Government listens to Hospitality industry needs -announces COVID-19 resurgence plan for summer

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The Government has announced its plan for how it will deal with possible community cases over the summer period.

We are very happy that the Government has listened to our calls for action, which we presented to them recently through our alternative ‘Alert Level framework’. To have this pro-active communication of the measure that will be in place at heightened alert levels will hopefully help put your minds at ease and allow for future planning if there were to be a COVID-19 resurgence. 

COVID-19 Resurgence Plan

The Government’s outlined approach will be to respond quickly, managing any community cases lead by New Zealand’s elimination strategy for COVID-19.

  • Government agencies have worked closely with local Government, iwi and community leaders as well as Civil Defence and Emergency Management and private sector to ensure a fully coordinated response.
  • The health system is standing ready and supply chains are stocked.  On call personnel will be available.

Extensive contingency plans are in place, developed around 3 broad scenarios.

COVID-19 Business Continuity Payments

The Government aims to provide certainty to businesses and workers about what support will be available in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19.

A new Resurgence Support Payment is being introduced to help businesses directly affected when there’s a move to Alert Level 2 or above for a week or more. This is the type of targeted assitance we have been asking for all along and hope it goes a way to help pay fixed costs for those affected.

“This recognises that some businesses face one-off costs or impacts to cashflow when we step up an Alert Level to follow public health advice. The payment is structured to provide most support to smaller firms who are most likely to face cashflow issues but will be available to all businesses and sole traders.” – Grant Robertson

The payment would include a core per business rate of $1500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs ($21,500). Firms that experience a 30% drop in revenue over a 14-day period will be eligible.

Wage Subsidy Scheme

Whether there’s a regional or national move to Alert Levels three and four a wage subsidy scheme will be put into place. The Wage Subsidy Scheme has been very effective in keeping people in work so far with more than $14 billion paid out to protect 1.8 million jobs.

A New Short-term Absence Payment will also be introduced to cover eligible workers needing to stay at home while awaiting a COVID-19 test result. This will be a one-off payment of $350 to employers to pay workers who need to stay home while awaiting a test or while someone who is their dependent is doing so, in accordance with public health advice.

Cabinet has also asked the Minister of Justice to revisit options on future commercial tenancy negotiation support and this will be discussed by Cabinet early next year.

A year of two halves – hospitality revenues continue to rise, then plummet

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2020 Hospitality Report shows industry in continued growth, before taking a sharp decrease

Our 2020 Restaurant Association Hospitality Report finds that nationwide sales for the hospitality industry reached an all-time high of $12.1 billion year ending March 2020, before plummeting, posting just $1.7 billion for the period April – June 2020, a decline of more than 40 per cent.

In 2019 New Zealand’s hospitality sector achieved record sales of over $11.7 billion increasing to $12.1 billion for the year ending March 2020. This represents sales growth of 3.3 per cent over the previous year, which follows three years of significant growth (4.2 per cent from 2018-2019, 3.6 per cent from 2017-2018 and 9.7 per cent from 2016-2017).

Sales growth carried across the industry, with restaurants and cafes recording the highest sales increase in dollar terms. Over half of every dollar spent dining out is spent at a restaurant or café, which has more than 51 per cent market share.

Annual sales for this dominant sector grew four per cent year end 2020, which in dollar terms translates to an increase over the year previous of $236 million.

Takeaway and food to go also realised annual sales growth of 4.1 per cent, the highest for the sector, while catering services also saw a 4.0 increase posting sales of $956.8 million.

Sales in 2020, after March, do not paint such an optimistic picture as under Level 4 lockdown, sales revenue for the industry plummeted, posting just $1.7 billion for the period April to June 2020, a decline of more than 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.

However, trading conditions improved overall in the third quarter of 2020. Whilst the industry overall had a 3.1 per cent decline in sales over the same quarter in 2019, many regions recorded very positive sales growth, including Tasman (up 29.3 per cent over 2019), Kaikōura (19.4 per cent), Marlborough (18.2 per cent) and Northland (17.8 per cent).

