&A session. The webinar will be recorded and shared via social channels.

    Hospitality industry - The Restaurant Association is holding weekly webinars for members and non-members. Click here for more information.

    NEW Webinars

    Topic: COVID-19: Employment Law, Contract Law and Health & Safety - Coastal Dunedin

    When: Mar 26, 2020 10:00 AM Auckland, Wellington

    Join John Farrow (Employment Partner) and Sarah Simmers (Commercial Partner) Anderson Lloyd on the below topics:

    • Health & Safety

    • Employment Law

    • Contract Law

    Register here in advance for this webinar.

    ----

    Next update: Thursday 26 March, 2pm.

    Close
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that NZ has moved to Alert Level 3 and at 11:59 pm on Wednesday 25 March, we will move to Alert Level 4. Details can be found here. All arms of government, business groups and unions are working together to protect jobs and businesses by cushioning the impact this global outbreak has on our economy. On a local level we are working collectively to ensure our businesses and your employees are supported through this unprecedented event.

    Non-essential businesses must now be closed. Essential businesses like supermarkets, pharmacies, waste removal, internet service providers, service stations etc. will remain open. Further information on essential businesses can be found here.  

    ----

    New financial measures for businesses and individuals

    Mortgage repayment scheme working with retail banks - The Minister, working with retail banks and treasury to provide a 6-month mortgage repayment holiday. Banks will announce in the coming days the specifics for each bank. Please do not overwhelm your bank with contact, details will be announced.

    Business financing guarantee scheme – The Minister has signed an agreement with the Reserve Bank – a $6.25B business financing guarantee scheme. Includes loans of up to $500,000 for businesses whose turnover is $150,000-$18 million per annum. The specific lending criteria will be made by banks and lower interest rates will apply.

    The Minister also urged businesses to continue to pay your bills to one another, particularly larger businesses paying smaller businesses.

    Welfare

    • We encourage employers who find themselves in a position where they need to make staff redundant to wrap around them with support and be mindful of the circumstances that these people will likely find themselves in due to loss of income and potentially being away from their support network. Be kind and considerate.
    • A similar message for landlords (home and commercial)– stay in touch with your tenants and understand their circumstances, support them as much as possible
    • In order to understand the medium-long term needs of the community, we will be seeking information via an online form for those finding themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

    Migrant workers

    Visitors to New Zealand are advised to start organising their trip home as soon possible. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has advice for travellers.

    We are also in the process of establishing a register of vulnerable migrants locally to enable us to contact this group of people and put in place a system for help. In the meantime, social support for migrants should be directed to Citizens Advice Bureau on 03 442 6799 (local) or 0800 367 222, Salvation Army or Happiness House in Queenstown and Community Networks in Wanaka. These agencies are now taking the contact details of this group of people and will ensure that they are included on the register and, with the wider community, get them the information

    Working visas

    Epidemic notices

    The New Zealand Government’s epidemic management notice relating to immigration matters comes into effect on Thursday 2 April 2020.

    Travellers with a temporary (work, student, visitor, interim and limited) visa expiring before 1 April 2020 who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued.

    Travellers with a temporary visa due to expire between 1 April and 9 July 2020 will have their visas extended to late September. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders. Click here for more details.

    Self-isolation

    If you need temporary accommodation for self-isolation you can register by calling 0508 754 163. A staff member will then contact you to assess your needs and work with you to find suitable temporary self-isolation accommodation.

    • Temporary accommodation is not income or asset tested. There will be a cost for temporary accommodation. If you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident on a low income or benefit, you can contact Work and Income to see if you’re eligible for support. workandincome.govt.nz. International visitors are also eligible for this support.

    • Do I need to self-isolate in the same location? Yes– that’s the point of the lock down, unless you are travelling with your family group to another self-isolated location, though walks, biking etc alone (or with your family group) are allowed but please remain two meters apart from anyone you see. List of local hotels for self-isolation can be found here

    • People not self-isolating? Commercial Accommodation and Activity providers’ advice on tourists and self-isolation - what to do. See advice from TIA here. It’s up to all of us to do our bit to keep our communities safe.

