Current as of 30th March 2020 – The entire country is currently at ALERT LEVEL 4. This means you should be self-isolating unless you’re working in essential services.

Government Resources

New Government COVID-19 Website

The new Government website dedicated entirely to COVID-19 can be found here:

Unite against COVID-19

This website literally unites all the others. Here you will find information and links to:

  • the Ministry of Health,
  • Work and Income,
  • Advice on Alert Levels and Self-Isolation,
  • Staying mentally healthy,
  • and down at the very bottom: Latest Updates.

At the time of writing, we are at Alert Level 4 for the next 4 week period. Everyone should be self-isolating nationwide. Essential services will remain open. Read more on what this means here:

COVID-19 Alert System

IRD COVID-19 Tax Relief

The IRD page on COVID-19 can be found here:

COVID-19

At the time of writing this essentially brings you to a link to the Tax Relief page:

Tax Relief

There are many links to choose from, but at the bottom you will find:

Wage Subsidies

Please read this thoroughly, and consult your accountant or call IRD directly, but the initial facts from this page are as follows:

  • Wage subsidies should be passed onto the employee by the employer and processed as part of the employee’s normal wages. All deductions (such as PAYE, KiwiSaver and child support) should be made as normal.
  • The employer will not be liable for income tax or GST on the subsidy received from MSD and will not be entitled to an income tax deduction for wages paid out of the wage subsidy.

The page then gives examples. For the self-employed, non-GST registered:

  • Example: Ani Kowhatu is a self-employed dance teacher and provides regular private lessons at her home, as well as tutoring a couple of dance students at a local high school. Based on her accountant’s forecasts, she is expecting a 90% loss of income in April 2020 compared with April 2019. She does not employ any other dance instructors and is not registered for GST. Ani applies for and receives a $4,200 wage subsidy from MSD.

    Ani is required to account for income tax on the wage subsidy received as it is a payment to replace loss of earnings. Ani will include the subsidy, as well as her regular income for the rest of the year, in her Individual income tax return – IR3.

In addition, IRD have released the following:

Advice

“If your business is unable to pay its taxes on time due to the impact of COVID-19, we understand, you don’t need to contact us right now.

Get in touch with us when you can, and we’ll write-off any penalties and interest.

It would help if you continue to file however, as the information is used to make correct payments to people, and to help the Government continue to respond to what is happening in the economy.”

Work and Income

Work and Income New Zealand have a page dedicated to COVID-19 here:

COVID-19 employer support

Don’t let the title fool you, there are forms for wage subsidies for employers as well as those who are self-employed. The payments are the same:

  • $585.80 for people working 20+ hrs per week
  • $350.00 for people working less than 20 hrs per week

The subsidy still covers 12 weeks, but the maximum paid to any one business has been lifted as of 23rd March. This is a subsidy for wages only and all applying must meet certain criteria and adhere to certain obligations. These can be found under “Definitions for Wage Subsidy qualifications” on their page. Please read all parts of this page before applying to ensure you fully understand your responsibilities.

More clarity on taxation can be found on the IRD website; see the section on Taxes above.

The Leave Subsidy has now been folded into the Wage Subsidy as it is no longer fit for purpose with everyone in self-isolation.

The Beehive

The Beehive has a page with further details on the Wage Subsidy, Tax Measures, and Leave Support that can be found here:

COVID-19 Economic Response Package

The bottom of this page has a number of PDF Factsheets outlining details of each. Click on each below for the direct link.

The Beehive also post their press releases for you to read here:

Releases

  • A release on 23rd March has announced a freeze in rent increases and no-cause terminations.
  • As mentioned under the Work and Income section above, the cap on wage subsidies per business has been lifted.
  • A release on 24th March has announced mortgage holidays and business finance support schemes. The Business Finance Scheme, for solvent small and medium-sized firms affected by the COVID-19 crisis, will include a limit of $500,000 per loan and will apply to firms with a turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million per annum. The loans will be for a maximum of three years and expected to be provided by the banks at competitive, transparent rates. Check with your bank on what they are providing.
  • A release on March 27th one on March 28th clarify various aspects of the wage subsidy, including business responsibilities to employees, and the folding in of the Leave Subsidy with the Wage Subsidy as it is no longer fit for purpose.

These are among additional changes to support people during this time when all but essential industries are now closed or working from home.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health are tracking all current cases, as well as updating advice and recommendations here:

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

At the time of writing, the entire country should be in self-isolation for 4 weeks starting from the 26th March 2020.

Remain 2m away from others with whom you are not in self-isolation.

