Government Support for Māori businesses

The Government’s call for everyone to unite and follow the restrictions under Alert level 4 must be strictly adhered to. We know this situation comes with huge challenges but self-isolating in our ‘bubbles’  is a proven way to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ideally keep ngā iwi, hāpu and whānau safe. Rest assured, we are especially committed to supporting the Māori business community and the Māori economy which includes posting regular and relative updates.

Please note, the following information is business-related, as opposed to health, social and/or community infrastructure.  The links below will take you to the source. For all other COVID-19 related information, please visit the main government website HERE.

Please see below overall descriptions of the support available,
click the LINKS to take you directly to the source.


Minister of Tourism and Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Kelvin Davis has actioned NZ Māori Tourism and the Federation of Māori Authorities working in partnership to provide support and guidance to struggling Māori businesses nationwide.

An extra $1 million of funding will enable a needs assessment for Māori businesses, from which a Māori business response plan will be produced and implemented.

Funding of $470,000 has also been reprioritised to Te Arawhiti to engage and work with iwi on their COVID-1 pandemic response plans.


Read media release


Wage subsidies apply to all New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders, self-employed people, registered charities and incorporated societies in all sectors and all regions.

Applicants must show a 30% decline in revenue for any month between January and June 2020 compared to the year before (including projected revenue). The application process has reportedly been relatively easy to administer and responded promptly

Apply here


Applications for COVID-19-related support, will be processed more readily with the inclusion of a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN

Applications for COVID-19-related support will ideally include a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), which is a globally unique identifier, available to every Kiwi business. A NZBN makes doing business faster and easier because it links to core business information known as Primary Business Data. 

If you haven’t already got one, you can apply here for your NZBN.


Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The main measures contained in this Bill are:

  • Restoring building depreciation

  • Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000

  • Allowing immediate low-value asset write offs

  • Bringing forward broader R&D refundability

  • Allowing use of money interest to be waived 

  • Allowing greater information sharing

  • Allowing more access to the in-work tax credit.

Tax relief and income assistance is available to people affected by the downturn in business due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

IRD have a range of ways to help depending on circumstances. If you have a tax agent, they should also be able to help.

Read more here


The Minister of Finance announced on 23 March 2020 a freeze of rent increases and protections against tenancy terminations. This has been applied as law through the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act.

Tenants that can’t pay their rent should let their landlord know straight away. Be honest about the situation and see if you can agree on a payment plan. Landlords and tenants that reach an agreement can choose to have this formalised using the FastTrack resolution process. This link is an excellent source of information and has a great FAQ section.


Read more here



If you are an exporter or importer, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has set up a new website which brings together information from NZTE, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Customs.

Information is reviewed daily. It also includes contact details for the relevant agencies for you to get in touch with depending on your situation.

Read more here.



The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank announced a major financial support package for businesses, and homeowners affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The package will include a 6 month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and small to medium sized businesses whose incomes have been affected by the economic disruption from COVID-19.

Read more here


Creative New Zealand can now confirm its Emergency Response Package, announced on Friday in response to COVID-19, will include a first phase $16 million investment to buffer and support the arts community, with benefits extending well beyond the immediate crisis.

The initial $16 million investment, with funding opening 14 April, will be distributed to the sector through to 30 June 2020 (end of Creative New Zealand’s financial year). It includes $4.5 million of new money announced on Friday plus $11.5 million repurposed from other programmes. Phase two, which will provide support beyond June 2020, will be explored at the April Arts Council meeting.

Creative New Zealand is acutely aware of the challenges the arts community faces and is actively engaging with a number of artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations who face very uncertain futures.

Read more here

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