    Travel

    • As per above, visitors to New Zealand are advised to start organising their trip home as soon possible. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has advice for travellers.

    • Air New Zealand is adding more domestic capacity following the Prime Minister’s announcement. This will allow New Zealanders seeking to return home to do so prior to the country moving to Alert Level Four. The airline will endeavor to operate its current schedule as planned until at least the end of the week. More details on the additional capacity to follow.

    • Queenstown and Wanaka airports are currently operating at Alert Level 3 and will move to Alert Level 4 from 11:59pm on Wednesday 25 March, in line with the Government’s announcement yesterday. Their immediate focus is on essential travel - getting travellers to where they need to be over the next few days. Once this is completed, Queenstown Airport will effectively be moving to utility lifeline status and operations will be restricted to transporting people for essential services, freight services and biosecurity checks. Access to the terminal building will also be restricted. Click here for full details.

    • We are all required to isolate at Alert Level 4 in one-place so unnecessary travel will not be allowed. QLDC will announce later today measures for those currently travelling in campervans who are unable to return home.

    Campgrounds and Hotels/Motels are considered essential services, so are allowed (and encouraged) to stay open during Alert 4. We are currently awaiting an answer on whether in-house catering (e.g. restaurants) are included in this.

    Visitors in Self Contained vehicles

    We’ve heard from a number of local government representatives that there are still a large number of visitors travelling in self-contained vehicles around the country. Please be mindful that many of these visitors have been here for a long time and came here to work and live. It will be a stressful time for them too. We are encouraging visitors in self contained vehicles to ideally stay at a commercial camping site if available. They will need to stay at the site for four weeks.

    What about travellers in non-self-contained vehicles?

    We are suggesting that travellers in non-self-contained vehicles book into self-contained accommodation – motel unit etc. All DOC campsites are closed and a number of Councils are closing freedom camping spots. Again. wherever they go they need to stay for four weeks.

    Reminder:

    Economic support for businesses

    • New Zealand has a robust and resilient economy that can respond to and recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

    • The government announced a $16.3 billion package to support New Zealanders and their jobs from the global impact of COVID-19. The package includes wage subsidies for affected businesses, self-employed people, registered charities, non-governmental organisations, incorporated societies and post-settlement governance entities in all sectors and regions, COVID-19 leave and self-isolation support, increases and changes to benefits, and business tax changes to free up cashflow.

    • The Government is expediting urgent work on new income support measures for all workers above and beyond the wage subsidy scheme, to be appropriate for how the economy will operate under Alert Level 4.

    • The Government, Reserve Bank and retail banks have agreed in principle to significant temporary support for mortgage holders and a business finance guarantee scheme for those impacted by COVID-19 as the country moves towards Alert Level 4.

    • The Reserve Bank will undertake quantitative easing through a programme of large scale purchases of New Zealand Government bonds on the secondary market up to a value of $30 billion over the next 12 months. The programme aims to provide further support to the economy, build confidence, and keep interest rates on government bonds low.

    Work from home

    Over the next 48 hours every workplace must implement alternative ways of working, people must work from home so that interactions with others are limited. Some suggestions and tools to help:

    • Contact a local IT provider to see if they can help you get set-up if you’re not already, being mindful they will be under a lot of pressure.

    • Some advice on working from home IT wise can be found here (file folder remote work chart) Anna M is this for sharing ?

    • A legal agreement for working from home for your employees can be found here (file in folder from EAM)

    Keeping safe working online at home – Please see below links from CERT NZ

    Immigration

    Have questions about the impact of COVID-19 that aren’t currently answered on the website or on business.govt.nz?   

    Please email your questions regarding immigration to ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz  with IMMIGRATION QUERY in subject line.  Your questions will be collated immediately and sent to Immigration NZ who have committed to respond to the Chamber within 24 hours.  Please ensure you include your business name and contact details along with your questions.

    Next update: Wednesday 25 March, 2pm. We will continue to update the one on-line platform as new information comes to light.

    Close
  • Following the Prime Minister’s address at 1.30pm today please find below highlights and essential information for businesses and your employees. There is no doubt these are unprecedented measures not seen in our lifetimes.

