Tourism Industry News

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

Pānui #2 February

4 February 2022

Tēnā tātou katoa,

In this pānui:

  • Borders Opening
  • MIQ and Isolation
  • Boosters
  • What do the phases mean?
  • COVID resources
  • Business Support
  • New mask rules
  • Scholarships, development & funding
  • Waitangi celebration links

Borders Opening

The Government has announced the 5-staged border opening. These dates will be reviewed on 20 February.

  1. 28 February: Border will reopen to vaccinated New Zealanders and eligible travellers from Australia who can self isolate
  2. 14 March: Reopens to fully vaccinated New Zealanders  and eligible travellers from the rest of the world. There will be also be an expanded border exception for critical workers, skilled workers earning at least 1.5 time the median wage, and highly skilled workers family members.  Those on Working Holiday Schemes will also be able to enter.
  3. 13 April: 5000 international students (capped) and those holding valid temporary visas can enter.
  4. July: Australians and all other visitors who can normally enter New Zealand without a visa.  This stage will begin no later than July 2022.  There is a likelihood of this date coming forward.
    (The Accredited Employers Work Visa will open including for workers offshore, and the critical worker border exception will be phased out.)
  5. October: Borders open to the rest of the world, other visitors and students who require a visa to enter New Zealand, with normal visa processing resuming.

More info here.

MIQ and Isolation

  • MIQ will be removed for most travellers, replaced by 10-day self-isolation.
  • MIQ will continue for high-risk travellers, such as those who are unvaccinated.
  • All arrivals will be given three rapid antigen tests (RATs) at the airport – one for use on day 0/1, and one for use on day 5/6, with one extra for backup.
  • If a positive test result is returned at any point, returnees will be asked to get a PCR test at a community testing station.
  • This approach will continue to identify cases entering through the border and limit wider contact with the community.  In addition, whole genome sequencing will continue for all returnees who test positive, to rapidly identify and respond to new variants.
  • Self-isolation requirement will be similar to contacts isolating in the community.  This will be for 10 days if our Omicron response is still in the first phase and will reduce to 7 days during Phase 2.
  • The Defence Force will begin the process of withdrawing from MIQ with some hotels returning to traditional use to support the return of our tourists.
  • A core quarantine capacity will be maintained that can be scaled up as required, which will form the basis of a future National Quarantine Service.


Aotearoa NZ remains at the red traffic light setting. The Government has reduced the waiting period for the booster shot from four months down to three. From this Friday, 4 February, if you are 18 years and older, and had your second vaccine at least three months ago, or on or before 3 November 2021, you can access your booster shot from this Friday.

Evidence from overseas is that boosters significantly reduce the likelihood of getting sick and needing to go to hospital. It also helps to reduce transmission of the virus.   It is strongly encouraged whānau get the booster shot.

How to get your booster

What do the phases mean?

As the virus becomes more prevalent in the community, Aotearoa NZ will take a phased response to slowdown the spread of the virus:

Phase One – ‘Stamp it out’
Situation: There are some cases of COVID-19 in the community – up to 1000 cases a day or less - but we continue to stamp it out.

  • cases must isolate for 14 days (release by health official)
  • contacts need to quarantine for 10 days (test days five and eight, if symptomatic, then test immediately).

Phase Two – ‘slow the spread and protect our vulnerable communities’
Situation: Public health puts more focus on identifying those who are at greater risk of severe illness from Omicron

  • cases need to isolate for 10 days (self-release after day 10 if asymptomatic for 72 hours)
  • contacts need to quarantine for seven days (test on day five).

Phase Three – contact tracing changes
When cases are in the thousands, most people will self-manage. Health and social services focus on families and communities that have the highest needs. Cases themselves will notify close contacts, and Public Health Units will be focused on managing the outbreak and very high-risk settings. Rapid antigen testing will also be used for diagnosing COVID-19.

  • cases need to isolate for 10 days (self-release after day 10 if asymptomatic for 72 hours)
  • contacts need to quarantine for seven days (test if symptomatic).

See more info here:

COVID Resources


COVID-19 Resource Toolkit
You can view and download all the COVID-19 branded assets and resources, including posters for your business, through the COVID-19 Resource Toolkit

Omicron in the community 
The Ministry of Health has provided this detailed chart on Omicron in the community: what this means for you (PDF). 



Business Support

Short Term Absence Payment

Available to employers to pay workers who are staying home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.  It’s also available to eligible self-employed workers. To be eligible, workers need to be unable to work from home and need to miss work while waiting for their test results.
More info and how to apply

Leave Support Scheme

Available to employers to help pay employees who have been advised to self-isolate because they have contracted COVID-19 and can’t work from home. It’s also available to eligible self-employed workers.

