COVID-19 Update - Moving to Orange

13 April 

Kia Ora,

From 11:59pm tonight, all New Zealand will move into Orange of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. It is clear we are well past the peak of the Omicron outbreak, with the 7-day rolling average of cases under 10,000 for the first time since February. 

What is Orange?

More detailed information on life at Orange can be found here

In summary, Orange means: 

  • No capacity limits for indoor events. Outdoor events have no capacity limits at any traffic light setting. 
  • The seated and separated rule for hospitality and events is removed. 
  • Face masks remain important and are still required in most places indoors. This includes supermarkets, retail and public transport including flights. Face mask requirements can be found here

Isolation requirements remain unchanged. If you or a household contact tests positive, you will need to isolate for 7 days. Please stay at home if you are unwell. 

The next review of our traffic light setting will be mid-May.

Master Builders Meeting and Event Vaccination Policy

With the move to Orange we will be removing the vaccination requirement to attend Master Builders meeting and events.  From 14th April 2022 our meetings and events are open to all members regardless of their vaccination status.

I would like to thank everyone for their support of this policy over the past few months as we played our part in keeping our staff, members and other stakeholders safe as we navigated the Omicron outbreak.

Of course we continue to ask that anyone who is unwell, or who is required to isolate, does not attend any of our meetings or events.

Booster Update 

Being fully vaccinated, including getting a booster, is the best to protect yourself from severe illness if infected with COVID-19. Staying up to date on your vaccinations is important, and we encourage you to take the time to get a booster if you are eligible for one. 

From Thursday 14 April, 16- & 17-year-olds can now get boosters 6 months after their second vaccination. 

Anyone over the age of 18 can get a booster 3 months after their second vaccination.

As we move into the winter months, we encourage anyone who can get an influenza vaccine to do so. Flu vaccines are free for vulnerable people in our community; however, many workplaces offer free flu vaccines as part of employment. Influenza is most prevalent in winter, as well as other viruses including COVID-19, and so any action we can take to prevent these illnesses can protect our loved ones. 

Financial Support

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme continues to be available for those who need to self-isolate and cannot work. Information and how to apply for this scheme can be found here

The targeted COVID-19 Support Payment (CSP) is available for businesses struggling with revenue during the Omicron outbreak. The CSP is a payment to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations which have experienced a 40% or more drop in revenue due to COVID-19 circumstances. 

More information on the CSP can be found here. Applications close 5 May 2022.  

The Close Contact Exemption Scheme and Bubble of One are still in operation.

  • Please note the Close Contact Exemption Scheme is only available to vaccinated asymptomatic critical workers whose employer has applied to be in the scheme. 
  • For the Bubble of One, the worker must be vaccinated, not have any symptoms (asymptomatic) and be able to maintain an individual ‘bubble of one’ while at work (whether indoors or outdoors).

More information on these two schemes can be found here

We do expect financial support schemes and payments, especially for business to wind down in the near future as we transition into living with community transmission. 

Immigration Reset 

The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is the updated Temporary Work Visa being introduced on 4 July 2022. You must be an accredited employer to hire migrant workers on an AEWV.

There is a three part process in the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): 

1.    Employer Accreditation
Applications open 23 May 2022. 

All employers will need to be accredited to hire migrants under this policy. If you are a previous accredited employer, you will need to reapply when you plan to hire migrants under this new visa process as the criteria between the old accreditation process and the new one differs. 

2.    Job Check 
Applications open 20 June 2022

The job check confirms:

  • The job pays the market rate and meets wage thresholds
  • The job’s terms and conditions comply with New Zealand employment laws and standards
  • The job is for a minimum of 30 hours a week
  • You have advertised the job to New Zealanders, if you need to, including the minimum and maximum expected pay rate and the skills or experience required.

3.    Visa Application
Applications open 4 July 2022

This is when the migrant worker applies for the visa, provided steps 1 & 2 have been completed and passed. 

Further information on the AEWV can be found here.  

RMBA will be running a webinar on the immigration reset specific to the construction industry. This is currently planned for May, however, will depend on when MBIE and Immigration NZ finalise their information and is able to participate in a webinar for members to answer questions on the changes. We will send an invite out to members to attend the Webinar once details are confirmed. It will be available on Elevate afterwards for those who cannot attend.