We’ve noted in the report that it’s still very much a mixed bag out there. Whilst some businesses are recovering well, many others are still experiencing significant losses. Establishments in tourist hotspots as well as Auckland CBD are still down on last year with the trend of city centre workers staying home and loss of tourist dollars continuing to cause significant reductions in trade.

The industry was overall still in decline in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019. However, takeaways recorded a positive 8.4 per cent sales growth over this period – the only sector to record a positive change.

For all regions it will still take some time to recover from the declines experienced from April – June, with Auckland and Queenstown continuing to be the two most affected regions.

The road ahead may be a bumpy one but there are also opportunities and with careful planning operators can make it through while building a strong and sustainable business. Operators identify New Zealanders supporting local businesses and building deeper relationships with customers and our communities as two of the most significant opportunities for their businesses over the next 12 months.

The 2020 Hospitality Report is free for members to download (login first to download). The Report can also be purchased here.

The shape of the hospitality industry may change forever as a result of the events of 2020. Preparing for future operational success will need to be conducted carefully and with a plan to adapt in the future if necessary.

Breakdown by region

Consumer spending remains highest in Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. These three regions all enjoyed annual sales of more than $1 billion per annum.

The Waikato region also now records annual sales of just under $1 billion, reaching $946 million. Regionally, the largest percentage sales increases from 2019 to 2020 were in Northland (up 10.8 per cent in 2020), Taranaki (up 7.5 per cent), and the Marlborough region (up 7.2 per cent).

From April to June 2020, the 40 per cent decline in revenues was experienced by all regions. With its reliance on international tourist revenue, Queenstown-Lakes recorded the largest decline (down 67.8 per cent from April to June 2020 over 2019) and Kaikōura experiencing a 66.7 per cent decrease.

While trading conditions have improved overall in the third quarter of 2020, it will take some time to recover from the declines experienced from April to June.


Industry wage rates increased by just under 5 per cent in 2020, the results of the 2020 Restaurant Association remuneration survey have revealed. In some cases, employee wage increases reflect the efforts of industry operators to recognise the efforts of staff amid the difficult events of Covid-19. However, while the industry continues to grapple with the financial uncertainty of Covid-19, many employers have currently indicated that balancing remuneration rates with business viability is becoming increasingly challenging. 

Key Challenges

The shape of the hospitality industry may change forever as a result of the events of 2020. Preparing for future operational success will need to be conducted carefully and with a plan to adapt in the future if necessary. However, while the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt the hospitality industry with uncharted challenges, it also presents opportunities for operators.

A recent member survey indicated that the top three concerns are further increases to the minimum wage, another Covid-19 outbreak and maintaining profitability.

Many hospitality businesses have already adapted throughout the year, finding creative ways to change in order to survive. A recent industry survey identified that more than half of the industry respondents have reduced their opening hours permanently.

To survive, and to thrive, operators have also indicated they are focusing on running leaner, more efficient operations. Forty-two per cent have made changes to the menu, choosing to simplify, or reduce the menu to help maximise efficiencies.

Last minute changes to alert levels, paying fixed costs and finding skilled staff rank as the top three operational issues.

But with crisis comes opportunity, and operators report New Zealanders supporting local business, becoming a leaner business and developing deeper relationships with community as opportunities for the year ahead.

Dining Out research reveals the impact the Covid-19 outbreak has had on consumer’s daily lives, helping operators to understand what drives consumer behaviour in our current environment.

Diner insights

The 2020 research reveals the impact the Covid-19 outbreak has had on consumer’s daily lives, helping operators to understand what drives consumer behaviour in our current environment.

Responses were collated from almost 800 customers, who revealed that eating out plays an important role in our daily lives.

Forty-four per cent of consumers eat out at restaurants or cafes one to three times per week. In addition, 40 per cent indicate that they order food to take away (pick up or home delivery) one to three times per week.

Although the majority of customers say that they feel safe dining out at restaurants and cafes, even during heightened alert levels, those aged 55-64 felt safest (58 per cent said they felt completely safe dining out at alert levels 3 or 2), followed by those aged 25-34 (55 per cent).

When asked what measures are most important to make customers feel safe when dining in heightened Covid-19 alert levels, Obvious additional cleaning measures were highlighted as the key factor offering some reassurance, followed by businesses having hand sanitiser available for customers to use.