$600 per week for full-time workers and $359 per week for part-time workers.
More info and how to apply

Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme

The small business cash flow loan scheme will provide loans of up to a maximum of $100,000 to businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time employees. This includes sole traders and self-employed businesses.
Check if you’re eligible

New mask rules from 3 February (Tourism Industry Aotearoa update)

The Government has announced changes to the rules around mask wearing for hospitality and close proximity businesses. These new rules will take effect from 11.59pm on 3 February: 

  • Masks must now be worn by customers and staff at food and drink businesses, close proximity businesses, events and gatherings. When people are eating, drinking and exercising, there is no requirement to wear a face mask. 
  • These changes do not apply to non-public facing workplaces. 
  • All masks must be attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. A face covering must be an actual mask—no more scarves, bandanas, or t-shirts pulled up over the face, for example. 
  • Ensure the mask is designed to cover the nose and mouth properly. 
  • All workers legally mandated to be vaccinated must now also wear a medical grade mask (for example a Type IIR/Level 2 masks or above) while working in public facing roles. 

TIA’s updated Adventure Activity Guidelines (PDF) include the new guidance on masks.


Scholarships, development & funding

Indigi-X Global Exchange

If you are Māori and want to expand your professional networks into Canada,  Indigi-X is a free 6-week virtual indigenous to indigenous professional exchange.

The first intake runs 17 Feb to 31 March for two hours each Friday and there are currently 8 spots remaining for Māori participants.

The exchange is funded by the Canadian Federal Government and involves forming self-selected cohorts (Canadian First Nations and Māori) to work as a roopu on a self-selected kaupapa of mutual interest, in a self-determined way. It could be anything from indigenous responses to climate change to rangatiratanga and robot technology. You're limited only by the scope of your vision and expertise.
 More info and registration here.

Women’s Leadership New Zealand scholarships  

Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ) is offering wahine in tourism up to $5000 per scholarship for four leadership development courses. Find out more and apply by Friday 18 March

Funds available for Connecting Communities events 

Southern DHB, via Ta Hau Toka, is making funds available for Connecting Communities events that support wellbeing. The next Connecting Communities funding rounds are 28 February-11 March 2022 and 4-15 July 2022. Eligible groups can apply for up to $1000 to run activities or events in Queenstown, Wānaka, Cromwell, or Te Anau/Fiordland that improve mental wellbeing. The activities must aim to bring people together in person or online, promote the Five Ways to Wellbeing and Te Whare Tapa Wha, and align with COVID requirements

Free Online HR Coaching Session – Poutama-EMA

The EMA (Employers and Manufacturers Association), and Poutama continue to deliver the 12-month ‘Poutama Tangata’ group coaching programme to small & medium sized Māori businesses (SMEs) across Aotearoa.

The programme is free and available to Māori SMEs seeking guidance with their ‘people’ needs and requirements:

  • Focusing on tools and techniques to help lead your people
  • Creating the right culture to attract and retain your people.

The one-hour online group coaching sessions are held the third Wednesday of each month. Beyond these sessions, 1 on 1 support is also available at a special rate.

The next coaching session is scheduled for 12-1pm, Wednesday 16 February 2022.  To find out more email; to register click here.

Kōkiri Accelerator programme

Do you want to grow your business, quickly?  Are you keen to develop your team and build on your capabilities as founders?  Kōkiri could be the right kaupapa for you and your start-up team.

Kōkiri is a 10-week kaupapa Māori programme that supports and accelerates the development of early-stage impact positive start-ups into investment-ready ventures.  Up to 10 successful teams will be accepted into the 2022 programme, gaining access to start-up mentors, business coaches, investor networks plus a $10,000 start-up grant.

Further details about the programme and online application can be found here.

Applications close 20 February 2022.

Waitangi celebrations move online:


The Waitangi Day 2022 programme will air on TV3 on 6 February from 7am to 10am, with an interview and address to the Nation from the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, from 4.30pm to 5.00pm.

Ōtautahi Christchurch:
The Waitangi Day Festival, by Waka on Avon and Ko Tane operator Dave Brennan, runs from 10am to 2pm on Sunday 6 February and features performances by kapa haka groups, the Pasifika community and local bands. Tahu FM radio hosts Jason Phillips and Tumehe Rongonui will keep the laughs coming in front of a live audience of up to 100 invited guests at an indoor venue. Tune in on the YouTube live here


Upcoming Dates

24-25 May

10 November


Noho ora mai,

NZ Māori Tourism


© 2024 NZ Maori Tourism Society