Pursuant to clause 24 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021 (“Order”), I, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health being satisfied that:
- the exemption is necessary or desirable in order to promote the purposes of the Order or of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020; and
- that the extent of this exemption is not broader than is reasonably necessary to address the matters that gave rise to the exemption,
declare that the following financial services which are critical to the functioning of New Zealand’s markets, and for the flow of cash and capital to businesses, investors and consumers may operate as Alert Level 4 businesses or services:
- licenced insurers list available at: https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation-and-supervision/insurers/licensing/register;
- money remitters and money transfer operators;
- financial product market operators;
- broking services;
- payment and settlement system providers;
- registry services;
- EFTPOS infrastructure and management services;
- payments architecture services;
- credit bureaus.
Critical financial services are limited to:
- processing and maintaining systems for processing critical financial transactions and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; card re-issue; fraud monitoring; and capital markets activities);
- facilitating critical financial and capital markets, enabling secondary trading of financial products, enabling access to capital for businesses and investment/return of capital for investors;
- facilitating the manufacture of and distributing critical infrastructure to other Alert Level 4 businesses and services;
- providing consumer and business access to credit and lending services;
- ensuring provision of funding for ATMs, and to move currency and payments (e.g. armoured cash carriers); and
- providing critical banking support for customers who need assistance from carers and/or are unable to use remote banking services, as required.
The exemption is subject to the following conditions:
- services must comply with Alert Level 4 requirements for workplaces as set out in the Order, such as systems and processes for physical distancing requirements;
- face to face customer interaction continues to be permitted for critical financial services only;
- transactions must be contactless where possible. If not possible, there must be regular disinfecting of surfaces and provision of hand sanitiser and any other hygiene measure required to maintain safety. Staff must wear face coverings at all times and maintain separation of two metres within the workplace and with customers;
- services operating under this exemption must follow all Government and WorkSafe guidelines for doing business safely at alert level four available at: https://covid19.govt.nz/business-and-money/businesses/doing-business-at-alert-level-4/#alert-level-4-businesses-and-services;
- services must have systems and process in place to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that each person who enters its premises:
- scans the QR code for the workplace; or
- provides details in a contact tracing record that the person in control of the workplace collects.
Once signed, this exemption will be effective as soon as it is gazetted, and it will cease when the current Order is revoked.
Dated at Wellington this 23rd day of August 2021.
Dr ASHLEY BLOOMFIELD, Director-General of Health.