COVID-19 Update 14 April 2020

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  • The World Trade Organisation is expecting the global economy to contract by 2.5% this year, with a 13-32% contraction in global trade. However, there has been an increase in New Zealand exports by 13.2%, with a 4.2% growth in China. This has mostly been driven by food exports.
  • There continues to be no regulatory or market access changes affecting New Zealand imports or exports as a result of COVID-19.
  • As far as MFAT are aware, most sea freight routes and ports around the world remain open, however they are operating at varying levels.  There are no supply issues of shipping containers (both dry and refrigerated).
  • New Zealand and European Union free trade agreement talks have been ongoing “virtually”.
  • Bookings on scheduled air freight can be done through www.covid19.nzte.govt.nz/page/air-freight-option-for-immediate-export. Ministry of Transport is looking at securing air freight capacity for an additional 6 months. For any market access related issues, please email COVID-19.trade@mpi.govt.nz and cc Brian.Wilson@mfat.govt.nz. This relates to both air freight and sea freight issues as well.
  • The horticulture sector has flagged the issue of lack of access to pallets, due to the shutdown of timber processing. 


  • Our sector has been advised to plan towards Alert Level 3, as per the Prime Minister’s public statements.
  • Level 3 will enable our sector to undertake a wide range of operations, but there will be strict safety protocols.
  • MPI has requested an operating plan from NZPPI that describes the safety protocols that our sector will implement at Level 3.  Two separate working groups have been established, for plant production and retail to develop these protocols. These will be published and shared when they are approved by MPI.
  • NZPPI is working with MPI and industry groups to ensure that site preparation and planting for crops, landscaping, natives and forestry are allowed at Level 3.
  • We continue to advocate for seed collection.
  • Government has emphasised the expectation that businesses must work together, through the relevant industry body, to understand and implement the Level 3 protocols.
  • NZPPI has requested advanced warning on when restrictions are lifted in order to get supply chains lined up.
  • The Prime Minister announced that there will be no early end to Alert Level 4. Everyone should begin to prepare for Alert Level 3.
    • Alert Level 3 guidance will be issued this week.
    • A final decision on whether to move to Alert Level 3 will be made on 20 April.
    • There will be even more testing and contact tracing will also increase.
  • Transport Minister Phil Twyford, has announced that the Government is extending all driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications that expired on or after January 1, 2020 for up to an additional six months from April 10, 2020 to enable essential travel. Other changes include extending license endorsements that expired on or after March 1, 2020 and a suspension of the requirement to display a current vehicle licence if it expired on or after January 1, 2020



Government COVID-19 Specific Information

  • A government website contains all information in one place about the COVID-19 response. This includes financial assistance, essential business information, latest health recommendations, health and safety practices for workers, etc. www.covid19.govt.nz

COVID-19 Specific Information for Businesses

  • A collation of government information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), how it may affect your business and how you can stay up to date as new information becomes available, can be found here:  www.business.govt.nz/covid-19

Support available from Inland Revenue

  • Tax relief and income assistance is available to people affected by the downturn in business due to the Coronavirus COVID-19. These include:
    • Penalties for late filing or late payments may be remitted
    • Re-estimates of provisional tax
    • Increase in Working for Families Tax Credits
  • If you are struggling to deal with your tax affairs, please discuss this with your tax agent or accountant. Full details about the tax relief options available are on the Inland Revenue website. Visit: www.ird.govt.nz/Updates/News-Folder/tax-relief-coronavirus or call Inland Revenue on 0800 473 566.

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

Ministry of Social Development


  • FinCap runs MoneyTalks which is a free financial helpline which is the best place to start for people needing budgeting advice and financial mentoring. It can refer people on to the financial mentor network in their area for face-to-face consultations if that’s required. Its contact details are:

Ministry of Health

Ministry for Primary Industries

Work with us

NZPPI's COVID-19 work is supported and funded by our members. To join, complete the NZPPI membership application, or contact office@nzppi.co.nz.