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Covid-19 Alert Level 4 Information for Members

Our thoughts are with our members, their families and their staff at this difficult and challenging time.

This page covers Alert Level 4 information and advice for MTA members. 

We’ve created the following additional alert pages:

NZ lockdown - what should you do?

Our recommendation to all MTA members for Alert Level 4 is to shut your business.

Covid-19 is a killer. Globally thousands of people have already died. As a country we cannot take this seriously enough.

For that reason, MTA’s strong recommendation to our members is to close your business for the period of the lockdown.

Even if you are an essential service provider or are supporting one, think about whether it is the right thing for you and your staff. You don’t have to open, and our advice is not to.

If you do decide to open

If you are providing an essential service or supporting one and do decide to open, MTA will continue to support you – more on this below.

If you are open, you will need to think about how you operate during this period.

You must have in place working conditions that protect you, your staff and any customers that come to the business. This includes processes for social distancing and safe (clean) handling of keys, parts, and touching surfaces.

Also, are reduced hours an option? Can you provide services on an “on-demand” basis (e.g “Call us and we’ll arrange something)?

If you do decide to open, be aware that your staff will need some form of identification or official letter from the business to confirm they are travelling for an essential service.

What is an essential service?

MTA members identified as 'essential' are:

  • Service stations.
  • Vehicle recovery operators.
  • Any member providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes, such as vehicle testing, mechanics, tyre services. Repair activity is limited to supporting essential services only.

If you’re not providing any of those services you should be closed.

Note: Even if you are deemed to be an essential service or are supporting one, the decision to stay open still rests with you.

If you are still unsure if your business is an essential service, based on the information publicly provided, please get in touch with MBIE via 0508 377 388 or essential@mbie.govt.nz

Social distancing practices

If you are continuing to operate, you will be expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Remember to:

  • Take appropriate hygiene measures ensuring staff and customers have the ability to wash and dry their hands thoroughly, and suitable waste receptacles are available.
  • Maintain strict cleaning procedures in your business, with frequent cleaning, sanitising, and waste disposal.
  • Ensure physical distancing of at least two metres.
  • Have appropriate signage in prominent areas (such as entrances, point of sale, bathrooms) outlining hand-washing guidance and physical distancing guidance.
  • Ensure all of your staff are aware of the Ministry of Health guidance and your policies and procedures.

A range of tools and resources for businesses, including posters and factsheets, are available here >>

Visitor contact register

If you do decide to open you should be keeping a record of all people that have entered your premises or that you have carried out work for. This will assist authorities in tracking people should your business be exposed to Covid-19.

Please remember your obligations under the Privacy Act 1993 when collecting and holding personal information.

Displaying the QR Code Poster

The Government has announced that from 11:59am on Wednesday 19 August all businesses must display a NZ Covid-19 Tracer QR code at each site. Many MTA members will have already organised posters for their sites. If you haven’t, here’s what you need to do.

Up to a maximum of 20 sites?

If you have one to 20 sites you can create a poster for each site using the self-service webform. You will need a valid New Zealand driver licence to use this service.

You need to create a separate poster for each of your sites but can print as many copies of each poster as you need. Print your posters in A4 and in colour (if possible).

The webform is pretty straightforward and the Ministry of Health has produced a short video on how to create a QR code poster.

Note: The video was produced before yesterday’s announcement so don’t be misled by the opening commentary saying businesses are “encouraged” to use the posters. It is mandatory for businesses to display the posters from 11:59am on Wednesday 19 August.  

More than 20 sites?

If you have more than 20 sites or do not have a driver licence you can email a completed template to the Ministry of Health. Download the template here >> (Scroll down to the section headed Using the Ministry of Health template if you have more than 20 locations.)

Displaying your poster(s)

Make sure to put your posters on display in prominent locations next to every entrance. If you can, place a poster on the left-hand side of your front window or entrance, with the top approximately 130cm from the ground. The key thing is to make it easy for people to reach without creating an obstruction.

Try not to place your posters on sliding or revolving doors, in narrow or hard-to-see areas, in places with high glare, or in locations that are too high or hard to reach.

