NZSA security update – NZ close contact isolation rules relaxed

Covid-19 close contacts no longer need to self-isolate, under new rules brought into effect by the NZ Government last Friday.

From 11.59pm 24 February, only positive cases and household contacts need to isolate for 10 days, and those with symptoms need to isolate and get a test. Asymptomatic close contacts do not need to isolate, but should monitor for symptoms.

Bubble of one exemption

Household contacts who are vaccinated and asymptomatic may continue to work as long as they are able to maintain a ‘bubble of one’.

The ‘bubble of one’ means they are not in a customer-facing role, and are able to effectively isolate themselves at work, subject to specific requirements. They must continue to self-isolate outside work for the usual 10 days.

These workers do not need to use RATs during their 10-day isolation period, and businesses do not need to register for a ‘bubble of one’.

Full details available here.

Close Contact Exemption Scheme

Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic household contacts will also be able to return to work if they are registered as a critical worker, once they return a negative RAT result.

For your workers to be considered critical, you need to register as a Critical Service with the Close Contact Exemption Scheme, and identify workers that are required to maintain your operations.

Critical workers participating in the Scheme will need to self-isolate outside of work for 10 days, and are only permitted to travel to and from work and their closest RAT kit collection site.

These workers must also maintain health measures to minimise exposure in the workplace, albeit not as stringent as the ‘bubble of one’ requirements.

Full details available here.

Covid Support Payment eligibility expanded

The NZ Government also announced expanded eligibility for the Covid Support Payment, which provides funds to businesses struggling due to the Omicron outbreak.

Businesses are eligible if they can show a drop in revenue of 40% or more during a 7-day period from 16 February 2022, compared to a 7-day period in either 5 January – 15 February 2022, or a new alternate comparison period of 5 January 2021 – 15 February 2021.

Each Covid Support Payment will be $4,000 per business plus $400 per full-time employee, capped at 50 FTEs or $24,000.

Applications open today – 28 February 2022.

More information available here.


The NZSA team.

NZSA security update – Minimum Wage/Return to Work Options/Steps for RAT’s

Minimum wage increase

Government announced last Friday that the Minimum Wage will increase by 6% from $20.00 to $21.20 per hour effective 1 April 2022.

This is a substantial increase and members who have staff on, or close to the minimum wage, will need to give careful consideration to how they will be able to pass on or recover increased costs.


Return to work options for close contacts

The Government has announced that there will be two pathways for close contacts to return to work early during their self-isolation period. More details on these options are set out below however, there is still some uncertainty and we are seeking clarification on the details. The relevant Government websites have been updated multiple times since the announcement, and this is our best understanding at the time of writing. We will provide further updates as information becomes available.

In addition, we note the following:

  • Regardless of the traffic light level, all businesses can continue to operate.
  • These new pathways take effect at Phases 2 and 3 of the Omicron response. It is expected we will move to Phase 2 when there are approx. 1,000 cases per day.


If a worker is identified as a contact there are two pathways:


Pathway 1: Bubbles of One [Phase 2 and 3]

Workers who can operate in a ‘bubble of one’ will not need to register and will not require a rapid antigen test to return to work.

This pathway is available to all businesses and there is no limit on the number of ‘bubbles of one’ you can have in your business. To maintain a bubble of one, that worker would also need to follow protocols around distancing, mask wearing, etc and must also travel to work as a bubble of one. We envisage this pathway may apply for guards working alone on non-customer facing sites and for patrol officers, particularly when conducting external checks. Additional procedures may be required to avoid situations such as patrol musters and supervisor checks.

If your worker is a close contact of someone with Covid-19, they can continue to work as a bubble of one (whether indoors or outdoors) during their self-isolation period if they are:

  • vaccinated;
  • asymptomatic; and
  • not customer facing.


Pathway 2: Close contact exemption scheme [Phase 2 and 3]

This option is only available to “critical sectors”.

Whilst “Security” is not specifically covered within the broad definition of critical sectors, we fall within the criteria category “Other critical public services that will cause significant social, economic or physical harm to the community if temporarily closed”.


To use this pathway, your business will need to register as a critical service via Business Connect.


Workers returning to work under this option will need to carry evidence of their registration, as well as a “critical worker authorisation letter” from the business.

This pathway allows close contacts to continue to work during their self-isolation period if they are:

  • vaccinated;
  • asymptomatic; and
  • return a negative rapid antigen test prior to each day/shift they are at work during the isolation period. Rapid antigen tests can be either supplied by businesses (if available) or accessible by the worker from Ministry of Health distribution hubs.

Under this option, workers would also need to follow protocols around mask wearing etc.



Businesses need to register as a critical service, we cannot do this on your behalf.

