Monday, 6th September, 2021

Dear Member,

COVID-19 – Update 52 – 6 September 2021


 Here’s the latest information for businesses on COVID-19 following the Prime Minister’s 4.00pm update today. 
 
Following today’s Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister announced that all of New Zealand, outside of the Auckland region, will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm tomorrow (Tuesday 7 September).
 
Schools and education providers will be given an additional 48 hours to get organised and they will be able to open from the morning of Thursday 9 September.
 
Cabinet will review the alert levels for all of New Zealand next Monday 13 September at 4pm.

The Prime Minister also announced slightly different rules for Level 2 - called ‘Delta Level 2’

  • Face coverings are now mandatory when visiting all public areas and businesses. People are able to remove coverings once seated in hospitality venues to eat and drink. Staff must wear face coverings at all times, in all venues. More details on this will be provided tomorrow.
  • The new rules on mandatory scanning into venues have already been introduced but they will now be mandated. You must scan in, or keep a record, when entering public venues such as bars, restaurants, churches, hairdressers, concerts etc. 
  • People hosting private events must also now keep a record of people and the general advice is to scan in even when you do not legally have to. 
  • Click here to see a list of businesses and event organisers who legally must have a way for customers and visitors to record that they have entered their premises or attended a gathering or event.

There are also two additional changes under Delta Level 2:
1/ Public gatherings - There will now be a limit of 50 people in indoor public venues such as hospitality and for other indoor gatherings. Venues must also follow the other Level 2 guidelines, which can be found here. For outdoor venues, the limit, under Delta Alert Level 2, is now 100 people, with the same Level 2 restrictions as above.
 
2/ Indoor public facilities - The limits for these venues are now being brought in line with retail and other public places and venues must now practice a 2m distance between people at all times - this includes cinemas, gyms, libraries and other public places.
 
Details for businesses to operate safely under Delta Level 2 will be updated tomorrow on the business.govt.nz website, as well as emails being sent to those registered for business.govt.nz email updates. We will circulate that via our social channels and communications tomorrow as soon as we have it. In addition, there will be a webinar tomorrow afternoon that will look at more of the details.

COVID-19 Update - Operating in Delta Alert Level 2 Webinar
Tuesday 7 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

This COVID-19 Update follows the much-anticipated Government announcement on moving to alert level 2. We will bring together a panel of experts to address key considerations for business as the country prepares to move to a new alert level.
 
What will be covered:
- What’s new with Level 2?
- Understanding your obligations as an employer (scanning, mask wearing, social distancing)
- Establish a return to work plan: setting up your health and safety systems, supporting your people and customers with the return to work and communicating with your customers.

When you register for the webinar you will get access to watch the webinar live online or at your leisure via on-demand recording. You will also get access to any relevant presentation or resource materials. Click here to register.
 

What's New?


Resurgence Support
The Government’s Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) has been updated to better support newly established businesses. The RSP is a one-off payment to help with costs like rent or fixed costs during higher alert levels.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has advised the time required for a business to have been in operation to be eligible for the RSP, has been reduced from six months to one month. These businesses will still be required to meet the other eligibility requirements under the scheme, such as demonstrating a 30 percent decline in revenue.

Businesses will be able to apply under the new criteria from 8am on Thursday 9 September. Inland Revenue will communicate this change and contact any businesses who were declined for not meeting the six-month test to advise them of the new criteria and invite them to reapply under the new settings.
 
Foreign national support
Following the expiration of MSD support to foreign nationals on 31 August, those in need of support are encouraged to contact their Embassies/Consulates for assistance (whether they are physically located in New Zealand or elsewhere, e.g. Australia).

New Zealand Chamber Network Q+A with Minister Stuart Nash 
Queenstown Chamber CEO, Ruth Stokes and Ignite Wanaka GM, Naomi Lindsay joined other NZ Chamber representatives last Friday for a conversation with Small Business and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash. Collectively we put a number of questions to the Minister and you can now view the 30 minute Q+A online. Click here to view

Immigration NZ Update
From this week, some staff will be in most of Immigration New Zealand’s offices to receive and process priority temporary visa application categories. Please expect some delays. Most Immigration New Zealand staff continue to work remotely, focusing on processing online applications. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use online channels where available. New Variation of Conditions form online

Work visa holders can apply online for a Variation of Conditions (VOC) of their visa. A new application can be submitted online for VOC paper applications which were sent before the Alert Level 4 national lockdown and haven’t been acknowledged with an email, as well as those sent after. They will be returned when staff become available. No fees will be charged for those paper applications.   
 
Applicants will be contacted once paper applications for a variation of work visa conditions have been lodged, accepted for processing, and allocated to an immigration officer. Click here for details.  Click here for full INZ Update - Current as 6 September.