    We remind everyone of the need to look after one another, be kind and take care of yourself and your employees and please contact us if you need help. More information will come to light during the next 24 hours and we will update you appropriately.

    Members of the advisory group have been fielding calls from employers concerned about the welfare of their migrant workforce at this time. We understand the situation that this group find themselves in and have ensured that government representatives understand the magnitude of the issue. We are assisting the appropriate authorities on ways to identify  vulnerable migrants and assist them with relevant information to access emergency support services, if appropriate, prior to their return home. We are expecting to be able to update you later this week more fully.

    ----

    Alert Level - New Zealand will move to Level 3 to stop and eradicate COVID-19- effective immediately. We will move to Level 4 within 48 hours allowing businesses and people to “put their house in order”.

    Level 4 includes closure of ALL non-essential services so this will impact a very large number of our local businesses. Please ensure you are familiarizing yourself and your staff with the information available which includes school closures etc.

    Click here for the Prime Minister’s Full announcement.

    Click here for the full alert level announcement

    ----

    Key information for businesses:

    • Supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations, access to essential banking services will all be available throughout New Zealand at every alert level.

    • Non-essential businesses in New Zealand must now close. All bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face to face function.

    • Over the next 48 hours as we move to Level 4, takeaway services must move to close their operations.

    • All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed.

    • No discretionary domestic air travel between regions. NB: This may impact our displaced migrant workers being unable to leave the region by air.

    Expansion to wage subsidies and financial support – Minister Grant Robertson has also just announced expanded measures to provide income guarantees to those whose livelihood is disrupted by the virus. This includes:

    • The previous $150,000 cap is being lifted, so that all employers can access the full payments to subsidise each of their workers’ salaries.

    • New businesses (eg. that are less than a year old) and high growth firms (eg. firms that have had significant increase in revenue) are also eligible. They need to demonstrate the revenue loss assessment against a similar time period, for example a 30% loss of income, attributable to COVID-19, in March 2020 compared to January 2020.

    • Self-employed people with variable monthly incomes are eligible if they can demonstrate the revenue loss assessment against the previous year’s monthly average (eg. 30% loss of income attributable to COVID-19 comparing March 2020 to the average monthly income in the period March 2019 to March 2020).

    • The scheme does cover registered charities, non-governmental organisations, incorporated societies and post-settlement governance entities.

    The Minister also intimated that the government was looking at “urgent preparations for further income support for all workers as we move into alert 4."

    Work from home

    Over the next 48 hours every workplace must implement alternative ways of working, people must work from home so that interactions with others are limited. Some suggestions and tools to help:

    • Contact a local IT provider to see if they can help you get set-up if you’re not already, being mindful they will be under a lot of pressure.

    • A legal agreement for working from home for your employees can be found here (file in folder from EAM)

    Keeping safe working online at home – Please see below links from CERT NZ

    Financial support - Country

    The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with the Reserve Bank to enable it to undertake a programme of large scale purchases of New Zealand Government bonds on the secondary market up to a value of $30 billion over the next 12 months, to reduce interest rates and inject money into the economy. Click here to see the announcement and details.

    Immigration - Have questions about the impact of COVID-19 that aren’t currently answered on the website or on business.govt.nz?    Please email your questions regarding immigration to ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz  with IMMIGRATION QUERY in subject line.  Your questions will be collated immediately and sent to Immigration NZ who have committed to respond to the Chamber within 24 hours.  Please ensure you include your business name and contact details along with your questions.

    Some of your employees may now have to break their tenancy agreements, due to being made redundant. See advice and link below to share with your employees.

    • Tenant- If you have been made redundant and cannot pay your rent, you should call your landlord immediately to discuss options.

    • Landlord - If your tenant misses a rent payment - call them to discuss options, noting this is a very stressful time for everyone. You can read more here about tenancy agreements as it’s important to understand your rights, while working together to find a solution.

    Need more help?