More than half of the Dining Out survey diners say they will dine out less as a result of Covid-19 – 49.8 per cent will choose to eat more locally and 47.2 per cent say they will choose to dine at places they feel safe to eat in.

People aged 18-24 currently eat out the most frequently with 69 per cent saying they eat out one to three times per week and 3.5 per cent saying they eat out more than four times. Pre-pandemic 14 per cent in this age group ate out more than four times per week, with another 65 per cent eating out one to three times on average. Over the next year, those aged between 45-54 are most likely to dine out less often than before – higher than any other age group. This age group is also most likely to choose to dine more locally in the future.

The 2020 Hospitality Report is free for members to download (login first to download). The Report can also be purchased here.

Restaurant Association launches new Springboard programme to address hospitality skills shortage

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A new joint initiative between the Ministry of Social Development, and the hospitality industry has been launched to fill the critical skills shortage in the hospitality industry.

The Hospitality Springboard is a pilot initiative that will initially work with around 80 members to upskill and train their employees so businesses can retain staff and keep them employed.

The Government-sector initiative will bring employers and employees together to nurture current talent and encourage career development in hospitality.

It will provide wellbeing support, wage supplements and wrap-around training, ranging from three to 24 months across a range of courses – from short entry-level courses to certifications such as Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ), leadership training and up to two years NZQA Level Four courses, such as chefs training.

The Restaurant Association has worked with MSD on the creation and roll out of the programme.

This is a critical time for our industry, coming off one of the most challenging trading years in recent history. This is welcomed support. Hospitality has been in growth for more than 10 years and yet we’ve struggled to find the necessary workers to fill the demand.

This year’s challenges have been intensified by the border closure which has meant the usual overseas workers that would ordinarily fill those gaps are no longer available to us. The time is ripe to ensure we are able to attract and train a new wave of recruits to sustain our industry for the future.

A recent survey of Restaurant Association members found 78 per cent had difficulty recruiting staff for their business. 84 per cent said they had not seen an increase in suitable New Zealanders applying for the roles.

The Springboard Programme follows on the heels of our successful HospoStart programme, another joint initiative between the Ministry of Social Development and the Restaurant Association which trains job seekers into a new career in hospitality. The programme has trained and supported 780 of workers into the industry since it launched in 2015.

The Springboard programme officially launched on 11th December.


Further recognition for individuals and businesses making a difference

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The Restaurant Association have acknowledged those who have been influential and made a significant contribution to the hospitality industry in response to 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic with the announcement of the Restaurant Association Resilience Awards winners for Queenstown, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay regions.

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and Association partners Eftpos NZ, OneMusic and RA Lexis ComplyHub, these regional resilience awards recognise those people and businesses that have gone above and beyond to keep their people employed, help their communities and keep their businesses alive all whilst playing their part in stamping out the virus.

180 degree pivots won over the judges in the Eftpos NZ innovation awards.

In Manawatu the award went to the Blind Finch in Ohakune for transforming its once popular hamburger joint and bar into a fully operational bakery.

Seeing the writing on the wall for restaurants and bars, owner Derek Allomes, devised a plan seeing the new national operational requirements as a unique opportunity. Derek’s plan to become an essential service has won over the locals with its freshly baked bread becoming a daily favourite.

Queenstown innovation winner Fishbone exchanged fresh fish for fried chicken becoming Love Chicken while borders remain closed.

The restaurant had previously derived 75 per cent of its income from international visitors but was struggling to sell enough to the local community to maintain freshness. The owner reinvigorated a former fried chicken business and Love Chicken was born.

Waikato winner Good George shifted their entire operation from beer and gin production to hand sanitiser.

Kristy Gregory, Eftpos NZ, acknowledged the winners, “We are passionate about hospitality and its people and proud to be supporting the industry at a time when they need it the most. New Zealand just wouldn’t be the same without the cafes, restaurants and bars where we grab our morning flat whites, quick midday bite to eat and cheeky after work bevvies. We are honoured to be able to acknowledge and recognise the people and businesses who have innovated and adapted in the most challenging of times”.

Those that rallied around for their local communities were recognised in the RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero award.

