Covid-19: Click here for the latest Covid-19 information for the horticulture industry.

Covid-19

Last updated: 29/11/2021

This webpage has the latest information about operating during Covid-19 for the New Zealand horticulture industry.

Auckland is at Alert Level 3 Step 2. 

The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2.

Click here to view the Alert Level boundary map

 

All of New Zealand will move to the traffic light settings at 11:59pm on Thursday 2 December 2021.

View the traffic light settings for your region here. Read more about the Covid-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights).

 

 Keep up to date:

Sign up for HortNZ's Covid-19 newsletter           View HortNZ's Covid-19 newsletters 

Preparing for Covid-19 — Checklist for growers

It’s only a matter of time before a positive case of Covid-19 turns up on your farm, orchard or packhouse. Is your business prepared if one does?

It’s important you have a plan to ensure your farm can continue to operate if you, an employee, or a family member contracts Covid-19. You may be required to leave your property quickly.

Having a plan will help give you peace of mind that others will be able to step in and help.

The checklist below is intended to help you create a plan in the event you are required to leave your property and are unable to look after your crops, staff and business. The detail contained in your plan is unique to your own property and circumstances to allow family, friends or neighbours to come in and help continue your operation.

Financial support

Financial support

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 payments support employers to continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by a change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Applications for the sixth COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021, known as Wage Subsidy August 2021 #6, are close on 11.59pm, 11 November 2021.

 

How to apply:

Apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme via Te Hiranga Tangata (Work and Income). Eligible businesses can apply online here.

 

Click here for full information and application criteria

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is available to support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations due to a Covid-19 alert level increase to Alert Level 2 or higher.

The RSP has been reinstated and is now available for businesses that have experienced at least a 30% decrease in revenue or a 30% decline in capital-raising ability over a 7-day period.

Businesses can apply for both the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and the RSP.

Payment rates:

  • Businesses can receive up to $1500, plus an extra $400 per employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees.
  • The RSP does not have to be applied directly to employees.

  

RSP Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must have experienced a decrease of revenue or capital-raising ability of at least 30% due to the increase in alert levels.
  • Commonly-owned groups: If the applicant is part of a commonly owned group this 30% decrease in revenue or capital-raising ability also needs to be satisfied across the group.
  • Businesses and organisations (including sole traders) must have been in business for at least 6 months.
  • The business or organisation must be considered viable and ongoing.
  • Charities and not-for-profit organisations may be entitled to the RSP, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.
  • State sector organisations are excluded from the RSP but can apply to the Minister of Finance for an exemption to apply for the scheme.
  • Income that is received passively – such as interest and dividends, and all forms of residential and commercial rent – is excluded from the measurement of revenue.
  • Business must be physically present in New Zealand.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Businesses and organisations (including sole traders) must have a New Zealand Business Number.

 

Seasonal businesses: 

For highly seasonal businesses and organisations, the comparative revenue period should be a 7-day period that is at a similar point in the seasonal cycle for a year prior to the revenue drop.

Every business or organisation that receives the RSP will be publicly named in a register.

 

Calculating your drop in revenue:

Revenue refers to income generating activity by a business or organisation. Standard accounting principles relating to income recognition apply.

  • For a cashflow business, such as a restaurant, this is likely to be the daily takings.
  • For a business that invoices clients, this will be the activities the business carries out that would entitle it to bill or invoice either immediately or later.

To calculate affected revenue due to an increase in Covid alert levels, businesses and organisations need to measure their revenue over a continuous 7-day period where the first day is on or after the first day of the increased alert level. All 7 days must be within the period of the increased alert level.

 This affected revenue period then needs to be compared against a regular 7-day revenue period that starts and ends in the 6 weeks prior to the increased alert level.

Both the affected revenue period and the comparison period must be calculated retrospectively. The calculations must be based on what has happened, not a forecast of what might happen.

Make sure you keep a record of your calculations, including:

  • Dates of the affected revenue period and comparison period
  • Amount of revenue earned in each period
  • How the revenue drop has been calculated.

 

How to Apply:

The RSP is administered by Inland Revenue (Te Tari Taake). Eligible businesses can apply here.

As part of the application process, businesses will be required to provide their NZ Business Number (NZBN). All registered companies in NZ will have an NZBN but other types of entities may not. Check your NZBN number or apply here. Applications may take a few days to process, so we suggest commencing as soon as possible.

 

Click here for full information and application criteria

If your business has reduced revenue due to Covid-19 and 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, with a maximum borrowing amount of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee within your business.

  • When applying for the loan, you need to be able to declare that your business is viable.
  • Your business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month, compared with the same month last year. You can use the Revenue Estimator Tool to better understand your revenue.
  • 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. 

Eligible businesses can apply for the scheme here

The Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for businesses to help pay employees who need to self-isolate and can't work from home. 

Payments are available to help pay employees who:

  • Are sick with Covid-19 and need to isolate until a doctor tells them they no longer need to 
  • Have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19
  • Are at a higher risk of getting sick from Covid-19
  • Live with someone who is at high risk of getting sick from Covid-19, and a doctor or health professional has told people in the household to isolate to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19 to vulnerable household members
  • Have been asked to self-isolate by public health officials
  • Need to stay home and look after a dependent child who needs support to self-isolate.

 

The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a rate of:

  • $600 a week for full-time employees 
  • $359 a week for part-time employees 

 

Eligible employers and employees can apply for the Leave Support Scheme here

The Covid-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses to help pay workers who need to stay home while they wait for a Covid-19 test result. 

The payment helps to keep paying employees who cannot work from home and:

  • Need to stay at home while waiting for a Covid-19 test result
  • Need to stay home and look after a dependent child who has been asked to get a Covid-19 test
  • Live with someone who has been at a location of interest and need to stay home while they wait for the person in the household to get a negative test result.

Employees on a casual contract are also eligible for the payment.

 

Short-Term Absence scheme payment rates:

  • A one-off amount of $359 for each eligible worker while they are staying home waiting for test results.
  • The amount is the same for both full time and part time employees.

You can apply for the Short-Term Absence Payment any time, not just when there is a risk of community transmission, or change in Alert Levels.

Apply here.

Wellbeing

During uncertain times like these, your wellbeing is of utmost importance.

If you are feeling overwhelmed about how recent events, announcements or decisions regarding Covid-19 may affect you, your family or business, please get in touch with your product group, or alternatively, reach out to us at: info@hortnz.co.nz, and we will connect you to a support network.

 

The following organisations can also provide support: 

 

How can you and your bubble keep well during Covid-19? 

  • Talk, talk talk. Reach out if you need support
  • Go for a 20 minute walk
  • Drink more water
  • Cook a favourite meal. Eat healthy
  • Write down something you are grateful for
  • Sleep. Establish a good routine and regular sleeping patterns
  • Take time out. Spend half an hour doing something you enjoy
  • Manage expectations. Ensure your expectations of yourself are reasonable during these challenging times. Focus on what you can control and manage
  • Connect. Socialise with your colleagues, friends and whanau in safe and creative ways - Zoom calls, FaceTime, email chains, online games.