Feedback already suggests that the processes and requirements are overly complex and open to interpretation.

Further changes are likely – we will keep you posted on relevant developments.


Steps for using Rapid Antigen Tests for business

The Ministry of Health has provided the RAT_for_business_workflow for the use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT’s) for business.


The NZSA team.

NZSA security update

MSD and NZSA partner to provide Omicron staff resourcing service

We are pleased to advise that MSD and NZSA have partnered in developing a new and customised placement service that will allow us to attract casual, part-time and full time workers to support the security industry through Omicron enforced staff shortages.

This is a new one-off programme that sits outside of our Skills for Industry programme that focuses on assisting beneficiaries into full time contracts and instead will target all workers who can legally work in New Zealand and have the capacity to work on either a casual, part-time or full time contract basis. Whilst the current reported numbers infected with the Omicron variant are well below initial forecasts, it seems inevitable that numbers will surge and when combined with the isolation requirements for close contacts, this will have a major impact on the ability for security providers to meet contracted service delivery levels.

The new programme has commenced this week and will run through to 30 June 2022 and with national coverage.

Under the new programme, the NZSA will use our existing recruitment network and run a targeted advertising and social media campaign to identify potential candidates. These candidates will be screened to ensure they are “fit for purpose” for guarding and monitoring roles – including the ability to obtain a CoA (based on information provided) and demonstrating appropriate attitude and presentation.

We will refer these candidates to NZSA members who have registered with us on a first in first served basis and with the commitment that for those offered employment (casual, part-time or full time) the NZSA will apply for the Temporary Licence and access for the candidate to participate in a webinar facilitated by SkillsVR covering a basic introduction to security roles and the principles of managing conflict. The webinars have been developed with input from Quinton Swanson (Hard Target) and whilst they are not part of the CoA qualification, they will certainly assist the learners in their understanding of the CoA requirements and provide a good induction into security roles. Costs for the temporary licence application and webinar will be funded by MSD.

For those candidates who are offered employment, the NZSA will charge a nominal placement fee of $100 plus GST to cover our direct labour and marketing costs.

We have already received strong interest in the service from NZSA members who already participate in the Skills for Industry programme however if you wish to register or receive more information, please contact Andrea Charlton, National Training and Employment Services Manager on [email protected].

NZCiES Level 3 (Electrotechnology) and Level 4 (Electronic Security) Update

We have recently received confirmation that the NZCiES Level 4 has now been approved by TEC as a New Zealand Apprenticeship.

This means that in addition to the NZCiES being covered under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (Fees Free) through to 31 December 2022, employers can now also claim a subsidy of up to $1,000 per month under the Apprenticeship Boost programme.

Employers who sign workers up to the NZCiES Level 4 will need to apply for the Apprenticeship Boost payment through Work and Income. This scheme only runs to 4 August 2022 so employers should register promptly.

It is also pleasing to note that we now have clarity with regards to registering non New Zealander citizens into training agreements. Non New Zealander citizens can now be enrolled provided they have the right to work in New Zealand for the length of the training programme specified in the training agreement. If they have a work visa that allows them to work in New Zealand for three years, they can then enrol in a three-year training programme. As part of this, enrolment can only be for those employed in the industry and school leavers and the unemployed can no longer enrol.

There will be changes to the funding from 2023 and whilst these have yet to be disclosed, we remain hopeful that there will be a continued focus on supporting apprentices and their employers.

For further information please contact Carine Vaccari at ETEC on 022 568 6671 or [email protected].

Obituary notice – Tony Parker of Venue Response

It is with much sadness that we advise of the passing last weekend of Tony Parker, the owner and Managing Director of Venue Response (VR) Security in Rotorua.

Tony was a real character – old school in his business principles and ethics, fiercely loyal to his team and always striving to look after his staff and provide the best possible service to his customers.

Our thoughts are with Tony’s family and the wider VR whanau.

Support for Tonga

We are all aware of the devastation in Tonga following the recent Tsunami.

This has hit many in our industry given how the Tongan community is highly represented within our workforce and we applaud the efforts to date in providing support to the families back in Tonga.

We are aware that NZSA member Platform 4 Group (P4G) has donated $5,000 to the charity initiative driven by The Akanesi Mataitonga Trust which is focused on assisting Tonga’s children and would encourage other businesses who may be in a position to assist to also provide their support.

Face Mask Stock

The NZSA has Ministry of Health face masks from government stocks. These masks are Ministry of Health approved for essential services and are fully compliant with the new requirements as detailed above. The masks are available to order in boxes of 50 and the cost is $37.50 + gst per box ($0.75 per unit) for members and $50 + gst per box for non-members.

If you would like to place an order can you please email us at [email protected] with your requirements.

Kind regards,
The NZSA team.