Update - 30 April 2020

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit main page

Council organisations and eligibility for the wage subsidy

We have sought clarification from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) about wage subsidy eligibility for ‘Council Organisations’, as defined in ss.5 and 6 of the Local Government Act 2002, if they are not separately registered with the Companies Office.  

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has confirmed that such Council Organisations:

  • are not required to be registered with the Companies Office, but must meet all other criteria to qualify for the wage subsidy;
  • would need to be able to demonstrate that the Council Organisation operates as a business in their own right – ie substantially separate from the relevant council(s);
  • will need to decide whether in good faith they are entitled to apply as a business/employer themselves based on their own circumstances.

Examples of factors that might help to show operational separation are employment of staff independently from the council(s), having a separate GST number and a trading name separate from the council(s).

Read new information along with all our previous guidance for councils about the wage subsidy (PDF, 677KB).

Guidance on council services at Alert Level 2

We continue to work to provide guidance on council services at Alert Level 2 to support you in preparing for a shift to Alert Level 2, whenever this may be.

We are currently undertaking a process to test and refine our draft of this guidance with central government agencies and sector representatives.

We would like to thank those of you who have been engaged in this process with us, it is your expertise that will ensure this guidance is fit for purpose.  

When we have this document finalised we will distribute it via this email and publish it on the COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit webpage.

Advice and guidance on 2020/21 annual plan and rate setting – resending legal advice attachment

The attachment we sent out yesterday containing written advice from Simpson Grierson was a corrupted file.

The advice addressed when a change to the long-term plan (LTP) becomes ‘significant’ or ‘material’ and the implications for council decision-making and compliance with statutory consultation requirements.

We apologise for the inconvenience and are reattaching the advice today (PDF, 677KB).

Resources for Alert Level 3

We have posted guidance on council services and operations at Alert Level 3 on the COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit webpage.

More general Information on life under Alert levels 3, 2 and 1 is now available on COVID-19 Government website.

A wide range of new content has been added to the business.govt.nz website regarding workplace restrictions at different alert levels.

Worksafe has provided "Transitioning from Alert Level 4" advice including the necessary health and safety requirements for businesses.

Read more information on the WorkSafe website.   

The Government has released the Golden Rules for businesses. Read more information on the Covid19 website.  

The Ministry of Health also has specific infectious disease control advice for workplaces here.