Government Support for Businesses & Employees

Head here for up-to-date information >>

Forecast your cash flow

Understanding your financial situation is important in times of uncertainty. It can also help you have better conversations with your bank or advisor.

MBIE’s business.govt.nz website has developed an easy to use forecasting tool >>

Enter your financial position and the changes you expect, and the tool will help you forecast your cash flow.

Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme

To be eligible for the Leave Support Scheme the employer must meet eligibility criteria and have employees who can't work because they have either tested positive for Covid-19, have had contact with someone who has Covid-19, or are at higher risk (or someone in their household is at higher risk) if they get Covid-19 and have been recommended to remain at home.

For further details and to apply click here >>

Covid-19 Financial Support Tool

A reminder that the Government’s Covid-19 website now features a simple online tool that businesses can use to determine what financial support they can access.

The tool will take you, step by step, through a series of questions to understand your personal circumstances:

  • your work status (e.g. employer)
  • your situation (e.g. your business is unable to operate)
  • whether your workplace has reduced business and revenue.

The tool will then tell you what financial help and support you can access, and where you can apply or find more information.

Details of all the various forms of financial support for businesses can be found on the Covid-19 Financial Support webpage >>

Got questions? Call the Covid-19 business helpline:

  • North Island 0800 500 362
  • South Island 0800 505 096.

Business Cashflow & Tax Measure Support

The support for business cashflow and tax measures covers four main categories:

  • Reintroduction of depreciation on commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Immediate deductions for low value assets.
  • Increasing the threshold for when Provisional Tax applies.
  • Writing off interest on some late payment of tax. 

Who is eligible?

All sectors and all regions are eligible for these changes. Fact sheets covering all of these can be found here >>

For illustration purposes, if you have a 31 March balance date for your tax, then the 2020-21 tax year is for the period 1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021.

What are the Depreciation changes?

The Government will permanently reintroduce depreciation (at 2% Diminishing Value) on commercial and industrial buildings for the property owners. This will take affect from the 2020-21 tax year. If you own a property of this type, you will have the ability to reduce your provisional tax payments for the 2020-21 tax year. If you own your own commercial and or industrial property, then this support will be available to you.

Am I eligible?

If you are eligible, the benefit will have the impact of reducing your tax bill for the year, from 2020-21, and may mean that you don't have to pay as much in Provisional Tax in advance for that year.

Immediate deductions for low value assets

The Government will increase the immediate deduction threshold from $500 to $5,000 for the 2020-21 tax year. It will remain at $500 for the 2019-20 tax year. The threshold will be permanently increased to $1,000 from the 2021-22 tax year onwards. This means that cost of low value assets below these thresholds can be expensed in the year they are incurred, rather than being subject to depreciation and spread over a number of years. You don't have to apply for this. The increased deduction will be available as part of normal tax filing processes.

Am I eligible?

If you are eligible, the benefit will have the impact of reducing your tax bill for the year, from 2020-21, and may mean that you don't have to pay as much in Provisional Tax in advance for that year. You do not have to apply for this, and the increased deduction will be available as part of normal tax filing processes. 

Increasing the threshold for when Provisional Tax applies

The Government will permanently increase the threshold for having to pay Provisional Tax from $2,500 to $5,000 from the 2020-21 tax year onwards.

Am I eligible?

If you are eligible, the benefit will have the impact of removing the need for you to pay Provisional Tax for the 2020-21 tax year and beyond, should your Income Tax Liability for the 2020-21 tax year or subsequent tax years be $5,000 or below which should improve your cashflow throughout the year.

It is not yet clear as to how you apply for this.

Writing off interest on some late payment of tax

The Commissioner of Inland Revenue will have the power to waive interest on late tax payments for the taxpayers whose ability to pay their tax on time was significantly adversely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Use of Money Interest (UOMI) is routinely charged on late payments.

Am I eligible?

If you are eligible, the relief will apply to all tax payments (provisional, PAYE and GST) due on or after 14 February 2020. To be eligible, businesses and individuals will need to demonstrate that their inability to pay their tax is directly related to being significantly adversely impacted by Covid-19. The Government will release further details in the coming days on the eligibility criteria.

At this stage the support is expected to be in place for the next two years.