When Hawkes Bay restaurant owner James Beck decided to create a home delivery business for his restaurant Bistronomy, he went one step further, pulling together an expert team of developers and designers to create Hawkes Bay at home – a resource for all hospitality business owners in the region.

Waikato award recipient Montana Events and Catering worked with the local council to serve up 65 thousand meals to those in need during the pandemic.

Max Flinkenberg, RA Lexis ComplyHub says, “We are excited to support the hospitality industry and recognise the success of those contributing to the liveliness of hospitality across the country. We know first hand that when you put information into the right hands you give people the power to shape the world. Congratulations to all our local hospo heroes for your resourcefulness and commitment to the hospitality industry”.   

Regional recipients of the OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit were quick to redeploy staff and repurpose food to feed those in need.

Taranaki winner Rahul Radharkrishnan of Bach on Bluewater put together low cost lunchboxes for essential workers delivering them to hospitals and workplaces around the region.

Food rescue service Just Zilch were the recipients of the Manawatu award for working closely with the hospitality industry throughout the pandemic to repurpose food to feel local people in need.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says, “Over the year we’ve been overwhelmed by some of the stories we’ve heard – of people and businesses around the country with amazing community spirit; those who have innovated and changed; and those who have found silver linings in the most challenging of times”.

“It has never been more important for diners to get out and try the fantastic array of local dining spots, so we hope these awards inspire the nation to support their locals.”

Greer Davies, Director of OneMusic said “If there’s been one silver lining from 2020, it’s been the privilege of witnessing the spirit, compassion and manaakitanga shown by people and businesses, both large and small. It hasn’t been an easy ride, and like the hospitality sector, the music community has been massively impacted this year. Thanks for making things a little easier for your community and congratulations.

The winners for these regions were announced online on Monday, 7 December*

*Wellington and Canterbury awards were announced as part of the Wellington and Canterbury Hospitality Awards held on 2nd and 3rd November. Auckland winners were announced on 16th November.

Restaurant Association Resilience Awards Winners


  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation – Good George Brewery
  • OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit – Hayes Common
  • RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Montana Events & Catering


  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation – Matt Cooper, Social Eats
  • OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit – Scope Cafe Restaurant Association
  • RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Ray Singh, Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant


  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation – Barbara Olsen-Henderson, Lemonwood Eatery
  • OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit – Rahul Radhakrishnan, Bach on Breakwater
  • RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Craig & Kate Macfarlane, Macfarlane Consulting Group and Strategy Collective

Hawke’s Bay

  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation – Malo Restaurant
  • OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit – Jeremy Bayliss, PAK Asian Kitchen, Westshore Beach Inn, Rogue Hop, Napier Brewing, Econo Lodge
  • RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – James Beck of Bistronomy for ‘Hawke’s Bay at Home’


  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation – The Blind Finch, Ohakune
  • OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit – Just Zilch
  • RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo HeroScott and Yvette Kennedy, Nero Restaurant


  • Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation – Fishbone / Love Chicken
  • OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit – Fusee Rouge Café, Cromwell
  • RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Grant Hattaway, Blue Kanu and Hattaway Consulting Group


  • Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Innovation – At Yours by Visa Wellington On a Plate
  • Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Community Spirit – Kāpura
  • Nova Energy Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Jackie Lee Morrison, The Pandemic Pack


  • Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Innovation – Riverside Market owners Kris Inglis, Mike Percasky and Richard Peebles
  • Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Community Spirit – The Vagabond Chefs
  • Nova Energy Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Tristin Anderson, Smokey T’s


  • Loaded Reports Outstanding Innovation – Paris Butter at Home
  • Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Community SpiritSid and Chand Sahrawat – Sidart, Cassia and Sid at The French Café
  • Nova Energy Outstanding Local Hospo Hero – Krishna Botica

New Zealand’s strategy for protecting crowded places

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As we know, New Zealanders value the ability to congregate, socialise and connect alongside others. This can involve working in and visiting crowded places, like our hospitality businesses. Unfortunately, the nature of crowded places also means our spaces pose extra risks to people, as they can be a target for attacks.

The Government has prepared a strategy, and a series of guidelines and tools (see the New Zealand Police Crowded Places website), to help you and other members and operators better protect your spaces from potential attacks.

