Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand.

Security services have been designated ‘essential services’ by the NZ Government during the current stage 4 COVID-19 lockdown. The ruling applies to the industry even if security services are being provided to premises for a non-essential service.

Businesses that are designated essential services are exempt from the lockdown, are able to remain open and can continue providing services to customers while taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of staff and the public.

The ruling highlights the importance of security and automation solutions to the operations of every government department and commercial organisation involved in the fight against the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, as well as organisations managing their sites with reduced staff levels or with facilities shuttered by complete lockdowns.

All layers of the security function are touched on by the ruling and the industry’s services are highlighted multiple times. Designated as essential services during Stage 4 lockdown are:

* Any person employed or contracted in a public safety or national security role
* Any entity involved in building and construction related to essential services and critical infrastructure, including those in the supply and support chain
* Any entity involved in any work required to address health or life safety risks, or to prevent serious environmental harm, and relevant essential supply chain elements
* Any public safety and national security organisation and its suppliers
* Department of Corrections, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, Government Communications Security Bureau, Courts of New Zealand and their suppliers
* All utilities and communications organisations and their supply chains
* Any entity involved in the production, supply, sale distribution or disposal of electricity, gas, water, wastewater (eg sanitation), waste (eg rubbish collection and recycling), liquid and solid fuel, telecommunication services, and any entity that is contracted by these entities to support core operations
* Internet service providers and their suppliers
* Any entity that provides maintenance and repair services for utilities and communications, including their supply chains
* Any entity supplying services to essential workplaces that are required for the safe operation of that workplace – these include food production and distribution, healthcare, transport, utilities, etc – specifically noting cleaning services, locksmithing services and security services.

In Australia the positions of various state and federal government departments in relation to essential services have not yet been outlined, but the importance of security services in Australia is no less acute to every organisation designated an essential service, as well as to those which are not.