NOTE: The above information on the Government’s Support Package is a summary of information publicly available at www.beehive.govt.nz and other agency websites and is not formal tax, financial, human resources or legal advice. This summary is intended to provide general information to MTA members and MTA cannot be held liable for any reliance on this information. For all advice on the application of these provisions to your specific circumstances you must consult your own professional advisors.

Tax support

Inland Revenue has put together a simple one-page information sheet on ways it can help businesses struggling to meet tax payments at this time.

You can view the information sheet here >>

Tax changes to help businesses

New legislation was introduced into Parliament on the 4 June and is designed to support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery.

The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments.

Businesses will be able to claim a deduction spread over five years for feasibility expenditure incurred in investigating a new asset, process or business model, even if it is subsequently abandoned.

You can read more about the legislation here >>

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of this legislation.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme simplified and expanded

The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme (BFGS) has been simplified and expanded to allow banks to make more loans available under the Government’s 80% guarantee.

The Government has increased the cap on loans offered under the scheme tenfold, from $500,000 to $5 million.

It’s also broadened the BFGS to enable businesses to use the loans for purposes beyond cashflow. They can now use the loans for "capital assets and projects related to responding to, or recovering from, the impacts of Covid-19". They can also re-finance up to 20% of their existing debt.

The Treasury website has comprehensive information on the BFGS.

Businesses seeking to access the scheme should contact their bank.

Participating banks are ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Heartland Bank, Kiwibank, SBS Bank, TSB, Bank of China and Westpac.

Leasing & Rental Arrangements

With many members unable to access their business premises due to the lockdown, we’ve been fielding a lot of enquiries regarding their leasing and rental arrangements.

In response we’ve developed a factsheet which includes an easy to follow flowchart to help you determine what action you need to take.

Covid-19 Commercial Lease Disputes

Many members have faced rental difficulties over the Covid-19 lockdown period where a loss of revenue means they struggled to pay rent to their landlords. While some members have been able to come to an agreement with their landlords, many have not been as lucky.

The Ministry of Justice is now fully funding mediation services between commercial tenants and landlords. Arbitration services will also be subsidised up to $6,000 (incl GST) per dispute. Participants need to fund any remaining arbitration costs up to a maximum of $2,000.

The services are available for disputes about payment or rent where:

  • the parties have not previously come to an agreement about payment of rent during the relevant lockdown period
  • the tenant has experienced a material loss of revenue during a lockdown period due to Government Covid-19 restrictions (for example, if you have been eligible for the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy or Wage Subsidy Extension).

In addition, at least one party needs to:

  • be New Zealand-based, and
  • has 20 or fewer full-time equivalent staff per lease site.

This service will be available for six months from 25 September 2020 to the end of March 2021. Both the landlord and tenant will need to agree to take part. There are three approved providers.

For more information about the services, eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Ministry of Justice website >>

Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes

The Government announced today that it will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the Covid-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues.

A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair reduction in rent where a business has suffered a loss of revenue because of Covid-19.

View the Government’s release here >>

Covid-19 Related HR FAQs

Please note that this information is based on current employment law and Government advice but is subject to change as the Government is revising information on a regular basis. We will update the information if things change, so we recommend checking back regularly or calling MTA HR if you are unsure. 

Q: How can the MTA help me? A: We can provide advice around issues relating to employee questions and employer obligations. Call MTA HR (0800 00 11 44) or email hr@mta.org.nz. Some people may be experiencing anxiety around the virus or its impact. MTA members, your family, your staff and their families, can all access free counselling through EAP. This support can be accessed by calling 0800 327 669 and letting them know you are an MTA member, or work for, an MTA member.

