Latest news from

Updated as new information is available — last updated 8 April 2020, 2:30 pm.

This page features the latest COVID-19 government news and updates for businesses directly from the website. For more COVID-19 guidance and advice about employment, tax, cash flow, health and safety and more, visit the COVID-19: Information for businesses page.

Please refer to the Ministry of Health (external link) for health-related information and (external link) for all other information from government.

On this page:

  • New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 4
  • Insolvency relief for companies impacted by COVID-19
  • Business Finance Guarantee Scheme
  • COVID-19 modified wage subsidy

New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 4

This means that all non-essential businesses must already be closed so that New Zealanders can self-isolate for at least four weeks. This is a public health measure to eliminate COVID-19.

Insolvency relief for companies impacted by COVID-19

New legislation is underway to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable. Companies Office has more information about the changes.

Insolvency relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19 (external link) — Companies Office

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

The Government has launched a Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy. The Crown, in partnership with participating approved banks, will support targeted new loans (including increases to existing limits) to eligible businesses, as a response to difficulties caused by COVID-19.

Under the scheme, businesses with annual revenue between $250,000 and $80 million can apply to their banks for loans up to $500,000, for up to three years. The scheme will offer a total of $6.25 billion in loans to New Zealand businesses.

The Government is guaranteeing 80% of the risk, while the banks are covering the remaining 20%. A normal lending process will be followed by the banks, which will make the lending decisions.

For more information about this scheme and how to apply, visit COVID-19 business finance support and mortgage holidays.

COVID-19 modified wage subsidy

 Updates and modifies the earlier COVID-19 wage subsidy and leave schemes

The COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme has been modified. This is to help businesses that need to shut down under Alert Level 4 pay workers for an extended period of time.

The modified wage subsidy scheme will support employers and their staff to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours.

Applications can be made on the Work and Income website (external link).

For more information about this scheme visit COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme.