COVID-19 Information and Support for Kiwi Music People

The impact of the Coronavirus COVID-19 on the NZ music environment has been rapid and its effects widespread.

People across live and recorded music whether they are on-stage, behind the scenes, or in related industries are feeling the direct effects of COVID-19 related cancellations, postponements and other changes.

Safeguarding your finances as well as your physical, mental and emotional health to the best of your ability will be key to navigating the current situation successfully.

To help you access useful information and find sources of support, this page will provide information on where to check for the latest advice on COVID-19, detail on how MusicHelps may be able to support you and useful links to help you in the weeks and months ahead.

Check back to keep abreast of updates to the information provided here.

NZ Government sources of Information and Advice

The NZ Ministry of Health advice page on COVID-19 can be accessed here.

Note: if you are holding a show or an event, there is specific advice available to you here.

If you are touring or looking at travelling overseas, the latest advisories from SafeTravel can be found here.

Government Wage Subsidy

The government is still offering wage subsidy grants to eligible companies, contractors and sole traders:

  • NZ music businessesif you face laying off staff or reducing their hours because of COVID-19, you may be able to get a Wage Subsidy Grant. More information is available here.
  • NZ music contractors & sole tradersif you have lost income because of COVID-19, you may be able to get a Wage Subsidy Grant too. More information is available here.
  • A 2-week COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy payment will be available nationally for employers, including self-employed people, who are financially impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 and changes to COVID Alert Levels. More information is available here.

Creative NZ Emergency Relief Grant 2020

An Emergency Relief Grant is a contribution towards loss of income between 1 March and 30 June due to COVID-19. This grant is a lump sum top-up of the WINZ COVID-19 Wage Subsidy to align with Creative New Zealand’s policy to pay artists and arts practitioners fairly. Applicants to this fund must have successfully applied to the COVID-19 WINZ Wage Subsidy. The Creative New Zealand Emergency Relief fund is available for eligible independent artists and arts practitioners, and members of arts organisations (including groups and collectives).

More information can be found here.

Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for NZ music businesses, including sole traders, to pay their employees who can’t come to work due to Ministry of Health advice, and cannot work from home.

More information including the eligibility criteria is available here.

Government cashflow support for small businesses

The Government will provide interest free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic shock to support their immediate cashflow needs and meet fixed costs.

The scheme will provide $10,000 to every eligible (using the same criteria as the Wage Subsidy) firm, and in addition $1800 per equivalent full time employee, up to a maximum of $100,000 (50 employees). Loans will be interest free if they are paid back within a year. The interest rate will be 3% for a maximum term of five years. Repayments are not required for the first two years.  The loans will be administered by IRD (not banks) and applications are open from 12th May.

The announcement is available here.

Government Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

Government is supporting loans (including increases to existing limits) to eligible businesses, as a response to difficulties caused by COVID-19.

Under the scheme, businesses with annual revenue between $250,000 and $80 million can apply to their banks for loans of up to $500,000, for up to three years.   On 4th May, the government announced revisions to the original loan scheme to make it easier for businesses to access a loan.  If you applied for a loan before 4th May and were declined, you should consider applying again now.

The loans are administered by banks.  If you want to apply for a loan, you can find more information on your bank’s website or contact your bank directly.

The government’s original announcement can be found here.

Further Government Support and Information for Businesses

There is other government support available to businesses including tax support and business consultancy services.  The government’s central resource for COVID-19 business information with updates about COVID-19 and guidance to help businesses is, available here.


The MusicHelps Wellbeing Service

There is a dedicated Give A Little page for those who would like to donate towards our work with kiwi music people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Donate here.

The MusicHelps Wellbeing Service is a 24 hour helpline and free professional counselling service for kiwi music people experiencing emotional distress.

If the current situation has affected you, you can contact us by phone tollfree within New Zealand at 0508MUSICHELP, from Australia on 1 800 353 148, and from the rest of the world on +64 508 MUSICHELP (charges may apply).

You can contact the service by email at, or via the web at our Talk to Us Now page here.

For more information about the MusicHelps Wellbeing Service, take a look at our website here.

The MusicHelps COVID-19 Emergency Grant

We have made Covid-19 Emergency Grants available when we can for individual music workers both in Aotearoa New Zealand and also to kiwi music workers currently overseas. Please go to our Covid-19 Emergency Grant page here for details on the status of these grants.


Useful Links

The MusicHelpsLive campaign to raise funds and generate support for kiwi music people whose livelihoods have been shattered by the COVID-19 crisis has launched. Find out more here..

You can get free budget and financial crisis advice through the free MoneyTalks service here. Approaching this service earlier, rather than later, may make all the difference in successfully navigating the challenging times ahead.

Dominion Law is a leading music & entertainment law firm that provides advice to creative people around the country, including music people that are internationally successful and those that are just starting out. To help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis, they are offering free advice to music people. Email them now at .

Leading music & entertainment accounting and business consultancy services firm Entertainmant Accounting Services have provided a summary of the government COVID-19 support package elements. Read the summary here.

1737 is a nationwide mental health & addictions helpline number providing immediate access to trained counsellors. Anyone feeling stressed, anxious, worried, depressed, needing advice on mental health or addictions issues can call or text.

The major music industry organisations have released a statement outlining their response to the COVID-19 crisis. Read the statement on the Recorded Music NZ website here.

APRA AMCOS NZ Director of Member Services Victoria Kelly has 7 suggestions for  people looking to support local artists and others through the crisis.

APRA AMCOS NZ has launched “I Lost My Gig NZ” a survey for kiwi music people and organisations to record how COVID-19 has impacted them so far. Take part in the survey here.

The NZ Music Commission has issued an appeal for landlords to assist music venues to keep their doors open. Read about it here.

The NZ Music Commission has released an update that includes information about crucial changes to the wage subsidy scheme from government as they relate to music people. Read about them in their update here.

OneMusic has announced measures to help businesses that hold a OneMusic license that may be experiencing difficulty. Read about their response to the crisis here.

Keep referring back to this page for updates and advisories on the COVID-19 Coronavirus as it relates to kiwi music people, both in Aotearoa and overseas.