Q: Do I have any Health and Safety obligations?   A: Yes. You have an obligation under the Health and Safety Act to provide a safe working environment and this includes putting appropriate measures in place to manage infectious disease. Worksafe expects all businesses to follow the latest advice from the Ministry of Health (including allowing self-isolation if recommended) and to promote good hygiene practises at work. If you are working under Level 3 and 4 and have employees working on site, practical options would include (but are not limited to):

  • Making sure employees have easy access to adequate facilities for washing hands with soap and water and paper towels for effective drying of hands.
  • Encouraging/asking employees to follow good hand washing techniques (The Ministry of Health has posters available to download and print).
  • Providing alcohol-based hand sanitiser and disinfectant / disinfectant wipes to use on door handles and customer areas.
  • Providing disposable gloves (educate on best practice when using).
  • Varying shift start and finish times to minimise times employees are together.
  • Not having meetings, instead email or text information staff need to know.
  • Have employees keep a distance of at least one metre from each other.
  • Wearing face masks and educate staff on correct usage.
  • When working on a customer’s vehicle or machinery, wipe down the surfaces that are regularly touched, ie handles, steering wheels, etc.
  • If moving a vehicle, keep the windows open to enable air flow through the vehicle.

There are other elements you will need to put in place around tracking and signage >>

Q: Can I make employees go home if they are sick? And do I have to pay them? A: If you have good reason to believe the employee is sick and presents a risk to others, you do have obligations under the Health and Safety Act and can ask them to stay at home. If they are sick due to Covid-19 reasons, you may be eligible for the Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme.

Q: What if my employee is sick for a different reason? A: You will need to pay them sick leave out of their normal sick leave entitlement.

Q: I am a service station, but have some employees refusing to work during the Level 4 lockdown. What do I do?   A: During a Level 4 lockdown, an employee is required to be at work as usual if the employer is categorised as an essential service and is operating. Should they refuse, they are not entitled to be paid. They may request annual leave but it is your decision whether to approve that request.

A disciplinary investigation/process is a possibility but is not encouraged unless clearly warranted and following proper process.   

Exceptions to the above would include if they:

  • are unwell or need to care for a dependent who is unwell
  • show signs of the virus, and/or may have been exposed
  • are at greater risk for medical reasons
  • have some other valid reason for not being at work.

Before you make any decisions, we recommend you talk with the employee to find out more about why specifically they do not wish to work.     

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, an employee can refuse work if they believe, on reasonable grounds, that carrying out work would expose the employee (or any other person) to a serious risk to the employee’s or another person’s health or safety arising from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard. 

While this could include Covid-19, the key word is “reasonable”. These situations need to be looked at on a “case by case” basis, if you have taken all reasonably practical steps to meet your Health and Safety obligations and the employee is not in a higher risk category, it is unlikely that a refusal to work because of a generalised fear of contracting the virus could be considered reasonable.

But, if the employee has valid reasons for being concerned, and you can reasonably accommodate them staying at home, then you would need good reason to say no.      

Contact MTA HR for further advice.  

Q: I have agreed to an employee not working because they have an underlying condition; how do I pay them? Is it taken off annual leave, or do I pay them as normal using wage subsidies?    A:You can apply for the Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme unless something else has been agreed to (for example, agreed annual leave).

Contact MTA HR for further advice.  

Q: I am a service station and have reduced my opening hours. Do I have to consult with employees about this change in their hours of work?    A: Depending on employment agreement wording, you can only change employee hours of work (and so wages) by agreement. Be upfront and advise that you are only considering these measures as an alternative to potential job losses further on and seek their agreement.

They also need to be told they can seek independent advice before deciding whether to agree.

Once you have consulted, you will need to confirm all this in a letter to your employee/s.

What happens if a staff member tests positive for Covid-19?

In the event an employee tests positive, the Ministry of Health has information about what you should do. Your local Public Health unit will also be in contact with you to discuss the situation in more detail.

You will have to close off and deep clean the areas the employee spent time in.

You may also be asked to close your business temporarily, but closure would depend on what measures the business put in place to mitigate the Covid-19 risk and if those measures are still active and effective.

We recommend maintaining excellent hygiene and sanitation standards as well as physical distancing, as this will help reduce the likelihood of your business having to temporarily close.

If an employee has been tested for Covid-19, you are allowed to ask for confirmation that the test was negative before allowing them to return to the workplace.

If You Need to Consider Restructuring

We know the significant impact Covid-19 has already had on businesses across New Zealand, with employers in many sectors needing to consider restructuring and redundancies.   

If you are in the unfortunate situation of needing to consider a restructure of your business that may include redundancies, please be aware that you need to undertake a fair consultation process. You cannot just “lay someone off”.

If you do not follow a consultation process, you are putting yourself at risk of future personal grievance claims that could cost you money.

There isn’t a 'one size fits all' approach for restructure and redundancy so please seek advice if you are considering this.

Contact the MTA HR team for support by calling 0800 00 11 44 or emailing hr@mta.org.nz.

Temporarily reducing hours/wages in response to lockdown

If you find yourself in the position of needing to reduce hours or wages during level 3 and/or 4, you MUST make sure you are doing so legally. Employment law means you cannot tell employee you are reducing their wages/hours, you must get their agreement in writing.

Template documents will be available after the Government announcements on the 14 August.

Make Sure You Have Signed Employment Agreements

If you are considering a change to the structure of your business as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, please make sure you have copies of all employment agreements and job descriptions.

If an employee challenges decisions made through a restructure, the employer will be significantly disadvantaged during legal proceedings for failing to have a signed employment agreement in place.

The Employment Relations Act 2000 requires all employees to have a signed contract of employment.

Should you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact MTA HR for assistance with advice or templates. Call 0800 00 11 44 or email hr@mta.org.nz.

Paying sick leave

Any employee that is sick should stay at home to help prevent spreading the illness to the rest of your employees. If they are exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms as defined by the Ministry of Health website, they should be tested. The testers will advise the individual about how long they need to isolate at home. At a minimum, the isolation will last as long as it takes for the test results to come back. During this time the employee will be paid their normal sick leave.

Employees should inform their employer promptly about the test result. If the result is negative, but the employee is still sick, payment continues to be normal sick leave pay. If they do not have any available sick leave, they can request they be paid out annual leave, otherwise the leave will be unpaid. Note that you cannot pay out annual leave without a request by the employee.

Should the test result be positive, the employee will have to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days. Employers may be eligible for the Leave Support subsidy from Work and Income. Note that if you are still receiving the wage subsidy, you won’t be able to use both subsidies at the same time.

Specific advice by sector

Keep in mind that the reason for the lockdown is to reduce contact between people and to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Stretching the definition of “essential for life” undermines the purpose of COVID-19 alert level 4 and puts more lives at risk.

Service Stations

While service stations are considered an “essential service” and you can open, you don’t have to!

Our advice to all MTA members is to close. Covid-19 is a killer and we need to stop it in its tracks. It’s more important to save lives than open your business and potentially place yourself, your staff and your customers at risk.

In deciding what to do, we encourage you to think about:

  • The cost of closing versus the ongoing drain of fuel on working capital when sales are dramatically lower than during BAU times.
  • The safety of yourself and your team.

Nonetheless, we understand some of you will choose to open to support your community and other essential services in your area.

If you DO decide to stay open:

  • Think about changing the times you are open e.g. a couple of hours each day for just some days of the week.
  • Consider if there’s an opportunity to work with other local servos to roster when you’re open? There’s no point having everyone open when business sales levels are so desperately low. [Is that something we can help with, as no doubt you will have a million other things to do? Email Ian Baggott, Sector Manager – Energy and Environment]
  • Recognising that fuel sales volumes are well down on normal volumes, make sure you talk to your fuel supplier about the option to amend normal fuel delivery schedules or if they will extend any payment periods.
  • Remember, service stations can sell food (such as pies), which are supplied to service stations in sealed packaging but are heated on-site.
  • Selling coffee is not considered an essential service.
  • Service stations do not have to open their toilets to the general public during the lockdown. Who can access these toilets during this period is an operational matter for fuel retailers to decide.
  • We would encourage service station operators to consider making their toilets available to all persons with letters of authorisation from essential service providers.

Repairers

The Essential Services list does include vehicle repair, but only for “Any entity providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes (e.g. vehicle testing, mechanics, tyre services)”.

The Government has defined “keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes” as follows:

Maintenance services – all modes 

Any workers involved in the provision of essential maintenance and safety services e.g.:

  • Maintenance and engineering staff
  • Vehicle recovery and assistance services
  • Vehicle repairers, inspectors, certifiers, mechanics and vehicle part providers (however, the services able to be provided must be restricted to work to address immediate and short-term risks to human safety, e.g. essential tyre replacement - routine servicing is not included).

Essential purposes can also include private travel for the purposes of grocery shopping, seeking healthcare, shared custody arrangements, or going to work for an essential service.

The Ministry of Transport has confirmed: 

  • You can operate your repair business (on demand) to repair vehicles for any person who is in acute need of vehicle recovery and repair services while they are undertaking permitted essential private travel (i.e. someone who gets caught short on the way to or from and essential activity; e.g. the shops or healthcare).
  • You cannot just rock into the workshop to keep working on vehicles.
  • Work on vehicles should only take an hour or two at the most. Anything more than this would be deemed as extensive work and out of scope of the current requirements.
  • You cannot operate on a “business as usual” basis and open your workshop to keep working on vehicles while “waiting” for an essential work request to come in.

If you must open, we recommend operating an “on call” system, where customers involved in essential work purposes can contact you and request work.

  • At no stage should people be at work waiting for jobs to roll in. 
  • Let your customers know via email, Facebook posts, answer phone messages or a sign in the window, that you are available to work on vehicles to keep them operational for essential work purposes only.
  • If you are working on a vehicle that is involved in an essential service, you should keep the workshop doors shut (subject to Health & Safety needs). This should avoid any confrontations or accusations.
  • You may also want to roster staff on for specific times, maybe one staff member covers mornings and another afternoons. 

Work to address immediate and short-term risks to human safety may be as follows:

  • Replacement of tyres
  • Puncture repairs 
  • Brake repairs
  • Steering or suspension repairs
  • Repairs to lights or warning devices
  • Replacement of seatbelts or repairs to seats.

Remember that health and safety is still paramount and as a PCBU it is still your responsibility to ensure the safety of any staff.

Collision repairers

MTA believes you will be covered under this if you are repairing an emergency service vehicle (fire, ambulance or police) or responding to an emergency call for service from a member of the public (vehicle recovery and repairs to return the vehicle to safe operation). 

Parts supply

Parts suppliers are considered part of the automotive supply chain so can continue to operate. 

Repco is still operating via their phone lines or on-line ordering. There may be some delays getting parts to you, but they will do their best. 

Check with your usual supplier to see if they are operating.

Testing stations 

If you do to work on a vehicle, then you should apply the following actions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

  • Ask customers what essential service they work in before taking any bookings.
  • Ask customers if they are suffering from any of the Covid-19 symptoms. If they are, don’t work on the vehicle. 
  • Customers to park vehicles and leave keys in ignition and walk away before staff handle vehicles. 
  • Ideally all staff should be wearing gloves when handling keys, touching vehicles etc.
  • Door handles, steering wheels, seatbelts, park brake and gear levers to be wiped down before and after driving vehicle.
  • Keep windows open when moving the vehicle to allow for fresh air flow.
  • Keys to be wiped down.
  • Always ensure social distancing space of two meters. 

And for your premises:

  • Wash floors daily with a strong disinfectant.
  • Door handles, bench tops, phones, keyboards etc. to be wiped down regularly.
  • Close shared tea and coffee making facilities.  
  • No customers to wait onsite for jobs to be completed. 
  • Tools and shared equipment (oil containers, oil drains etc.) to be cleaned after use.

Warrant of Fitness (WoF) and Certification of Fitness (CoF)

The Government passed emergency legislation to push out the expiry dates for WoFs, CoFs, regos and licences up to 10 October 2020. A key reason for doing this is to help smooth the expected inspection backlog for our industry – about 1.4 million WoFs and CoFs alone – when we come out of Covid-19 lockdown.

The change covers the following:

  • WoFs and CoFs, driver licences, and vehicle certifications issued under the Vehicle Standards Compliance Rule that expired on or after 1 January 2020.
  • Endorsements (including drivers of passenger services and dangerous good endorsements held by some truck drivers) that expired on or after 1 March 2020.
  • It also provides a temporary suspension of the requirement to have a current vehicle licence (rego), if the vehicle licence expired on or after 1 January 2020.

We’re already working with NZTA to set these expiry dates which will be up to 10 October 2020 (six months). Note: this does not mean all affected WoFs, CoFs etc will be due on 10 October as has been misreported by the media today.  We expect a range of extension dates to be granted depending on the original expiry date, to allow people enough time to have their vehicles repaired and inspected, so that in six months’ time everyone has caught up.

