Weekly Digest – 16 March 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

New Zealand Opens Borders to Australians

Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand from April 12. New Zealand borders will start to open for other countries from May 1. International tourism used to account for about 20% of the country’s foreign income and more than 5% of GDP.

NZ’s Emerging High-Tech Sector

In a report commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade titled “The NZ-US trade relationship: Stability and diversity in a Time of Change”, it was shown that the US plays a key role as an export market and shows the increasing contribution of high-technology New Zealand products in trade.

Vegetable Prices May Continue to Rise

Horticulture New Zealand says vegetable prices will continue to rise if the government doesn’t support growers to reduce costs. Despite increasing prices for produce at the supermarkets – growers are not seeing higher returns due to the increasing costs for staffing, fertilisers, audits, among other things.

COVID Support Payment

A targeted COVID Support Payment (CSP) will be made available for businesses struggling with revenue during the Omicron outbreak. Each COVID Support Payment will be $4,000 per business plus $400 per full-time employee, capped at 50 FTEs or $24,000.

Digital Invoicing Initiative Launched

Starting 31 March 2022, central government agencies must be able to receive invoices in an electronic format. This marks the first step in making Business to Government (B2G) e-Invoicing mandatory in New Zealand. The government estimates savings of $4.4 billion over 10 years using the electronic system.

Government Extends Events Transition Support Scheme

The government has extended its insurance scheme to give large-scale events financial certainty for another year. Originally due to run until 3 April, the Events Transition Support Scheme will now last until January 2023.

Change in Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme is now a weekly payment, instead of a two-week payment amid the change in the periods of self-isolation.

This scheme is available to employers and the self-employed to help pay their employees who have been advised to self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can’t work at home during that period.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is paid at the rate of:

  • $600.00 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.
  • $359 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

You can learn more about it here.

Events Transition Support Scheme Launched

The Events Transition Support Scheme opened last week, covering 90% of unrecoverable costs for major events cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. It will apply to live, in-person paid events with over 5,000 attendees from 17 December until 3 April 2022.

Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

If you employ 50 or fewer staff, you may be able to apply for the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. This is a one-off 5 year loan where you can borrow a maximum of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee within your business.

Applications are open until 31 December 2023 through myIR. If your business does not have a myIR account, you will need to create one to apply. Loans will be interest-free if they are paid back within 2 years. The interest rate is 3% for a maximum term of 5 years.

COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

The Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait at home for a COVID-19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $359 for each eligible worker. You can find the details here.

Kiwi Business Boost Tool

The Government has funded specialist consultancy support services to provide advice to businesses who need it. You can use the Kiwi Business Boost Tool to find out what services are available in your region.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of support available to businesses.

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