Even the most robust protective security plan may not be enough to stop an attack on a crowded place occurring. However, well-considered and well-tested protective security measures can reduce the likelihood of an attack occurring and lessen its consequences. 

The strategy intends to preserve the public’s use and enjoyment of crowded places, while ensuring that their safety has been considered. It enables a consistent approach to protecting crowded places throughout New Zealand and uses methods that are in proportion to the threat. Making crowded places safe from attack is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi), which reflects the relationship between Māori – tangata whenua – and the Crown, and ensures a principle of working in partnership . The document explains what crowded places are and what risks they pose. It outlines the responsibilities of, central and local government, owners and operators of crowded places, public security providers and the public in relation to keeping crowded places safe.

New Zealand’s strategy to protect crowded places from attack rests on four elements:

• building stronger partnerships

• better sharing of information and guidance

• implementing effective protective security and

• increasing resilience.

Owners and operators are responsible for assessing the risks and vulnerabilities of their crowded places. Understanding the main factors that influence where terrorists target attacks will help owners and operators assess and manage risks.

New Zealand Police has published a series of guidelines and tools on this subject (New Zealand Police Crowded Places website). All of these tools are designed to help owners and operators of crowded places understand how vulnerable their locations may be.

The tools available include self-assessment and protective security assessments. These tools will guide users through a range of questions to provide guidance on next steps required in order to improve the security of their crowded place.

In addition there is advice, resources and posters on what to do in the unlikely event you or your staff or customers are involved in an attack (ESCAPE. HIDE. TELL).

Find out more about measures you can take for protecting your business. Download Protecting Our Crowded Places from Attack: New Zealand’s Strategy.

Survey finds surprise level of optimism in Australasian hospitality

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A survey to identify the state of the hospitality industry in the wake of Covid-19 challenges, undertaken by Restaurant Association major supporter, hospitality software company Loaded, has produced optimistic results.

Loaded CEO Richard McLeod says the survey, Resilience and Readiness, which canvassed more than 5,000 hospitality professionals in Australasia, aimed to understand the health of the industry as it moves towards 2021 and the key solutions that may be required to help hospitality operators in the coming 12 months.

“Despite a super challenging year the industry is showing phenomenal resilience and optimism. Obviously, the uncertainty about the future is still creating concern but we have been amazed by the confidence being shown by many businesses.”

The survey statistics show that 59.5% of owners and managers consider the prospects for their business over the next 12 months are somewhat positive or very positive while 36.4% expect to employ more people within the next year. In terms of the effect, the pandemic has had on mental health 60.2% of owners and managers believed their own mental health was as good as they expected or better than expected as a result of Covid-19 while 77.3% claimed the mental health effects on their team had been as good as or
better than expected when initial lockdowns were put in place.

“There are positive comments about the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown such as businesses taking the opportunity to master the technology they had in place and iron out any issues they had pre-Covid,” says McLeod. “The space that lockdown created for strategic thinking and working through the implementation of important changes is something the industry hasn’t ever experienced before and was certainly a silver lining for those who used the available time to their advantage.”

Despite the overall optimism, the constant uncertainty throughout the year, and the effect this had on hospitality business owners cannot be understated, he says.“A significant number of respondents specified the constant change and uncertainty and not knowing what the future holds as being the most stressful part of operating their business in 2020.”

Just over 10% of Hospitality owners outlined that the effect on their Mental Health has been much worse than they expected, while low as a percentage that is still a large number of operators that we need to find better support systems and solutions for heading into the new year as the negative
outcomes these effects may cause are still largely unknown The Resilience and Readiness Survey will be completed annually helping to provide the industry with a marker to understand its health and success metrics as well as the sector’s embrace of technology to assist with productivity gain.
“We see this annual survey and report becoming the most significant marker in the progress of the hospitality industry in New Zealand and Australia,” says McLeod.

To access full survey results, quotes from respondents and infographics please visit https://blog.loadedreports.com/survey?

Hospitality Roles To Be Added To Under Supply List 

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Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is currently using Ministry of Social Development (MSD) undersupply and oversupply lists as their basis to determine if New Zealanders are available for jobs for certain occupations.

