Responding to COVID-19

Alert levels – 21 September 2021

COVID-19 Government information in one place

For all COVID-19 Government Information, see the official website here.

Parts of the country are now at different alert levels.

Learn more about what Level 3 means for your organisation here: Doing business at Alert Level 3. Your business must operate contactless and you must apply health and safety measures.

Learn more about what Level 2 means for your organisation here: Doing business at Alert Level 2.

Mandatory contact tracing
Record keeping is a requirement for people aged 12 and over at all alert levels for busy places and events. If members in your community can’t access the tracer app, Government has produced a Contact Tracing Booklet so people can keep a note of where they’ve been. The booklet can be downloaded and printed from the COVID-19 website.

Vaccines and the workplace
Employment New Zealand has guidance on this topic for businesses and workers. ‘Workers’ includes staff and voluntary labour.

Community and social services – essential services

Alert level 4 businesses and services include:
Social and community-based services provided to support persons to maintain critical well-being or as crisis support for people who are unsafe or homeless.

Four categories for social and community-based services at Alert Level 4 have been identified. Organisations are being asked to determine which category your service or activity falls into. This differs from the previous Alert Level 4 approach where organisations had to apply to be registered as essential services.

The four categories are:
1.      Where the social service is the only way for people accessing food and other goods they need to survive (e.g., money management (but not budget advice), food banks, and other delivery of essential goods)
2.      A social service that provides and supports a place for someone to live (e.g., Supported Accommodation, Housing First, Residence, Bail Hostels, Night Shelters, Family homes, remand homes, foster carers of children in state care, resettlement services for recent migrants and refugees.
3.      A social service that supports disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing (e.g., disability services for those with high needs or very high needs and excluding disability employment services).
4.      Crisis support for people who are unsafe (e.g., Funded helplines, refuges and family violence services, foster care support services, sexual violence crisis services).

See the Covid-19 government information on Doing business at Alert Level 4.

Alert level 3 businesses

At Alert Level 3, everyone should work from home if they can.

Businesses that require close physical contact cannot open.

All other businesses can operate, but with restrictions. This includes physical distancing, having extra hygiene measures and contactless options for ordering, pick-up, delivery and payment.

If your business does not have measures in place to operate safely, then you should close.

See the Covid-19 government information on Doing business at alert level 3.


Guidelines for all levels – 2020

During the 2020 March and April lockdowns, we worked closely with the Volunteer Centre Network and the National Crisis Management Centre as part of our efforts we all made in the fight against COVID-19.  During that period a series of guidelines were issued centrally by the National Crisis Management Centre and New Zealand Government.

It is important to note that mask advice has changed since then, and also that the delta variant is much more contagious. The website remains the central source of information and updates on COVID-19. It includes comprehensive information translated into multiple languages

Worksafe has information on Engaging volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alert Level 4 guidelines:

Alert Level 3 guidelines:

Alert Level 2 guidelines:

Connect with your local Volunteer Centre

There are 17 regional Volunteer Centres around New Zealand. The Volunteer Centre network has mobilised to take expressions of interest from those available to help during the pandemic. Each centre will be working within their own communities infrastructure, and with Civil Defence. Get in touch with your local centre to connect with opportunities to collaborate.

>> Connect with your local volunteer centre

Volunteering New Zealand’s resources

Our team is contactable through email or phone, so please keep in touch. We need to hear from Volunteer Involving Organisations about the impact of COVID-19.

We have put all our new resources relating to virtual volunteering and responding in a pandemic in one place.

We also have a full suite of volunteer resources, with sections specifically on pandemic resources and virtual volunteering resources. These are updated regularly.

Michelle Kitney

We encourage you to get in touch if you want to share ideas and challenges during the COVID-19 response. You can contact Michelle Kitney, CE at VNZ, directly by email Michelle would love to hear from you. Also, please signup to our newsletter to receive our latest updates and information.