    A dedicated email address to access multi-agency assistance and advice where required has been set-up, including about self-isolation from Health, Immigration and Police nhccselfisolation@health.govt.nz

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  • It’s apparent from our conversations with local businesses in the last 48 hours that one of the main areas of concern is the mental health and welfare of staff impacted by COVID-19 due to loss of job or reduced income. The group has been working closely with the Council Welfare Team, local social agencies and Ministry of Social Development to ensure there is sufficient capability and resources for this. We will be continuing our efforts to ensure this is a priority. So where do people go if they need help now? Please direct your staff to these areas.

    NZ Residents or Citizens - If you need assistance your first port of call is Work and Income (WINZ). Call 0800 778 008 - NOTE: WINZ has now closed its offices and all enquiries should be directed to the 0800 number. If you also need social assistance (food, counselling and other support), please see below advice.

    Migrant workers - Need help? There is currently no assistance available for migrant workers on a national level. Locally our social agencies have done great work in mobilizing to provide interim support by identifying those most in need. We are in the processing of establishing a register of vulnerable migrants to better talk to this group of people and put in place a system for help. In the meantime, social support for migrants should be directed to Citizen's Advice Bureau on 03 442 6799 (local) or 0800 367 222, Salvation Army or Happiness House in Queenstown and Community Networks in Wanaka. These agencies are now taking the contact details of this group of people and will ensure that they are included on the register.

    Want to help? Click here to fill out the Volunteering Central contact form.

    Immigration - We will continue to work with Immigration New Zealand to provide urgently-required information for businesses and employees on visas-see below.

    General Mental Health Support - COVID-19 is changing our daily lives. It’s important to look after our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our whānau and community as we get through this – together. For support and links for help click here.

    On-going support - Following yesterday’s meeting we are working with the local social agencies, the Regional Commissioner for the Ministry of Social Development and MBIE to work through how government may be able to respond further to the issues businesses are experiencing in the Southern Lakes. We will continue to update you when we know more.

    Other important reminders:
    Free online (via ZOOM) business support training sessions.
    Tuesday 24 March at 3:30pm.
    Anderson Lloyd - on employment and workplace law. Numbers will be limited to allow for Q+A opportunities but multiple sessions will be held. More information here: COVID-19 Business Seminar: Employment Law, Contract Law and Health & Safety.

    Cashflow and Business Continuity - This session will be run by Jamie Adamson, Partner at Deloitte. He will be covering the below topics.

    • Wage Subsidies
    • Evaluate Working Capital & Liquidity
    • Negotiating with Lenders
    • Communicating with key Stakeholders
    • Business Continuity plans

    Coastal Otago, Tuesday 24 March 2pm
    Queenstown Lake/Central Otago, Wednesday 25 March 2.30pm

    Starting on Monday 23 March

    We all need to stay on the ball and keep building that resilience muscle as we move together through this new territory. To assist with that Queenstown Chamber of Commerce has organised a recurring Zoom video gathering "Stop and Slow Down for 20 minutes".
    Session times: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting from Monday, 23 March.
    12-12.20pm and 7-7.20pm. More information here.

    Immigration - Have questions about the impact of COVID-19 that aren’t currently answered on the website or on business.govt.nz? Please email your questions regarding immigration to ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz with IMMIGRATION QUERY in subject line. Your questions will be collated immediately and sent to Immigration NZ who have committed to respond to the Chamber within 24 hours. Please ensure you include your business name and contact details along with your questions.

    Visa info: If you are made redundant while on a work-based visa, the effect on your immigration status will depend on your visa conditions. All visa conditions remain in place despite the current Covid-19 outbreak and must be complied with. Click here for some advice from Anderson Lloyd on what to do.

    Reminder to apply now for the Wage Subsidy. The Government has put together a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for employers in all regions.It’s to support your business if you are impacted by COVID and face laying off staff or reducing their hours because of COVID-19. More information about the Wage Subsidy.

    Next update: Tuesday 24 March, 2.00pm. We will continue to update the one on-line platform here over the weekend if new information comes to light https://www.qldc.govt.nz/community/emergency-management/covid-19-business-support-and-advice

    All government agency information around COVID-19 can now be found here;

    Website   Facebook    Instagram  

    They have also released some useful posters you may wish to print for your business premise.