We are pleased to hear that from 1 December, some hospitality and tourism occupations will be added to the Queenstown area undersupply list (Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Kingston, Glenorchy, Hawea and Wakatipu). This will allow more employers to support a work visa application for roles paid below the median wage.

This means that if you are trying to fill a position that is on the undersupply list, you will not need to get a Skills Match Report, even if the job is paid below the New Zealand median wage.

The following hospitality occupations have been added to the undersupply list for the area covered by the Queenstown Lakes District Council:

  • 351311 – Executive Chef, Head Chefs, Sous Chefs, Chef de Partie, Commis Chef
  • 351411 – Cook
  • 431111/ 431511 – Restaurant supervisor
  • 431511 – Waiter
  • 431111 – Bartender
  • 431112 – Barista
  • 851299 – Butchery assistant
  • 851211 – Bakery assistant
  • 851299 – Food trades assistant
  • 851111 – Fast food cook
  • 851311 – Kitchenhand

Employers will still need to advertise their vacancies and demonstrate they have made genuine attempts to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders.

The updated Queenstown area undersupply list will be used in INZ’s assessment of Essential Skills work visa applications which are paid below the median wage from 1 December 2020 regardless of the date the application was submitted. 

More information on Immigration New Zealand’s under / over supply lists.

Introducing the new Hospitality Workers Support service – Tautoko Hāpai Ō

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This week we launch a new worker support service named Tautoko Hāpai Ō.

The new service will ensure hospitality workers are able to access support, the latest resources and employment opportunities.

It also aims to ensure those who are displaced, can get sector-specific guidance to help them reattach to employment within hospitality.

We believe that it’s vitally important that workers within the hospitality sector, including apprentices and casual workers, don’t get left behind during the tail-end impact of COVID-19. During COVID-19 lockdown, we received a surge in calls from workers and non-members needing urgent assistance which put a huge strain on our resources.

Our organization has been working with business owners for 25 years but we’ve never before been able to offer assistance to non-members who are employed within the industry. We know how important it is to be able to support all of those working within the industry so we’re really pleased to be able to extend the reach of our services

Tautoko Hāpai Ō establishes support for hospitality workers via an online resource portal including region-based job opportunity boards through Facebook along with a displaced apprenticeship redeployment scheme.

Ten job boards have been set up for regions around the country via Facebook connecting business owners with job opportunities with respective recruits.

The online portal offers resources including how to build a stand out cv along with employment advice.

The new service has been made possible with funding from the COVID-19 Workers and Workplaces Assistance Fund.

For more information on Tautoko Hāpai Ō click here.

Navigating the new normal with Westpac

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As we adjust to new ways of working and reaching our customers and suppliers, Restaurant Association New Zealand’s long-term supporters at Westpac talk about what they saw with businesses wanting to go online during lockdown and some things to think about if you’re considering e-commerce for the first time.

View Westpac’s wide range of thought leadership articles here

Support for business customers.

Westpac knows every one of their business customers will be going through something different right now. To help support their customers, Westpac have several options available including Business Support Loans, temporary overdrafts, and loan deferrals.   [Find out more]

Mentemia mental wellbeing platform.

Westpac is proud to be supporting Sir John Kirwan to offer his Mentemia mental wellbeing platform to all Kiwis. Through the Mentemia app or website you can discover a broad collection of practical wellbeing tips and informative articles.   [Find out more]

The “Navigating the new normal” content is intended for information purposes only and you should use your own judgement regarding how such information should be applied in your own business. Westpac makes no warranty or representation, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of any information, statement or advice contained in this document.  We recommend you seek independent legal, financial and/or tax advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this email.  All opinions, statements and analysis expressed are based on information current at the time of writing from sources, which Westpac believes to be authentic, and reliable. Westpac issues no invitation to anyone to rely on this material.   Eligibility criteria, terms, conditions, fees and charges apply to Westpac products and services. See westpac.co.nz for details.  For full details of applicable fees refer to our Transaction and Service Fees brochure (available free of charge online at westpac.co.nz/business/business-resource-centre/resources/fees/ and from any Westpac branch).  Nothing in this email is intended to be a recommendation or opinion in relation to any of the products listed.

