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Westpac becomes accredited living wage employer

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, February 1st, 2019 - 33 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, Living Wage, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Hell must be freezing over.  This post is to congratulate Westpac on becoming an accredited living wage employer.

What is especially interesting is that it was willing to submit to the certification process of a voluntary organisation comprising of representatives of the trade union movement, community groups and faith based groups.

From the Living Wage press release:

Westpac is joining well over 120 New Zealand employers who know the Living Wage is good for their workers, good for the economy and also good for business and Westpac is actively encouraging other big businesses to step up as well.

This is an historic milestone for our Movement and, hot on the heels of Vector and AMP, we expect many more of our wealthy corporates to follow Westpac’s example.

“Extensive international research and a growing body of New Zealand research shows workers who are paid the Living Wage have better morale, less absenteeism and greater productivity. There is also a business advantage in being labelled a Living Wage employer. But, above all, it is simply the right thing to do, Westpac NZ General Manager Consumer Banking, Simon Power, says.

Mr Power says the organisation is committed to helping improve New Zealanders’ financial position. “We want to lead by example. We already pay our staff a living wage and we now we want to extend that to contractors and suppliers. 

“We think it will benefit them, their families and New Zealand as a whole. Ultimately, that will benefit the economy and our business.

“Above all else, we think this is the right thing to do. These workers play an important role in our day-to-day operations and we value their efforts.”

In a previous live Simon Power was a senior National Party MP and minister.

This is all the more reason for other entities including Auckland Council, District Health Boards and licensing trusts to do the same.  If an Australian corporate bank realises the benefit of paying its workers and contractors a living wage then local democratic public entities should do the same.

Reprinted from gregpresland.com.

33 comments on “Westpac becomes accredited living wage employer”

  1. Blazer 1

    I don’t think Westpac need to worry about not retaining Govt banking business….now.😃

    • Richard McGrath 1.1

      I dare says that’s the motivation for a move away from productivity based compensation to the ridiculous so-called living wage.

  2. cathy 2

    great news, that’s a real coup.

    congratulations to Westpac.

  3. That’s fine, though I guess the way they have been ditching staff and branches the last 10 years, I wonder how much their total wage bill/overheads have increased? if at all.

    I love how banks and corporations can engage in brutal tactics for decades, then totally win the PR war with one small gesture..all Westpac need to do now is insist all deposits come in recyclable brown paper bags and they could be in for the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award, despite backing logging operations on the Solomon Islands that destroy virgin rainforests and backing coal mining on the Denniston Plateau on the West Coast of the South Island.

    “People were in shock, they’re upset and also to be honest quite angry,” Williams said.
    “It’s an absolute surprise to them that there was any problem at all with their branches.”
    Last year Westpac reported a record $916 million profit – up 6 per cent on the previous year.
    Branches proposed to close are: Kamo, Cherrywood in Tauranga, Broadway Avenue in Palmerston North, Bishopdale in Christchurch, Gardens in Dunedin, Waikanae, Carterton, Raglan, Ranfurly, Te Aroha, Fendalton Mall in Christchurch, Putaruru, Whangamata,Takaka, Stoke, Wainuiomata, Te Anau, Fairlie and Otorohanga.

  4. Darien Fenton 4

    This is a significant win for the Living Wage Aotearoa movement. Yes we can all criticise Westpac, but is a refreshing change from yesterday’s doom and gloom from the right on Fair Pay Agreements. I congratulate my former National colleague Simon Power for doing the right thing, Who else has gone on from that enclave to do something for workers? Oh thats right. No one.

    • vto 4.1

      Jim Bolger just yesterday..?

      edit: one must always keep in mind that the Nats are conservatives. They never do this stuff. They are incapable and it is not their role in life. However, it is amusing how conservatives and society always end up where the hippies were decades before. Think organic food, think climate change, think Waiheke ffs… The Nats will eventually catch up…

  5. millsy 5

    What springs to mind is how many ‘givebacks’ are being imposed to get this living wage? Will bank workers get their wages docked to pay for their uniform now? Will they lose their Christmas bonus? What about pensions (if they have them) and redunancy provisions? What about allowances and overtime?

    We like to talk of wages, but it seems that this comes at the expense of conditions.