For those vehicles currently being used as essential services, NZTA encourages operators to make use of the testing centres that are open (these are approved as essential services), to help services continue to run safely.   This does not apply to revoked or suspended documents, NZTA can continue to revoke or suspend for safety reasons during this period.   NZTA's Q&A web page has been updated with this information.

Personal and private vehicles: WoF requirements 

Obtaining a new WoF is not regarded as an essential trip during Alert Level 4. 

  • Members of the public should not travel for this purpose, and 
  • businesses should not provide WoF services to the general public who are not essential workers. 

Essential maintenance and repairs can be provided in order to ensure that a private vehicle remains safe and operational when used for essential purposes. 

Essential services: WoF/CoF requirements 

  • Obtaining a WoF/CoF is regarded as an essential trip for vehicles involved in essential services, and their supply chains, during Alert Level 4. 
  • If driving an essential service vehicle without a current WoF/CoF, operators and drivers continue to have responsibilities to ensure the vehicle is safe for operating. 
  • Repairs needed to make a vehicle safe to carry out an essential service, are themselves an essential service and can be commissioned and carried out. 

Dealers

You are only able to sell a vehicle to essential service providers. You can see the list of essential services here. The definitions are being frequently refined and expanded as new situations arise.

If you do open to make a sale to an essential service provider, you will need to record the transaction in writing so a ‘paper trail’ exists if required. This would include a declaration from the prospective customer as to why they think they qualify as an essential service provider.  

You must also apply your own scrutiny so that you are comfortable they meet the definition.

You must manage the delivery/handover process very carefully:

  • Clean and wipe down the vehicle before delivery.
  • All staff should be wearing gloves when handling keys, touching vehicles etc.
  • Door handles, steering wheels, seatbelts, park brake and gear levers to be wiped down before and after driving vehicle
  • Keys to be wiped down.
  • Always ensure social distancing space of two meters. 

Parts supply

Parts suppliers are considered part of the automotive supply chain so can continue to operate. 

MTA Services & Support

In Alert Level 4, the MTA Head Office will be closed with staff working from home, but we’re still available to support you and you’ll still be able to access our services.

You can call us on 0800 00 11 44 or email us at mta@mta.org.nz.

Gift Cards and Vouchers

The MTA Gift Team will maintain a reduced service, to support entities deemed to be “essential services” (e.g. service stations, government agencies such as Oranga Tamariki and Work and Income and DHBs).

We won’t be able to guarantee one-day turnaround, but if your business is an essential service, or supporting one, and you have chosen to stay open, we can still process your orders. 

Gift Voucher Redemption

MTA will continue to redeem Gift Vouchers and pay out to members on Mondays as per normal. But with a closure of the MTA Head Office the process will change slightly:

  1. Cut the corner off your Gift Voucher as usual 
  2. Retain the vouchers in their weekly batches until further notice
  3. Scan your voucher redemption form 
  4. Create an email with “Gift voucher redemption”, your membership number and the total amount being redeemed in the email’s subject line. 
  5. Attach the scanned redemption form to the email
  6. Send the email to finance@mta.org.nz
  7. Once the Alert level is reduced and Head Office is operating again, we’ll advise when to send your vouchers in.

Keeping you in the loop

We will continue to send email updates and update this page with new information on a regular basis.And remember, you can contact us on 0800 00 11 44 or email mta@mta.org.nz.  

Helpful Sites & Resources

For additional up-to-date information relating to you and your employees, head to these sites:

Additional Resources:

My Auto Shop – driving business to your door

My Auto Shop has built an innovative way for customers to book vehicle services and repairs online, as well as a unique way to pick up and drop off customer vehicles >> My Auto Shop

Disclaimer:

The MTA website contains information for MTA Members obtained from a variety of sources including MTA, its Members, the New Zealand Government, and from sources commissioned by MTA, and is subject to change without notice.

Every endeavour has been taken by MTA to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date.  Any legal information contained in this website is intended as a general guide and is not a detailed legal analysis.

  • Members are recommended to take specific, independent advice from qualified professional people before undertaking any action following information received from this website.
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