News and events

COVID-19 support and service updates

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

This article was published on 22 September 2021

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

With Auckland at Alert Level 3 Step 2, and the rest of the country at Alert Level 2, here is some information about our business operations at our four sites.

Our Auckland site remains closed to visitors and staff will be working from home where they can.

In Christchurch, Wellington Central and Lower Hutt, our staff are working from a variety of locations and our sites have COVID-19  safeguards in place. In addition to this, we’ll only be visiting businesses when essential, and when the site has appropriate protocols in place. Should you require a face-to-face meeting, you’ll need to talk to your customer manager and follow our protocols. 

Although most parts of Callaghan Innovation will remain operational over this time, 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

For ongoing Callaghan Innovation service status updates through Alert Level changes, please check this page regularly.

Callaghan Innovation support & initiatives

Updated 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 or visit the RDTI Hub website. 

Wage Subsidy for Pre-Revenue Businesses - August 2021

As a result of the 17 August 2021 COVID Alert Level increase, R&D intensive pre-revenue businesses that are known to Callaghan Innovation may be eligible for the Government’s current COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

To qualify, the business must expect a 40% drop in actual or projected income from funding or capital raises as a result of New Zealand moving to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021. Eligible businesses can apply for a contribution towards the wages of their employees for a two week period.

To get started please complete our Pre-Revenue R&D Wage Subsidy Contact Form and we’ll be in touch to help you determine your business’ eligibility with respect to both being ‘known to Callaghan Innovation’ and a ‘R&D performer’. All final applications must be filed with Work and Income NZ

You can also get in touch with your Callaghan Innovation customer manager or email to explore this option. 

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 (

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

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 

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 for 14 days. Find out more on the  Work and Income website.  

Resurgence Support Payment 

Inland Revenue’s Resurgence Support Payment helps businesses across the country affected by Alert Level increases. For more information visit Inland Revenue's Resurgence Support Payment webpage. 

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.
  • 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.