    • Be Kind
    • Coughing and Sneezing advice
    • Stay Home advice
    • Wash hands advice
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    1. Free Membership - The Queenstown and Wanaka Chambers are offering all local businesses three months free membership in order to help businesses through the impacts of COVID-19. Click links below to join- Queenstown Chamber OR Wanaka Chamber

    2. Regional Business Partnerships will offer free online (via ZOOM) business support training sessions. First Zoom training to take place next Tuesday 24 March at 3:30pm with Anderson Lawyers speaking on employment and workplace law – numbers will be limited to allow for Q+A opportunities but multiple sessions will be held. More information here: COVID-19 Business Seminar: Employment Law, Contract Law and Health & Safety

    3. Business Support - Access one-on-one support available right now by contacting Tara Druce - Business Advisor - tara@otagorbp.co.nz 

    4. Training - We will be working together to provide further and ongoing online training and are keen to hear from businesses on what information or training they need now.

    5. Mental Health Support - COVID-19 is changing our daily lives. It’s important to look after our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our whānau and community as we get through this – together. For support and links for help click here.

    6. Are you online? As we adapt to the situation, sales are going to move online. If you have a product or service that can be delivered online consider diverting resource to this channel now. Ring your current provider, or call the Chamber if you need some recommendations for local suppliers of goods and services.

    7. Immigration - Have questions about the impact of COVID-19 that aren’t currently answered on the website or on business.govt.nz?    Please email your questions regarding immigration with IMMIGRATION QUERY in the subject line to:
      ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz
      Your questions will be collated immediately and sent to Immigration NZ who have committed to responses to the Chamber within 24 hours.  Please ensure you include your business name and contact details along with your questions.

    8. One platform for information - The Government has launched a nationwide campaign for COVID-19 to help keep people safe. All agency information can now be found in one place at https://covid19.govt.nz/

    9. Kiwis travel guidelines - The government is advising all New Zealanders not to travel overseas, unless it is absolutely essential to do so.New Zealanders overseas who intend to come home are encouraged to consider returning home now, while commercial options remain available.

    10. People not self-isolating? Commercial Accommodation and Activity providers’ advice on tourists and self-isolation - what to do. See advice from TIA here. It’s up to all of us to do our bit to keep our communities safe.


    Southern Lakes Meeting -Business Community, QLDC Mayor and Minister Twyford [Thursday 19 March]

    Today the business advisory group met with Mayor Jim Boult, Ministers Phil Twyford and Kelvin Davis, along with representatives of our local business community, to discuss the impact on COVID-19 on the Southern Lakes Region. Tourism is our region’s lifeblood and the impact of the pandemic will have a very significant impact on our town.

    Being realistic about timescale was a clear message from the meeting - people need to understand the impact of this will be months not weeks and there should be no expectation that the travel ban will be lifted after 16 days. Even without any government restrictions travel demand worldwide has disappeared. One key out take was that the 12 weeks of wage support, announced as part of the government package, is designed to create breathing room for businesses to plan how they will survive the dramatic decrease in demand. While government is expecting to introduce additional assistance within the budget round, there should be no expectation that wage subsidies will continue on an ongoing basis.

    The words of the Minister were that this is going to cause “incalculable damage” to the economy. 

    The government’s five key priorities were outlined:

    1. Public Health response
    2. Protecting essential infrastructure
    3. Cushioning the shock 
    4. Looking after our vulnerable
    5. Business survival and economic recovery

    The ministers were keen to hear from people about ideas that could support the community through this period. If you have any ideas please reach out to anyone on the southern Lakes Business Response group as we will collate them and feedback to the Ministers office.

    Ideas that were floated at the meeting included:

    Finance

    • A call to the banks around how they structure business loans to consider repayment as businesses become profitable (a model similar to student loan repayment scheme)
    • Ensuring that the wage subsidy availability doesn't disadvantage businesses that have multiple businesses under one company.
    • Increased flexibility/defer tax payments
    • Encourage banks to capitalise interest

    The Bankers Association CEO, Roger Beaumont attended the meeting and reinforced that banks are keen to support businesses and encouraged them to talk with their bank asap.