  6. vto 6

    Good stuff and a sign that these issues are catching on..

    Push wealth to the top and society collapses
    Push wealth to the bottom and society strengthens

    Westpac acknowledge this truth

  7. patricia bremner 7

    Westpac has had its failures in the past, but this won’t be one of them Win Win.

  8. grumpy 8

    Bullshite PR exercise, they could have done it without the media release.
    As someone that has worked on in-house bank videos for the last 20+ years, this is to make you feel good while they fleece you and send profits overseas. These people ‘release’ this information as a business strategy, don’t fall for it.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      They agreed to living wage accreditation. This is a big coup for the living wage movement. Don’t knock it.

    • timeforacupoftea 8.2

      Go for it Grumpy give Westpac heaps from me to, my comment at 10

  9. Jum 9

    Gimme a break; Simon Power wants back into parliament.

  10. timeforacupoftea 10

    The bastards i.e. Westpac.
    We have up to $7,000 in my every day account monthly,
    which is our income account and bills are paid from here,
    we earn zero interest every month.

    another $2,050 in a bonus saver account where it earns untaxed $2.85 Bonus interest and 14 cents interest.
    If we transfers any cash from the bonus account in a month we just earn 14 cents.

    So I say BASTARDS to the Westpac Bank daily.

    We have been with Westpac since the day they arrived in NZ.

    So workers of the bank cheers to you for helping to lower my fairly poor interest rate return.

    • The Al1en 10.1

      So $9050 pm and you’re winging about the interest you’re not getting. 😆

      Try $2276 wages a month at Kiwi bank, maxed out $500 od at ANZ.

      We were so poor…

      Rich prick 😆

    • Richard McGrath 10.2

      Shouldn’t that excessive wealth be confiscated and redistributed according to need?

  11. Jum 11

    Any business that does not pay a living wage should not be in business. If ‘they’ want to start a business they should be offering staff a stake in that business until they can pay a living wage, so everyone stands or falls on the success or failure of that business. Government should be assisting small business with standard compliance paperwork and advice to reduce their charges.

    If Kiwi Bank is not paying a living wage, force ’em.

    Didn’t National’s Simon Power leave parliament and land a plum job assisting the so-called government bank to sell off public assets? Convenient? Dodgy?

    The benefits of a living wage for the future of New Zealand is a given. Otherwise, NZ starts to sound like the historic spin levelled against a decent health policy in Obama’s US.

  12. Blazer 12

    Westpac as shown by the inquiry in Australia are just parasites.
    Thieves in suits…’sorry we are gonna be good from now on’.

    NZ’s biggest export is profits and these arseholes need more than tokenism to justify their existence.

    In effect they are owned by Wall St and The City.Please fuck off.

  13. JohnSelway 13

    Well, Westpac have lost a loyal customer in me by pandering to this lefty nonsense

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      Spoken like a true RWNJ.

      • JohnSelway 13.1.1

        Ahaha I knew I’d catch someone if i dangled the hook. I of course welcome Westpac and it’s livable wage but I had a few wines so thought I’d go fishing 😉

        Just playing around with you – re: Poe’s Law

      • JohnSelway 13.1.2

        Sorry – I want trying to troll anyone, just wanted to see how long it took for someone to drop a “RWNJ”

  14. Infused 14

    Its pr. Likely to keep govt happy

    Stop being so silly.

  15. Stunned mullet 15

    What nonsense-staff at the banks have all been on living wage for years. Cunning PR by Power, bet they use cleaners for their premises via third parties that don’t get a living wage.

  16. Chris T 16

    Apparently all their own staff are already over living wage, so it’s the contracted cleaners, security etc (Heard an interview with them)

    So I am assuming it isn’t even them paying for it

    Not sure how that even works.

    Do they put it in the contract the workers who do their sites have to be paid this?

    If so, this is probably the one and only time I would agree with collective bargaining with the cleaning and security companies as it would be extremely unfair on the other workers in the companies. It would be which ones suck up more get the gig.

  17. peterlepaysan 17

    Westpac is a bank. Trust it at your peril.

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  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
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  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
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  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
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  • Enlightenment when?
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  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
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  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
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  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago