Tourism Industry News

News from NZ Māori Tourism and Māori tourism experiences around Aotearoa New Zealand

Latest COVID-19 Update - August 19

Tēnā tātou katoa,

Updates from today

There are 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the community today, which brings total number of cases to 21.

The PM announced that the cases were a close match to a returnee from Sydney, who entered NZ on a red-eye flight on 7 August and taken to Crown Plaza, and then Jet Park.

A positive test was returned 9 August. The returnee was taken to Middlemore Hospital on 16 August.


The Pfizer vaccine is available for 12 – 15-year-olds from 1 September. If parents or caregivers have a test due, or about to book test, you can also book your child or take your child /children with you.

If you are 40+, you can book your vaccine here. Or call 0800 28 29 26.

Under 40s – you can book your vaccine from September 1.

Need to get home?

You have until midnight tonight to get home.

The government has allowed a 24-hour extension for people stranded in Queenstown. See AirNZ for their travel updates. The Interislander is also putting on additional sailings on Friday.

Locations of interest

There are more locations of interest listed on the Ministry of Health website. Please keep yourself updated here.

If you are a business that has been identified as a location of interest, click here for Ministry of Health’s guidance.

Business support

The Wage Subsidy Scheme opens tomorrow (Friday 20 August) at 9am.  The first payments are usually available after three days.

Eligible employers anywhere in the country can apply if they expect a loss of 40 percent revenue as a result of the Alert Level increase.

Businesses will be eligible for:

  • $600 per week per full-time equivalent employee, and
  • $359 per week per part-time employee.

The Wage Subsidy will be paid as a two-week lump sum. The WSS rates have been increased to reflect the increase in wage costs since the scheme was first used in March 2020.

Paying your tax

Businesses that have an amount to pay in tax can set up a repayment plan to pay it over time. This can be for amounts due now or later. For more information, click here.

If COVID-19 has impacted your business’s ability to pay tax on time, a request can be submitted to IRD for remission of penalties and interest through myIR. For more information on financial relief, click here.

Tangihanga at Alert Level 4

Gathering for public funerals and tangihanga is not permitted while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4.
If someone in your whānau or in your bubble passes away, the following steps can help you make the necessary arrangements:

1. Contact the health provider/doctor of the person who has passed away — ideally this should be done by someone in the same bubble.

2. Get in touch with a local funeral director who will help you organise next steps.

3. Funeral directors will continue working during Alert Level 4. They will be able to guide you on the best options for your situation, which may include:

  • livestreaming services on social media, or videoing them for later viewing
  • holding the funeral or tangi after the Alert Level 4 restrictions ease
  • holding a memorial service later, when restrictions on hui are lifted and it is safe to do so.

If at any point you feel you need help, please reach out. You can call or text 1737. It's free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk with a trained counsellor.

You can read the full guidance on tangihanga at Alert Level 4 on the  website.  


Helpful tools

COVID-19 financial support tool

Because of COVID-19, financial pressure will be a reality for many. Help is available if you are experiencing financial distress.

Māori business support

For specialist business advice for Māori business owners and employers call 0800 4 POUTAMA (0800 476 882)

Te Arawhiti can help iwi to connect with funding and services to help Māori recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.



Find out more here on the COVID-19 Business helpline and resources.

Ngā manaakitanga,
NZ Māori Tourism.


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