    Immigration

    • Reinforcing the sentiment of the letter already sent to the immigration minister from Mayor Boult calling for flexibility around employees that require a minimum of 30 hours - looking for flexibility to redeploy to other parts of the business.
    • Ensure employers that lay off international staff aren’t disadvantaged when they wish to re employ migrant workers

    Consenting

    • Relax consenting processes

    Welfare

    • Ensuring support services are up and running for those who are made redundant

    Other

    • Relaxing or eliminating DOC concession fees
    • A request that government act early to share any information regarding any further upcoming government restrictions 
    • Relax overseas investment rules
    • Subsidise unemployed people so employers can access them at a reduced rate
    • Council and central govt to bring forward larger investment projects
    • The importance of retaining the intellectual capital of key staff 

    A media release from Mayor Jim Boult can be found here: https://www.qldc.govt.nz/20-03-19-mayor-boult-convenes-covid-19-meeting-with-long-term-recovery-focus 

    Next update: Friday 20 March 2.00pm. We’ll give businesses a further update ahead of the long weekend and will continue to update the one on-line platform here https://www.qldc.govt.nz/community/emergency-management/covid-19-business-support-and-advice

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  • At 2.00pm (Tuesday 17 March), the New Zealand Government announced a $12.1 billion support package for New Zealanders and businesses.  The details you need to know are:

    1. Wage subsidy. The Government has put together a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for employers in all regions.It’s to support your business if you are impacted by COVID and face laying off staff or reducing their hours because of COVID-19. More information about the Wage Subsidy

    2. Leave payment.  From 17 March 2020 the COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available to support people financially if they need to self-isolate. It will be paid to employers to pass onto their employees who need to self-isolate for 14 days, based on Ministry of Health guidelines. The payment must be passed on in full to employees. More information about the Leave Payment

    3. Help for employers.  Some businesses have been economically impacted by COVID-19, leading to down-sizing or closing their operations. Support and advice is available if you need to consider redundancies or reducing people’s hours. 

    4. Business cash flow and tax measures - There are a number of business cash flow and tax measures that have been announced, including:

      - Giving Inland Revenue the discretion to remit use-of-money interest (UOMI) for customers significantly adversely affected by COVID-19.

      - Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000 from 2020/2021. Click here for more information about tax measures.

    5. Benefits increase.

    6. Financial support for individuals.

    7. Students.

    8. Health support.

    9. Stress counselling & support.

    The full announcement can be found online here.

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Business and Employee Resources

If you need additional support as a business or employee, please contact the resources available below. These links will be regularly updated by the relevant agency and organisation and are the source of truth for information.

Need more help? A dedicated email address to access multi-agency assistance and advice where required has been set-up, including about self-isolation from Health, Immigration and Police nhccselfisolation@health.govt.nz

Visit covid19.govt.nz for all updates.

Business Owner Support

Redeployment options / resources will be available here as they become available.

  • The ‘Go with Tourism’ online platform is now offering a range of free services including 1:1 support for both employers and employees via phone or video calls.  They also have a variety of support resources around financial assistance and help with mental health / well-being.

    Go with Tourism will also assist directly with regional redeployment options as they become available.

    This is available for both business owners and employees.

    To register for assistance go to: www.gowithtourism.co.nz

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  • The Ministry of Social Development now has a dedicated advisor to assist our regions vulnerable employers by email.  For any MSD employer wage subsidy queries or redundancy support advice, please contact Tracey Harrison at Tracey.Harrison033@msd.govt.nz

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  • The Queenstown and Wanaka Chambers are offering all local businesses three months free membership in order to help businesses through the impacts of COVID-19. Click links below to join- Queenstown Chamber OR Wanaka Chamber

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    We all need to stay on the ball and keep building that resilience muscle as we move together through this new territory. To assist with that Queenstown Chamber of Commerce has organised a recurring Zoom video gathering "Stop and Slow Down for 20 minutes".

    Session times: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from now on.

    12-12.20pm and 7-7.20pm. More information here.

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  • To access a mentor for your business, please contact Business Mentors here. If you have experience, skills and time to support a business, please also contact them by heading to business.govt.nz.

