NZSA Covid-19 Security Update: Government release – boosting security support at MIQFs and maritime border

As many of you will be aware, the Government yesterday announced measures that will see Defense Force personnel deployed to the managed isolation and quarantine facilities to take over a number of functions currently provided by private security staff. The announcement also stated they would move to a model of direct employment of security guards (through MBIE) with appropriate training and will be paying them the living wage (see media statement below).

We appreciate that only a relatively small number of guarding providers are directly impacted however given the widespread press coverage and questionable commentary on the capability of the security industry we thought it appropriate to provide an update on the current situation.

We are extremely disappointed with yesterdays announcement given that we had been given assurances that the proposed changes had been placed on hold and that the expectation was business as usual for security staff. We only became aware of the proposed changes on Monday of this week and had raised our concerns directly with our ministerial contacts, particularly around the impact on staff employment with some 600 staff involved in servicing the managed isolation facilities nationally.

The announcement raises a number of concerns with regards to how the plans will be enacted and the resulting impact on security providers and their staff. It also fails to recognise that many of the staff working on these sites are already being paid the living wage and are engaged in industry Level 3 training.

We are currently in communication with senior MBIE officials who are overseeing the government operations and they have committed to working closely with the NZSA and the individual providers going forward. MBIE themselves are currently seeking clarification from Government on a number of matters so there may well be changes to what has been communicated to date.

Please rest assured that we are lobbying hard on behalf of the industry, and our workers, and that we will provide communication updates as soon as we have them.

Keep safe.

From the NZSA team.

Hon Dr Megan Woods_media statement_19 Aug 2020

NZSA Covid-19 Security Update – Licensing, Resurgence Wage Subsidy and changes to the Leave Support Scheme


Trish McConnell of the PSPLA has provided the following update regarding licensing:

As Wellington remains at Level 2 business is continuing as per normal with all applications being processed in the usual way.

The only issue we have faced to date is that a number of the Auckland post shops are closed and so people are unable to pick up their new certificates/licenses. Anyone who faces this problem can phone or email the PSPLA offices in Wellington and I will issue them with a specific exemption (from wearing the official ID) which they can carry with them while working.

We are still working on the option of printing IDs in house and distributing them by courier mail as a long term option but there are some logistics we need to work through first.


Covid-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy and changes to the Leave Support Scheme

In response to the latest community outbreak, you have probably seen that the government has announced an additional Covid-19 subsidy and has dropped the revenue test for the Leave Support Scheme for applications made after 1pm on 21 August 2020.

The Covid-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy is a new two-week payment for businesses who are not receiving Wage Subsidy, Wage Subsidy Extension or the Leave Support Scheme.

Am I eligible?
Yes, if you are a New Zealand employer who has had, or expects to have, a revenue drop of at least 40% because of Covid-19 for a 14 day period between 12 August and 10 September 2020 (compared to a similar period last year).

What do I need to have done?
As in previous schemes, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have taken active steps to reduce the impact of Covid-19. These steps could be:

– Drawing from cash reserves
– Activating your business continuity plan
– Making an insurance claim
– Engaging with your bank, or
– Seeking advice from the Chamber of Commerce, a relevant industry association, or a Regional Business Partner programme.

If you apply for this subsidy, you must retain the employees you’ve applied for.

You must also “try your hardest” to pay these employees at least 80% of their usual salary or wage and, if that is not possible, at least the rate of the Resurgence Wage Subsidy. If their usual salary or wage is less than the subsidy, then you need only pay the lesser amount. Note that ordinary employment law still applies, which means that you cannot use the subsidy as a reason to pay less.

Who can I apply for?
All your employees who are legally working in New Zealand, which includes casual employees if they are employed by you at the time you apply. You can also apply for yourself, if you are a shareholder or partner in a business and are paid a wage, salary or draw an income from the eligible business.

What will I receive?
$585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate) or $350 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

When can I apply?
You can apply for the Resurgence Wage Subsidy from 1pm on 21 August to 3 September 2020.

This is most likely to be from the Work and Income website.

