News and events

COVID-19 support and service updates

open this image in new window: COVID-19 Callaghan Innovation

This article was published on 20 January 2022

This is the central reference point for our current service status and support measures amid COVID-19. It also provides information on other government support measures for businesses.

Current service status

On Friday 3 December New Zealand moved from the Alert Level system to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) (PDF), or traffic light system as it’s commonly known. 

Below is information about our business operations across our four sites under the CPF.

All Callaghan Innovation sites are now operating at 'red’, so while staff are able to work onsite, we do have COVID-19 safeguards in place.

In addition to this, all our staff, at their discretion, are able to visit businesses when the site has appropriate protocols in place. Should you require a face-to-face meeting, please talk to your customer manager and follow our protocols. 

While Callaghan Innovation is fully operational, we are experiencing a high level of demand for our services, so our processing may take a little longer than usual in the current circumstances. 

If you have a relationship manager, please contact them with any queries or concerns. Otherwise, you can contact us on 0800 422 552 or info@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz.

Callaghan Innovation support & initiatives

R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI) support

The R&D Tax Incentive supports businesses to do R&D, and includes refundability options to provide extra cashflow support to R&D-performing businesses. More loss-making businesses now qualify to have their 15% R&D tax credit refunded in cash. For further information, contact your Callaghan Innovation relationship manager, our RDTI Customer Engagement Specialists or visit the RDTI Hub website. 

Auckland Business Support

On Friday 22 October the Government announced an economic support package to support businesses affected by higher alert levels as the country transitions to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. Further information can be found via our Regional Business Partner Network's website.

It includes a $60 million package for business advice and mental health support for Auckland businesses, specifically:

  • Up to $3000 worth of advisory support,
  • Up to $4,000 to implement that advice,
  • $10 million for mental health and wellbeing support through a programme.

If you are interested in receiving further information about this support, please complete this form expressing your interest: Business Register of Interest Survey (research.net).

You will be contacted as soon as information is available on how you can apply for this support. If you have any questions please contact info@businesshelpline.co.nz.

General R&D Advice and Support

If you have any concerns about your R&D grants, Tech Incubator Startup Repayable Loans and general R&D programme, please contact your Callaghan Innovation relationship manager or info@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz. 

Innovation Skills Programmes

A strong business and innovation base can help businesses come out of this crisis stronger. We are continuously developing and/or piloting new programmes to address capability gaps in product development and product-market fit. 

Our current Innovation Skills programmes that can help businesses accelerate or pivot are:

  • Beyond IP will help you identify and strategically manage IP
  • Lean will help you eliminate waste and improve your customer experience
  • Digital Lean will help you build upon your Lean foundations and boost your competitive advantage through the use of Industry 4.0 technologies
  • Capital Education will help startups understand the NZ capital raising process.
Connect to the COVID-19 Response

Our digital networking platform, Scale-Up NZ, makes it faster and easier for ambitious businesses to find and connect with the people, capital and other help they need to innovate and grow, both here and offshore. Over 200 businesses on the platform now feature a “coronavirus” tag, identifying them as having COVID-19 response capability. Head to the ScaleUp NZ website to learn more.

Key Events Updates

For all Callaghan Innovation event updates please visit our news and events section.  

Other COVID-19 Government Support for Businesses

There are a number of COVID-19 financial support schemes available to businesses, depending on your situation. Please visit the website links to see the status of the support options as most are specific to certain Alert Level changes. These include: 

Short-Term Absence Payment   

The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.  Find out more on the  Work and Income website.  

Leave Support Scheme   

The Leave Support Scheme covers eligible workers, including the self-employed, who can’t work from home and meet certain health criteria, e.g. they have COVID-19 or are a ‘close contact’ who has been told to self-isolate. Find out more on the  Work and Income website.  

Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme (SBCS)

Under the Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme the Government provides loans to small businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, impacted by COVID-19 to support their cash flow needs. Applications are open until 31 December 2023. You can apply through myIR.

For more information visit the Business.govt.nz page here.

Regional Business Partner Network support 

The RBP network is a government initiative to support small and medium-sized enterprises that are looking to grow and innovate. Find out about its support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 on the Regional Business Partner website.

Digital Boost

The government-funded Digital Boost programme is offering small business owners a step up with free online courses on going digital. The free online courses will help bring Kiwi businesses up to speed with the latest digital tools, helping them to improve productivity and gain more time, freedom and sales.

Further Information

There are a number of government websites that have useful information about economic recovery activity and how to access it.

  • For updates on COVID-19 support information visit the Government’s Unite against COVID-19 website.
  • Business.govt.nz also provides information on COVID-19 support specific for NZ, and The Kiwi Business Boost helps with business information and support, including COVID-19 guidance, tailored to your business needs.
  • Travel information for all travellers, student visa holders, migrant workers and employers can be found on the New Zealand Immigration website.
  • ATEED’s Digital Assessment Tool will help you identify your website, marketing, people and digital needs, and understand the path to digital success.