Helpful Covid-19 Resources

25 March 2020

unite logo english3This page brings together all official resources to support business relating to Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) which have been made available.  This page is updated regularly. 

1. BusinessNZ

BusinessNZ has launched the Update podcast to give you the essential business news you need direct from the source. Listen to for frequent updates from host Grant Walker relevant to your business.

2. Business Support

NZ Government Website -

This website has everything you need to know about Covid-19 in one place.  Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread.  Find out what help is available and get the latest updates.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Website

Government website which provides guidance and support to the public as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Free Call Number: 0508 377 388

Financial support package (24 March 2020):

The Minister of Finance announced a range of financial support interventions including a $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy through this unprecedented time.  The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme will provide short-term credit to cushion the financial distress on solvent small and medium-sized firms affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  The scheme will include a limit of $500,000 per loan and will apply to firms with a turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million per annum.  The loans will be for a maximum of three years and expected to be provided by the banks at competitive, transparent rates.  The specific details of this initiative are being finalised and agreed urgently and banks will make these public in the coming days.  Read more.

Facebook Group:

You are also invited to sign up to a closed Facebook group from our NZ wide network for members to share experiences, advice and issues around coronavirus.  The group now has 1,500 members and is becoming a key channel of communication for NZ businesses seeking to manage this risk.

The Work and Income COVID-19 Employers Helpline number is 0800 778 008.

If anyone in your team are not well, they can call the Coronavirus Healthline 0800 358-5453.

There is also a private LinkedIn group for manufacturers from our NZ wide network titled NZ Manufacturers Network

3. Essential Business

A list of the essential businesses:

Essential businesses provide the necessities of life.  You can find the list here of these businesses.  You can also read a Question & Answer on this for business. 

Essential services in the transport sector:

This information provides an explanation of those businesses and their workers, carrying out essential services in the transport sector who will not be subject to travel restrictions.

Check if you are able to operate as an essential business: MBIE: 0508 373-388. 

4. Wage and Leave Subsidy Wage Subsidy Scheme Factsheet (24 March 2020)

The purpose of the Wage Subsidy Scheme Factsheet is to provide guidance to employers on what subsidies from the Government Economic Response Package they will be eligible for.

MSD is looking after the processing of the coronavirus payments, and you can find out how they can help here.

Wage and leave subsidy Questions & Answers

Links to Wage Subsidy and Leave Payment Application forms

Employer application form and Self employed/contractor form 

5. Income Support

Income Support Factsheet

The purpose of the Income Support Factsheet is to provide clarity around the three main changes to welfare which were announced as part of the Government Economic Response Package.

Work & Income – Covid-19 employers support

Questions about details of the wage subsidy or leave payment.

Enquiries: 0800 408 040  

6. Migrant Workers

Temporary visas can be extended (25 March 20): 

  • If a workers temporary visa expires on or before 1 April 2020 and between 2 April and 9 July 2020

All INZ’s overseas and on-shore offices are now closed due to the escalation to Alert Level 4.  Reduced staff in NZ are prioritising urgent tasks.  No other visa applications can be processed at this time.

Urgent immigration queries only: 0508 225 288

Immigration New Zealand Factsheets

These factsheets summarise the immigration issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

7. Other

A full check-list managing coronavirus risk in the workplace.

Working from Home Policy

View the working from home policy from the EMA here.

Covid-19 Workplace & Scenario Guideline

This guideline provides steps and scenarios for both employers and employees to help keep their work environment safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Disruption Planning for Employers

This CECC guide provides a comprehensive plan to support employers through disruption from major environmental or economic events.

Business Cashflow and Tax Measures Factsheet

The purpose of the Business Cashflow and Tax Measures Factsheet is to provide guidance to those who own commercial and/or industrial buildings on how the Government Economic Response Package will effect them.

An update from Prof Phillip Hill, Specialist Infectious Disease Physician on Covid-19

If you would like to find out more about the coronavirus, you can listen to Professor Philip Hill who is the McAuley Professor of International Health at the University of Otago. Philip is also a specialist infectious diseases physician.

How to lead (and participate) in successful remote meetings

Rachel Garrett 22 March 2020

The Regional Business Partner Network 

The Regional Business Partner Network Growth Advisors take a birds-eye look at your whole business, then help you connect with the right resources and experts so you can build capability and grow.

Please call to talk with your Growth Adviser:

Otago – Tara Druce: or 021 216-6543

Southland: or 03 211 1400 

8. International Trade

The primary industries

The Ministry for Primary Industries has asked for assurances from industries and businesses that their processes protect workers and the public by limiting interactions and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.  Read more.

NZTE Air Freight Support (as at 9.00 pm, 24 March 2020)

MOT has been working on a medium-term solution (6month period) with the government to get airlines running again to support airfreight and our air services industry. We are really supportive of this solution. The details will likely be announced tomorrow at some point.

Air Freight Service Update

Please see this resource for an overview of carrier schedule changes to/from New Zealand due to COVID-19.

NZ Trade with China (StatsNZ)

StatsNZ has released provisional indications around the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on New Zealand trade with China.  This webpage presents New Zealand’s daily export trade with China from 27 January 2020 and compares 2020 values with those from previous years, to show the potential impacts of Covid-19 since its outbreak in late 2019.


If you need any assistance, please talk with our lawyers

David Browne | Senior Solicitor/Legal Team Manager | 03 456 1812 | 021 225 6938 |

Adam Siwerski | Solicitor | 03 456 1809 | 021 756 809 |

Stu Adamson | Solicitor | 021 197 4603 | 

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