Privacy Act 2020 comes into force on Dec 1st

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The Privacy Act 2020 creates a new requirement to report serious privacy breaches, as from 1 December 2020. We will have an in depth article on this coming out in our upcoming issue of Savour. In the meantime, Employers need to consider:

  • Doing an audit of how “personal information” is managed
  • How is this being managed by third parties?
  • Where are the risks?
  • Developing, or reviewing procedures to keep information and data protected; both physically and electronically
  • Developing clear procedures on how to detect, report and investigate potential data breaches. In particular, ensuring that your organisation has a plan in place to meet new reporting obligations without delay
  • Agencies (employers) must notify the Privacy Commissioner “as soon as practicable” after they become aware that a notifiable privacy breach has occurred. They must also notify any affected individuals
  • Ensuring there are clear internal lines of communication, so that all personnel know who they can talk to within your organisation about privacy issues.

The Pivacy Act 2020 Website contains excellent information and even e-learning modules to help guide you on what you need to know

Government announce an extension to COVID-19 Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

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The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has been extended with new details and requirements

• Currently no interest is charged if the loan is repaid within one year. This will be increased to two years.
• Currently the loan can only be used for core operating costs. This will be broadened so that the loan can be used, for example, on capital expenditure.

In addition applications for the loan can now be made until 31 December 2023, an extension of three years.

Organisations and small to medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme (SBCS) was introduced to support businesses and organisations struggling because of loss of actual or predicted revenue as a result of COVID-19.

• It is for businesses with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.
• They must have been in business on 1 April 2020 and have experienced a 30%decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
• The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee and only one amount can be drawn down.
• The loan period is for five years and interest rate is 3% from the date of the loan being provided.

Find more information here

Covid-19 November community cases – update

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The recent news that there were two community cases in New Zealand was another blow for the country and our industry.

One community case, in Auckland (Case D) has now been confirmed through genome sequencing to be linked to a previous case, known as Case A, the Defence worker who was infected at a quarantine hotel.

As a result of a link between the two case being established, all of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1 and Auckland’s CBD will re-open.

Auckland businesses will be aware that the Government asked people who work in central Auckland to work from home on Friday 13th November if possible and this has a significant impact on our Auckland central businesses. Those that do have to work are recommended to wear masks and practice physical distancing. This means that any staff working on Friday 13th November in Auckland CBD businesses should be wearing masks and it would be advisable to consider reconfiguring your layout if possible to help maintain physical distancing requirements (almost like operating under a Level 2 layout).

While the Government has indicated people can return to the Auckland CBD, they are asking all New Zealanders to act with caution to reduce the risk of spread.

Feedback is that the majority of member businesses in the Auckland CBD are still open at this stage. We have prepared some guidance (below) on managing your teams. Many have indicated that while bookings are massively reduced for Friday, bookings are not too affected for Saturday night.

We’d like to let you know that we have priority Helpline assistance available for any of our Auckland Central member businesses calling today for support around this latest development. This support includes, employment advice, specialised PR / media assistance, legal advice, cleaning recommendations and more. 

The latest cases demonstrate just how important it is that we continue to follow the guidelines for displaying QR posters, contact tracing and hygiene standards. Our industry is just about to move into its busiest period so a change of alert levels would be a bitter pill to swallow just as we are getting back on our feet again. But we are now very well prepared and our businesses know what they need to do to continue to operate safely and sustainably.

We will continue to update if there are further developments, however some key links and resources that you may find useful to familiarise yourself with include:

Hospitality Hub – the place where we hold all of our Covid-19 related advice, updates and information

COVID – 19 Media Survival Kit – to provide guidance to help you communicate with customers and the media if you are involved in a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Guidance for dealing with a probable or confirmed Covid-19 case in the workplace – to help you prepare for this situation, covering advice on management for customers or staff that may have covid-19

Deep cleaning your premises following a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19

Updated COVID-19 Resources for CBD/Central Auckland businesses – Letter re temporarily closing the business and Letter re temporary variation of hours and Draft communications for your employees re CBD emergency

We are here to support and advocate for our members. If any of you need to talk to any of our team, call 0800 737 827.