MSD will aim to make the payment within 5 working days from the date of receiving the application. To ensure it is smooth for you, make sure your information matches that held by the IRD (employee details, for instance).

Anything else?
This subsidy, like others before it, will be subject to audits and reviews, and is made available on the basis of the declaration you provide when applying for it, which does create some onerous obligations – so please make sure this is reviewed carefully. We have also seen that MSD has already started expecting businesses to return the previous subsidies following “audits, allegations or investigations”.

Leave Support Scheme
At the same time on 21 August 2020 changes are being made to the Leave Support Scheme. In brief, this support is for eligible employers to pass to employees who are away from work (and cannot work from home) for Covid-19 related reasons. For example, they are awaiting test results, have come into contact with someone who has it, are at a higher risk if they get it, or have household members that mean they cannot be at work.

If you apply for the Leave Support Scheme before 1pm on 21 August 2020, in addition to other criteria, you must show that you have had a 30% decline in revenue (compared to a similar month last year) due to the impacts of Covid-19 or have had your ability to support your employee due to the Covid-19 public health restrictions negatively impacted. From 1pm on 21 August however, no revenue test will apply.

Please also remember that, like for the wage subsidy, you cannot unlawfully compel or require your employees to take any existing paid leave entitlements such as sick leave or annual holidays while you are receiving the Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme. Additionally, like other available Covid-19 subsidies, it is provided on the basis of the declaration you make when applying for it – so again, please make sure you review the declaration carefully.

Keep safe.

From the NZSA team.

NZSA Covid-19 Update – essential services exemptions for travel into, out of, and through Auckland region

We have received feedback from several providers that staff are being stopped at the borders and prevented from traveling out of Auckland in order to undertake urgent essential services.

There are exemptions that do apply (see below) however they are very constraining. They do however cover those who are employed or contracted to provide services on court and correction facilities, KiwiRail facilities and organisations supporting critical infrastructure that maintain public health and safety.

If you have staff servicing customers that fall within these exemptions, we suggest that they carry this documentation with them and produce at the border controls.

There is also the ability to apply for exemptions for other reasons however reports indicate a minimum one week turn-around.

The NZSA will apply for an industry exemption based on the need to provide essential services however we are not confident that we will receive a response before the current restrictions are reviewed.

See for Auckland travel restrictions.

Keep safe.

From the NZSA team.

NZSA Covid-19 Security Update – access to face masks

Last night the NZ Government announced that the greater Auckland area will move to Alert Level 3 for three days, commencing at midday today, and the rest of the country will move to Alert Level 2. The guidelines provided by the government include maintaining physical distancing, hand washing, regular cleaning programmes and wearing of PPE, including face masks.

The NZSA is in communication with the Ministry of Health with regards to our ability as an essential service to source a bulk order of face masks from the government stocks. If this can be arranged we would then be able to facilitate delivery to members on an at cost basis (which we believe will be well below normal retail pricing).

Whilst we have yet to receive confirmation of supply from the Ministry of Health, it would certainly be of assistance if we can provide some indication to the Ministry on expected order quantities.

If you expect to be in a position of needing to order face masks in coming weeks, and would be interested in sourcing via the government stocks, can you please email us at [email protected] with your requirements.

We will confirm our ability to supply and indicative pricing as soon as possible. Orders will only be filled on member confirmation to proceed.

Keep safe.

From the NZSA team.

Advanced Security acquires South Island Security Integrator

Advanced Security Group continues its growth both organically and through acquisitions, the business announcing it has acquired South Island electronic security integrator, VIP Security.

This latest acquisition takes the offices in New Zealand to 16 and affirms Advanced Security as a leading corporate and government electronic security integrator across New Zealand.

The acquisition grows the current Advanced Security business in the South Island, with a great team from VIP integrating into the existing Advanced Security office in Christchurch with the VIP office in Blenheim being rebranded to Advanced Security. With a strong presence in the North Island, this acquisition allows Advanced Security for further grow its operations, increasing South Island offices to four.

Advanced Security parent company, TPT Group CEO Mike Marr has said “This acquisition further invests in our future, this will make our business stronger, increasing our market capability, providing enhanced service to customers, as well as opportunities for our people”.