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  • Resilient Organisations is a research and consulting group focused on helping organisations, industries, and economies to thrive in any environment. They are experts in risk and resilience, helping organisations prepare for and get through times of crisis and helping them make decisions in a world full of uncertainty and ambiguity.  

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  • Click here for specific updates for business owners on COVID-19.

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  • Click here for some advice for business resilience and re-looking at your business plan 

     

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  • Information for Exporters can be found here, including assistance and market updates.

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  • Contact them to speak with an advisor for direct support today.  Please email Tara to discuss.

    tara@otagorbp.co.nz

    More information about RBP here.

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  • The Government has put together a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for employers in all regions.It’s to support your business if you are impacted by COVID and face making staff redundant or reducing their hours because of COVID-19. More information about the Wage Subsidy

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Financial

Contact your bank, accountant or business advisor immediately if you have immediate cash flow or income concerns. The announcements by government provides support for owners and their employees and your own network will be a good first port of call to see what you can apply for.

  • Click here for updates on the Official Cash Rate 

    The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with the Reserve Bank to enable it to undertake a programme of large scale purchases of New Zealand Government bonds on the secondary market up to a value of $30 billion over the next 12 months, to reduce interest rates and inject money into the economy. Click here to see the announcement and details.

    Mortgage repayment scheme working with retail banks - The Minister, working with retail banks and treasury to provide a 6-month mortgage repayment holiday. Banks will announce in the coming days the specifics for each bank. Please do not overwhelm your bank with contact, details will be announced.

    Business financing guarantee scheme – The Minister has signed an agreement with the Reserve Bank – a $6.25B business financing guarantee scheme. Includes loans of up to $500,000 for businesses whose turnover is $150,000-$18 million per annum. The specific lending criteria will be made by banks and lower interest rates will apply.

    The Minister also urged businesses to continue to pay your bills to one another, particularly larger businesses paying smaller businesses.

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  • List of latest announcements can be found here.

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  • COVID-19 tax relief information can be found here and your accountant can also help you in this space.

    Business cash flow and tax measures - There are a number of business cash flow and tax measures that have been announced, including:

    • Giving Inland Revenue the discretion to remit use-of-money interest (UOMI) for customers significantly adversely affected by COVID-19.
    • Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000 from 2020/2021. More information about tax measures.
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  • Contact your own lawyer or local HR professional in the first instance to find answers to your individual situation now. Alternatively, there is great information to be found below:

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  • Workplace response to COVID-19 is being updated here for both employers and employees.

    Leave Payment. From 17 March 2020 the COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available to support people financially if they need to self-isolate. It will be paid to employers to pass onto their employees who need to self-isolate for 14 days, based on Ministry of Health guidelines. The payment must be passed on in full to employees. More information about the Leave Payment

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    1. As a general principle employers and employees must always meet the duty of good faith. Employers must behave fairly and reasonably. This specifically requires that any termination of employment be justifiable and procedurally fair.
    2. Put simply: despite the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 virus and its drastic effect on businesses – you generally cannot circumvent a fair redundancy process.
    3. This is because the doctrine of contract frustration will apply only in very few employment situations. This will occur only where there has been some outside event not foreseen or provided for by the parties in the employment agreement that makes it impossible (or radically different) to perform the contract; and that outside event and its consequences must occur without either the fault or default of either party.
    4. Termination under a force majeure or act of god provision will still require justification under the Employment Relations Act 2000. The basic test is that employers must both justify redundancy (likely through the financial impact of COVID-19 and a downturn in work available) and give employees access to information, and an opportunity to comment on that information before a decision is made. Given the circumstances, this can be expedited but should still be carefully managed.
    5. Many individual employment agreements will not contain a force majeure provision. The wording will also vary between agreements. You may be able to reference such a provision when going through a redundancy process – however this will not provide any significant short-cuts to proposing and implementing redundancies.
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  • Some of your employees may now have to break their tenancy agreements, due to being made redundant. See advice and link below to share with your employees.

    • Tenant- If you have been made redundant and cannot pay your rent, you should call your landlord immediately to discuss options.

