Supporting Pasifika organisations and leaders through uncertain and challenging times

Providing you with practical business advice and access to expert resources

We are facing unprecedented circumstances; COVID-19 is challenging all of us and changing our way of living and working. At this time, it is important we prioritise the care we show for each other and we come together as a community. 

The Ministry of Social Development, Ministry for Pacific Peoples, the Pacific Business Trust and Pacific Business Trust’s partners, including our team here at Deloitte, have come together to support Pasifika organisations and leaders through these difficult times. 

The information shared below, regarding the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the COVID-19 Essential Worker Leave Scheme, is designed to support you as we navigate through this period of uncertainty. 

We also outline the expert resources and support made available by MSD, PBT and Deloitte to all Pasifika organisations including commercial, for-profit businesses (sole traders, companies, contractors, self-employed), social enterprises, non-profit organisations and community groups. The business (advisory) support services delivered to you will be funded by PBT through its contract with MPP and the support of advisory staff from MSD.

Wage Subsidy & Essential Worker Leave Payment Scheme

On 17 March the Government announced a NZ$12.1 billion Economic Response Package. This stimulus include subsidies for employers, contractors, sole traders or the self-employed – the Wage Subsidy and the Essential Worker Leave Scheme (effective 6 April 2020). The Wage Subsidy is a one-off lump sum payment to support businesses in keeping people employed for the next 12 weeks. The Essential Worker Leave Scheme provides support for employees that are required to self-isolate in accordance with Ministry of Health guidance.We have people available to support you through the process.

We have people available to support you through the process. 

Wage Subsidy

  • The purpose of the Wage Subsidy is to support employers who have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue to keep employees on the payroll during this difficult period. The Wage Subsidy is calculated with reference to employees and spans a 12 week period. The subsidy is calculated as $585.80 per employee working more than 20 hours per week and $350.00 per employee working less than 20 hours per week. The subsidy will be paid as a lump sum covering a 12 week period.  For more information about the Wage Subsidy, please refer to our detailed article here.

Essential Worker Leave Scheme

  • The purpose of the Essential Worker Leave Payment Scheme is to provide payments (via employers) to employees who are required to self-isolate under Ministry of Health guidelines (i.e. it is not available to the general public who are subject to the lock-down; the recipient must be suffering from COVID-19 or at high risk) – these payments are required to be passed on in full to the relevant employees (less employment taxes and other deductions). The leave payments are $585.80 to a person working 20 hours or more per week and $350.00 to a person working less than 20 hours per week.
  • You can find more information about eligibility and information required to apply here.
  • If you are eligible for either of the schemes, we strongly encourage you to consider applying today. 

Support Services Available for Pasifika Organisations

COVID-19 is expected to have serious and prolonged impacts on all communities and businesses. We encourage all to take reasonable precautions and follow the advice of the Ministry of Health. COVID-19 is also causing a great deal of uncertainty that requires both business and people resilience including the need to address psychological stress alongside the business resilience and recovery needs.

We are ready to help now if you need support to apply for a subsidy, collect information for an application or confirm your eligibility. Our team can help you with -

  • Application Support – Providing tailored support to prepare an application for the Wage Subsidy or Essential Worker Leave Payment Scheme (this will include helping you to check your eligibility and collecting the necessary records for your application).

For Pasifika organisations requiring additional business advisory support, we have business advisors ready to help you work out a response plan for your organisation, for both your immediate needs and medium-long term plans. All of these services are free and available for any Pasifika organisation based in New Zealand. Depending on your organisational needs, you may be able to access the following -

  • Business Advisor Workshops – Tailored workshops (up to half-day sessions) for organisations that have been impacted by COVID-19. By collaborating with professional business advisors Deloitte, we have designed workshops focusing on the most impacted areas of a business (e.g. Finance, Supply Chain, Talent/People etc.).

These workshops will be facilitated by experienced professionals and the output will be a practical action plan. Where appropriate and agreed, your business advisor will also be available to support you in the medium term (this may include helping you to implement specific, agreed actions). Please note - all advisors supporting this initiative have an appreciation and respect for Pasifika culture and values.

Please note, in accordance with Ministry of Health precautions and advice, all services will be provided virtually – either over the telephone or via video conference. Please be reassured that our people have received training on how to facilitate effective conversations and workshops virtually and whilst this does not replace in-person contact, we are confident that we will be able to provide you high quality support and advice.   

Click here to register and access any of the above services (free of charge)

Contacts for more information

For more information, please contact:

        Beatrice Faumuina, PBT Strategic Relationship Manager
        Email -
        Mobile - 021 192 2551

        John Faitala, PBT Programme Manager  
        Email -
        Mobile - 021 543 069

        Lisa Tai, Deloitte Pasifika Lead & Risk Associate Director
        Email -
        Mobile - 021 152 5174

        Marie Collins, MSD Labour Market Advisor
        Email -   

        Abba Fidow, MPP Chief Advisor
        Email -
        Mobile - 021 636 619

The content of this article is accurate as at 6 April 2020, the time of publication. This article does not constitute professional advice. If you wish to understand the potential implications of current events for your business or organisation, please contact your usual Deloitte advisor.

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