Advanced Security is one of New Zealand’s largest, dedicated corporate and industrial electronic security providers, with many high-profile corporate and government clients. The VIP Security business was born out of the Siemens withdrawal from the electronic security market in New Zealand in 2002, as was Advanced Security and Systems.Com. Advanced Security acquired Systems.Com in 2010 so the latest acquisition of VIP Security brings the original Siemens business back together.

David Proud, owner of VIP Security, has commented “VIP Security are excited to announce we have joined Advanced Security Group. Our amazing team, coupled with Advanced Security’s culture, processes, ISO accreditation and commercial strength, will allow us to deliver more outstanding solutions and grow the region to new heights that VIP has always aspired to”.

Hayden George, Advanced Security General Manager, added “Advanced Security is extremely excited to integrate the team from VIP Security in both Blenheim and Christchurch. This adds to our capability at the top of the South Island to complement our Nelson branch, but also provides immense capacity to our Christchurch team. The staff at VIP Security are first class with some great skill sets, a wonderful passion for quality client outcomes, and a creative flair to be innovators and think outside the box. In this regard, we have strong alignment and look forward to enhancing our touch points with our clients across the South Island”.

For parent company TPT Group this is the 11th acquisition in the electronic security and information technology sectors, with more to come. These acquisitions have helped strengthen the geographic spread and diversity of the group.

Advanced Security is consistently recognised in industry awards, with nine individual and two company finalists in the New Zealand Security Awards in 2020, the awards announcements taking place on 7 August. These awards recognise excellence in the New Zealand security industry and the business is immensely proud of its people. Advanced Security was announced as the Security Integrator on the Year in 2019 and has a list of industry and business accolades that it has attained over the years it has been operating.

Advanced Security Group is proudly New Zealand owned and is a wholly owned subsidiary of TPT Group Holdings (NZ) Limited. It is one of the largest and leading, corporate government sector, electronic security integrators in New Zealand.

The business services many high-profile corporate and government clients, supported by 16 offices across the country, with the wider group comprising of 21 offices.

Advanced Security Group operates in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Other TPT Group businesses include Advanced Security Group, IT Engine, Technology Leasing (NZ) Limited, Promessa Property Group Limited, ASGSPL Limited, ASG Technologies Limited, VigilAir Limited, Asset Insight Limited and TPT Group Investment Fund Limited.

For further information about Advanced Security Group please see their website.

2020 NZ Security Awards – congratulations!

We are thrilled to announce the winners for the 2020 New Zealand Security Awards and we’d like to pass on our congratulations to all the finalists and winners.

We hope you enjoyed the Awards live stream. If you’d like to see it again, or if you didn’t see it the first time round, then you can view it on the webste:  Awards event

And the winners are:

Cash Services Professional of the Year
Ben Carr – Armourguard Security

Communication Centre Operator of the Year
Jeremy Horne – Alarm Watch Ltd

Customer Champion of the Year
Dee Wakelin – Red Badge Group

Design and Support Electronic Sector Professional of the Year
Matt Collins – Advanced Security Group

Electronic Trainee of the Year
Mikee McLeod – Advanced Security Group

Guarding Sector Trainee of the Year
Vicky Roberts – Red Badge Group

Install and Service Electronic Sector (Corporate) Technician of the Year
Blair Courtier – Advanced Security Group

Install and Service Electronic Sector (SME) Technician of the Year
Zane Stephenson – Alliance Fire & Security

Michael Pepper Award for Outstanding Security Training Initiative
Hard Target

Outstanding New Product or Service of the Year
Gallagher – Proximity and Contact Training Report

Outstanding Skills for Industry Employee of the Year
Knikita Tarawa – Red Badge Group

Outstanding Staff Retention/Staff Development Programme
Advanced Security Group

Patrol Officer of the Year
Michael McCormack – Matrix Security Group Ltd

Security Administrator of the Year
Sabrina Crowe – Red Badge Group

Security Consultant of the Year
Andy Gollings – Red Badge Group

Security Integrator of the Year
Mark Chessum – Advanced Security Group

Security Officer of the Year
Anton Kritzinger – Armourguard Security

Security Supervisor/Operations Manager of the Year
Simon Ward – Red Badge Group

Security Trainer or Workplace Assessor of the Year
Jeremy Peake – Advanced Security Group

Visionary Leadership Award
Hayden George – Advanced Security Group

Ian Dick Memorial Award for Security Professional of the Year
Jeremy Horne – Alarm Watch

Once again, congratulations to all the finalists and winners!

