COVID-19 and Results of the H1 Insulation Changes to the Building Code

Moving to the COVID-19 Traffic Light System

The Government yesterday confirmed that New Zealand will move into the new traffic light system (also known as the COVID-19 Protection Framework) at 11:59pm on Thursday 2 December. This will allow for different parts of the country to operate at either Red, Orange, or Green, with differing restrictions for each colour and for those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. To see a summary of the traffic light system, click here.

Those regions moving into Red are: Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts. The rest of the North Island and the whole of the South Island will be moving into Orange.

There are no hard boundaries other than the Auckland boundary so New Zealanders located outside Auckland can move freely around New Zealand and between red and orange zones. A reminder that the Auckland border will open for those living in Auckland who are fully vaccinated or have had a negative test in the last 72 hours or are aged under 12 on 15 December.

Click here to see a map showing the boundary between red and orange areas. 

The criterion for determining zones are predominately vaccination rates, however the amount of community transmission, vulnerable populations and pressure on the health system are all relevant factors.

The settings will be reviewed in two weeks’ time on Monday 13 December, and then again on 17 January. 

The Prime Minister has indicated it is unlikely any region will move into green over the summer.

It was reassuring that the new variant Omicron has not yet made it to New Zealand. New variants such  show just how tricky this virus continues to be. Getting vaccinated and having your booster shots is vitally important. Please, if you haven’t already, get vaccinated today.

My Vaccine Pass
Vaccination passes will become a new essential way of life from Friday, as they will be the main way for us to access key services such as hairdressers, gyms, close contact businesses and bars and restaurants. 

If you were fully vaccinated in New Zealand in the last 12 months, you can now download your ‘My Vaccine Pass’. For those vaccinated overseas (either one or two doses), your vaccine pass will be available to download from Thursday 2nd December. Information on how to get your vaccine pass can be found here.

Financial Help for Businesses
The Minister of Finance announced a new transition payment to assist businesses to move into the new systems. Businesses will be eligible for a new one-off payment of up to $24,000, available from 10 December. It will be made through the current Resurgence Support Payment system.  

The transition payment is calculated at $4,000 per business plus $400 for each full-time employee, with a limit of 50 employees. It covers those businesses who can show a minimum of a 30% drop between 3 October 2021 and 9 November 2021.  
The last wage subsidies and resurgence payments opened on Friday, and these will still be paid out along with the transition payment. 

The need for financial support will continue to be monitored, however if any further support is needed it will only be for those businesses operating in a Red region. This is because it is expected most businesses will be able to operate fully under orange and green. 

Payments for those staff who are required to isolate, including while waiting for test results, will also still be paid out under the new system. These payments are moving to weekly rather than fortnightly. 

CHASNZ Protocols
CHASNZ have updated their protocols in preparation for the move into the traffic light system. The new protocols, which will replace the current level based system on Friday, can be found here.

Getting Vaccinated
Vaccination is the biggest protection we have against contracting the virus and serious illness and death. RMBA continues to strongly endorse the Government’s vaccination strategy. 

There are still many eligible New Zealanders still to have their first dose, and we strongly  encourage our members who are still to get vaccinated, to do so today.

To book your vaccine or find a walk in centre please click here.

To track the DBH vaccination rates please click here.

To track your region’s vaccination rate please click here.

General Information about COVID-19
Click here to find out general information regarding this outbreak

Please also continue to check locations of interest and get tested if you have symptoms or have visited a location or suburb of interest.

Building Code Update - Energy Efficiency
MBIE has just released the biggest energy efficiency updates to the acceptable solutions and verification methods in more than a decade. These updates follow a consultation period, during which RMBA submitted on the proposed changes and met with MBIE representatives.  
We are currently working through the impact of the changes for members, and further information will be provided once we have completed this review. However, a short summary of the changes is set out below: 

  • There will be six regional climate zones introduced, an increase from the current three. 
  • There are changes to the roof, window, wall, and underfloor insulation requirements. 
  • An introduction of verification system for the energy efficiency of HVAC systems. 
  • Updates in methods and solutions to ensure homes have enough natural light. 

There will be a one-year transition period before the changes become mandatory in 2022. However, the new window insulation requirements in the warmest climate zones will see a two-step approach with an interim increase in the next year and an additional increase in the following year. By the end of 2023, all parts of the country will have a similar minimum level of window insulation requirements.

You can visit the Building Performance website for further detailed information on the changes and how they may affect you. 

Kia Kaha.