Work Connect – do you know a skilled migrant, partner of a skilled migrant, or an international student graduate looking for work?
Work Connect is a free programme supporting eligible skilled migrants with personalised career coaching and mentoring to help them find a job which suits their skills, experience and qualifications. This includes 7 hours of interactive group webinars and 3 hours of personalised one-on-one sessions with a professional careers consultant. Topics covered include: Finding and applying for jobs; Writing an impressive CV and cover letter; Job interview tips and coaching.  Work Connect is funded by Immigration New Zealand and delivered by the Tertiary Education Commission. There will be national webinars throughout September: apply for a national webinar.

There will also be a dedicated webinar for people living in the Queenstown Lakes District on 5 October (more below as well as the link to register). Click here to read more about the programme, time commitments and check eligibility criteria.

New Insights Hub to support businesses
TNZ has launched a new Insights Hub to provide the tourism industry with data to help grow business and is designed to be used alongside MBIE’s Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre. The Hub makes it easier for businesses to access data such:
  • Domestic Travel View report: insight on the domestic traveller including travel intentions, what domestic travellers look for in a holiday, and how New Zealand delivers on expectations.
  • Consumer research: behaviours, insights, and trends of domestic and international visitors.
  • Industry insights: analysis and reports taking an in-depth look at specific themes and areas of opportunity for the tourism industry.
  • Tourism data: interactive reports providing detailed tourism statistics broken down by category, including region and spend.


Webinars


Managing your optimism, resilience and wellbeing
The next ‘Take Stock’ webinar, hosted by Benestar for the Southern Lakes community, is being held tomorrow - 7 September - and covers managing your optimism, resilience and wellbeing. Click here for details and to RSVP.

Managing Cash Flow Through Covid
Justin Martin from BDO is holding a webinar on 8 September from 10.30am-11.15am on cash flow planning and how to survive and thrive through changing alert levels. Register for the webinar to learn about the cash conversion cycle, the seven causes of poor cash flow, and four key actions to undertake.

NZ Workplace Culture, Job Search & Interview Skills - Work Connect Webinar
Work Connect is holding a Queenstown Lakes webinar on 5 October from 10.00am-3.00pm for graduate international students, and skilled resident migrants and their partners. Register for the webinar to find out how the Work Connect programme can help you find work in New Zealand which uses your qualifications and skills.
 

Mental health and wellbeing support


Access to food and essential items
Please click here for a fact sheet outlining options to help people access food or essential items, particularly if they are vulnerable or having to self-isolate.  Please circulate the factsheet to your staff and networks as appropriate.

Immediate safety
If you feel scared, threatened, or unsafe, please call the Police via 111. If you can’t call, message a friend and ask them to call on your behalf. You can leave your bubble if you’re worried about your safety.  If you need to talk, you can call: Family violence information line 0800 456 450; Youthline on 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz; Safe to Talk sexual harm helpline 0800 044334, text 4334, email support@safetotalk.nz

Here’s some contact details if you, your team or family need help. Please reach out.
  • There’s information about local health and social services online or if you’re after some wellbeing tips, check out www.allright.org.nz or follow them on Facebook
  • The Business Response Group (BRG) has a resilience initiative available called Take Stock. This involves 3 free counselling sessions available for any small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) business owner located within the Queenstown Lakes District. Confidential services are offered through Benestar. To access this service contact Benestar on 0800 360 364 or counsellingsupportnz@benestar.com and quote the ‘Take stock’ program to redeem the sessions. As part of this, a free webinar is offered once a month to any owners, employees and family members of businesses within the Queenstown Lakes.
  • What resources are available for teens and young people?      
    There is dedicated support available to help support the mental wellbeing of our rangatahi.
    A range of online and digital self-help tools and resources are available:   
    MelonYouthline’s free call, text or web chat and Sparklers. There is also information on the COVID-19 website for adults, about how to help keep children safe and reassured.

Useful resources for more information
COVID-19: Information for businesses
COVID-19 New Zealand Government updates
Ministry of Health website for the latest updates on COVID-19
Work & Income NZ - COVID-19 Support
 

We are here to help so if you have any concerns or are not getting the support you need from the resources, please contact anyone below:
 
Destination Queenstown – Paul Abbot – CEO – paul@queenstownNZ.nz 
Queenstown Chamber – Ruth Stokes – CEO – ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz 
Lake Wānaka Tourism – Tim Barke -  GM – gm@wanaka.co.nz 
Ignite Wānaka Chamber – Naomi Lindsay – General Manager – naomi@ignitewanaka.co.nz 
Arrowtown Promotion & Business Association (APBA) - Nicky Busst - Manager - info@arrowtown.com 
QLDC Economic Development – Peter Harris – Economic Development Manager peter.harris@qldc.govt.nz 
Regional Business Partners – Tara Druce – Business Advisor – tara@otagorbp.co.nz