The NZSA team.

Reminder – 2020 NZ Security Awards – 5pm today!

The 2020 New Zealand Security Awards will be livestreamed from 5pm today.

We have MC Te Radar presenting the Awards from 5pm to 6pm followed by a 30 minute set by DJ Lo Key.

On the night you will have a chance to send in text messages of support and congratulations that we will put on screen. We will share the number at the start of the event.

The event can viewed via the NZSA website:  Awards livestream

Good luck to all the finalists!

The NZSA team.

Important message from NZSA and PSPLA

Since the lockdown period, the PSPLA has processed approximately 3,800 applications for Temporary (Blue) Certificates of Approval, however the conversion rate to the full (Green) Certificate of Approval remains relatively low. Whilst some of the applicants may have left the industry, it appears that a number of security providers have taken advantage of the three month time extension for completion of the mandatory training, and have yet to complete the required three unit standards.

This places unacceptable risk on employees and of particular concern, it appears that some providers are utilising staff on Temporary CoA’s on sensitive sites, including quarantine hotels and testing sites.

Trish McConnell has advised that the PSPLA will cease approving third Temporary CoA’s (other than genuine examples in remote locations where training cannot be easily accessed) from the end of next week, being three months from the date that the country moved to Level 2 and industry training recommenced.

Staff who have not completed the mandatory training within the Temporary CoA window will effectively be operating without a licence and will leave both their employer, and the individual, open to prosecution should they continue to provide services.

The NZSA recommends members review records for all staff on Temporary CoA’s and ensure that necessary training is scheduled well before the expiry date. We would also suggest that best practice dictates that staff on Temporary CoA’s should only be utilised on sensitive sites as a last option and that training for these staff must be prioritised.

The NZSA team.

2020 NZ Security Awards – 5pm Friday

The 2020 New Zealand Security Awards will be livestreamed from 5pm on Friday 7 August.

We have MC Te Radar presenting the Awards from 5pm to 6pm followed by a 30 minute set by DJ Low Key.

On the night you will have a chance to send in text messages of support and congratulations that we will put on screen. We will share the number at the start of the event.

The event can viewed via the NZSA website:  Awards livestream

Good luck to all the finalists!

The NZSA team.

Apprenticeship Boost Initiative Programme

Details on the Apprenticeship Boost Initiative Progamme have finally been announced. This programme will be of benefit to members who employ eligible apprentices.

Eligible apprentices are defined as:
a. Enrolled in a New Zealand Apprenticeship with a Transitional TITO; or
b. Is enrolled in a TEC-recognised Managed Apprenticeship; and
c. Has not had their enrolment withdrawn or put on hold; and
d. Is in paid employment or a paid contracting arrangement with an applicant; and
e. Has completed no more than than 24 months of a programme of study.

Whilst Apprentice Security Technicians are not specifically named as a qualifying apprenticeship it is our understanding that they fall within the wider grouping of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technical Electrical Engineering. We have sought confirmation on this from TEC several weeks ago but have yet to receive a response.

Employers will be able to apply for the Apprenticeship Boost whether an apprentice has just started their training programme or is nearing the end of their first two years – right up until the apprentice has completed 24 months of their training programme (while the initiative is running).

Applications for the Apprenticeship Boost open on Friday 5 August 2020 via the MSD website and will run for 20 months, see the MSD website for details on the application process.

Employers with an apprentice in their first year of the apprenticeship will be eligible for $1,000 per month, and employers with an apprentice in their second year will be eligible for $500 per month for a maximum period of 20 months.

The NZSA team.