    • Landlord - If your tenant misses a rent payment - call them to discuss options, noting this is a very stressful time for everyone. You can read more here about tenancy agreements as it’s important to understand your rights, while working together to find a solution.

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  • For the most up-to-date information for travellers, visa holders (including students), cruise ships and maritime vessels. Visit here for information.

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  • Leave Payment. From 17 March 2020 the COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available to support people financially if they need to self-isolate. It will be paid to employers to pass onto their employees who need to self-isolate for 14 days, based on Ministry of Health guidelines. The payment must be passed on in full to employees. More information about the Leave Payment.

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    • We encourage employers who find themselves in a position where they need to make staff redundant to wrap around them with support and be mindful of the circumstances that these people will likely find themselves in due to loss of income and potentially being away from their support network. Be kind and considerate.

    • A similar message for landlords (home and commercial)– stay in touch with your tenants and understand their circumstances, support them as much as possible

    • In order to understand the medium-long term needs of the community, we will be seeking information via an online form for those finding themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

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  • The government has announced additional financial support on

    1. Benefits Increase.

    2. Financial Support for Individuals.

    3. Students.

    4. Health Support.

    5. Stress Counselling & Support.

    To find out more about how Work and Income may be able to help, click here

    NZ Residents or Citizens - If you need assistance your first port of call is Work and Income (WINZ). Call 0800 778 008  - NOTE: WINZ has now closed its offices and all enquiries should be directed to the 0800 number. If you also need social assistance (food, counselling and other support), please see below advice.

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Health & wellbeing

Volunteering

  • The local agency charged with coordinating volunteers and requests for social/welfare help is Volunteering Central.  If you want to help, whether it’s delivering food to our vulnerable, making food etc, give them a shout.  Also if you need help, contact them with what you need. Note this is for social support not business support. Click here for contacts.

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Guidelines

    • If you need temporary accommodation for self-isolation you can register by calling 0508 754 163. A staff member will then contact you to assess your needs and work with you to find suitable temporary self-isolation accommodation.

    • Temporary accommodation is not income or asset tested. There will be a cost for temporary accommodation. If you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident on a low income or benefit, you can contact Work and Income to see if you’re eligible for support. workandincome.govt.nz. International visitors are also eligible for this support.

    • Do I need to self-isolate in the same location? Yes– that’s the point of the lock down, unless you are travelling with your family group to another self-isolated location. However, walks, biking etc alone (or with your family group) are allowed but please remain two meters apart from anyone you see. List of local hotels for self-isolation can be found here

    • People not self-isolating?  Commercial Accommodation and Activity providers’ advice on tourists and self-isolation - what to do. See advice from TIA here. It’s up to all of us to do our bit to keep our communities safe.

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  • Guidelines for local accommodation providers - read more here.

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  • Planning a trip overseas or have employees overseas? Up to date advice on travel restrictions can be found here at SafeTravel including border controls here and overseas.

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  • Advice From the MoH which answers a lot of questions you might have regarding what self-isolation means. Click to watch video.

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  • TIA is the voice of the tourism industry and specific tourism updates can be found here.

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  • Queenstown Airport - Updates on border controls and flights can be found here.

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    • As per above, visitors to New Zealand are advised to start organising their trip home as soon possible. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has advice for travellers.

    • Air New Zealand is adding more domestic capacity following the Prime Minister’s announcement. This will allow New Zealanders seeking to return home to do so prior to the country moving to Alert Level Four. The airline will endeavor to operate its current schedule as planned until at least the end of the week. More details on the additional capacity to follow.

    • We are all required to isolate at Alert Level 4 in one-place so unnecessary travel will not be allowed. QLDC announced yesterday measures for those currently travelling in campervans who are unable to return home.

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  • From 11.59pm Weds 25 March all workplaces must implement alternative ways of working, people must work from home so that interactions with others are limited. Some suggestions and tools to help:

    • Contact a local IT provider to see if they can help you get set-up if you’re not already, being mindful they will be under a lot of pressure.

    • Some advice on working from home IT wise can be found here

    • A legal agreement for working from home for your employees can be found here.

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    Keeping safe working online at home – Please see below links from CERT NZ

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