Weekly Digest – 20 April 2022

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

Inflation Has Not Peaked Yet

Finance Minister Grant Robertson expects the official inflation figure to rise when it is released later this week. The Reserve Bank increased the Official Cash Rate by half a percentage point to 1.5%, with a warning that further increases are coming.

Smart Tags Revolutionise Cattle Industry

Dairy, beef, and sheep farming are the biggest contributors to the country’s export revenues. Thus, two Massey University Engineering PhD students and future entrepreneurs, Tyrel Glass and Baden Parr, invented the smart ear tag sensors. Their agri-tech start-up Protag has now raised $1 million from investors to fast-track the development of this device, which can transmit crucial health and location data to farmers within seconds.

CERT NZ Sees Surge in Cyber Fraud Cases

New Zealand’s cybersecurity agency CERT NZ said it has received 568 reports about scams and fraud in the first quarter of 2022. These scams have led to a direct financial loss of $5.9 million– a 269% increase from the previous quarter.

NZTech hosts the New Zealand cybersecurity summit where business leaders gather to share their latest cybersecurity insights. This year’s summit will be held in Wellington in July, with discussions on securely managing a hybrid workforce, transforming security into a business enable, and identifying business risks.

Tourism New Zealand Relaunches Travel Trade Website

Tourism New Zealand has relaunched its travel trade website with the aim to deliver the best information, education, resources and support to inspire and help travel agents to sell New Zealand. The new website provides a one-stop-shop for online training and inspirational content, as well as all sales tools and resources.

Trade Minister: NZ is ‘Fully Open for Business’

From 11.59 pm on 1 May, fully vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries can enter New Zealand without the need for quarantine upon arrival. The Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor said New Zealand is fully open for business, as he urged companies to invest in New Zealand. The New Zealand delegation landed on Monday in Singapore for the first leg of a week-long trip that will also take them to Japan.

New Declaration Form for Travellers

From 31 March 2022, all air passengers to NZ are required to complete a new traveller declaration form which produces a “Traveller Pass” letting them know what they need to do to enter the country. The New Zealand Traveller Declaration replaces the Ministry of Health declaration system.

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.

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.

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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