Support and Mental Wellbeing

Music Helps

Music Helps has a page on support options here:

COVID-19 support page 

It shares more links to Government information as well as their services:

and other links such as:

  • free budget and financial crisis advice through MoneyTalks
  • 1737 a number to call for anyone feeling stressed, anxious, worried, depressed, or needing advice on these.
The Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation have a page on how to cope with the ways COVID-19 is changing your daily life:

Looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19

They have tips to get through, helplines to call, and don’t forget to look at the further reading for links to information from a variety of organisations.

Lastly, they released a document following the last recession called “Coping with financial stress” that provides practical advice on ways to cope with stress.

Stay Active

It may sound ridiculous, but start a home fitness plan! No one knows how long this will be affecting our events; you don’t want to unstack that first road case when you’re on site again and tweak your back, or realize you can’t pull that point all the wait to the roof. Try doing 5 pushups a day, then maybe increase it a bit more. Go out on those walks. There are also plenty of fitness apps online, check your app store. Down Dog are offering their apps (Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout) free until May 1st and for students and teachers until July 1st. You’d be surprised how these can keep your core strong, or how some yoga stretching can calm you down and clear your head.

Professional Development Opportunities

Wysiwyg – Free Online Training Seminar
Book here for a live 1hr seminar to introduce you to Wysiwyg, provide a product overview, and explore some of the most common workflows, tools, and commands.

The Chicago Flyhouse – Free Online Classes “Train with Rigging Specialists”
The first two classes are open for registration here. And they want you to know they love black and white videos, but these classes will be in colour.

Rose Brand – Learning Series
Rose Brand have begun a 3-part series on how to light a scrim; here’s part 1. They have a whole lot more to read on learn on their blog as well; check it out!

Figure 53 – QLab 4 Pro Bundle License
If you’re a student or teacher, anyone with an educational email address can have a free temporary QLab 4 Pro Bundle license expiring on June 1st. To get it, create an account at qlab.app/account and email support@figure53.com.

Event Safety Alliance – Guide, Safety Training, & Annual Membership Dues

-The Event Safety Guide is now free to download. Though it’s audience is the United Stages, there is valuable information in there for all.

-Registration for online Event Safety Access core safety training is only $9.95(USD) through July 1st; this is usually $69.95(USD). Apply here and use the promo code: SUPPORT20 at checkout.

-The annual dues for both new and renewing members is now $25(USD) through December 31st.
You can read more here.

ETC – Free Online Courses
Until May 15th, check out ETC’s LearningStage page for a whole list of free classes. In addition, keep an eye on their Facebook page for videos and other resources.

MILKE – Free Online Classes on Producing, Marketing, and Pitching Shows
Some of us don’t only love getting our hands dirty; we wear all sorts of hats. MILKE wants to know what you want to learn, and they’ll teach it to you free! Register here.

Vectorworks – Spotlight Essentials Seminars
For the immediate future, you can select a session date here and use the promo code: TRAINMENOW at the top of the next page for a 100% discount. The current session has already been filled, but look for the April 1st session and beyond.

Strand Lighting – Online Console Training Costs Waived
If you’re interested in getting to know a Neo console, visit their website and scroll to the bottom for the “Personalized Webinar Training”, then send a request for a booking. If you’re using a web browser based email, the link might not pop up, but you can email bobby.harrell@signify.com to request it. The next training is Tuesday 24th March 1pm-4pm EST (6am the 25th March here in NZ).

Video Lectures – Professor John Huntington
Professor of Entertainment Technology, John Huntington has a page of free lectures that follow along chapter by chapter with his book, Show Networks and Control Systems.

The Virtual Theatre – 3D Set Design Program
For the next three months, you can visit their website and select the “free online” version to purchase. You can make a donation to help with development, but it’s only optional. If anyone tries it out, let us know how it went!

USITT – Education and Training Links/Resources
In addition to the Industry Resources link above, the Lighting Commission has an extensive list of resources, videos, and tools. We have not checked each of these out, nor has USITT, but have a look. Not everything is to keep your mind working either! There are links to streaming events as well.

The ETNZ Selecon Scholarship – For ETNZ Financial Members who are NZ Citizens or Residents
The Selecon Scholarship can be used to help fund professional develop opportunities. You can find the criteria, time frames, and application on our website under the resources tab at the top of the page.

Show Makers Symposium – Free Webinars and Podcasts
Follow their Facebook page for upcoming online events to provide resources during this time.

High End Systems – Learn Hog 4
If you want to learn Hog 4, or brush up on features, you can find seasons of videos here with supplementary files below. As with others, follow their Facebook page for more resources weekly.