Tuesday, 24th March, 2020

Good morning from my home to yours.

If you are still at work, it may be because you are an essential service. Click on this link to check whether your business is 'essential". An 0800 line is being set up if you are confused.

These are traumatic times. If, like me, you had a business that wasn't too badly affected by events to date, you are this morning. Take your time today and read about the business information and support packages that have been offered. Information is still coming to hand and websites are being updated over the next few days. Take the time to look at all information before making big decisions.

It is extremely likely that this disruption may go on for longer than 4 weeks. Plan accordingly for your sector. 

The government is putting in $12 billion odd so far. I wonder what business owners will contribute by way of borrowings and other capital injections? Anybody at home with a calculator care to nut that out?

I went to Stop and Slow down - a 20 minute breathing Zoom class run by the Chamber yesterday. See below for 2 more sessions. Slow your autonomic nervous system down with others tomorrow at 12 and 7pm.  It is worth it.

With you all. Please feel free to call the Chamber or myself. We are glad to help and can put you in touch with the right folk.

Anna Mickell
Chamber CEO

Business response and recovery 

The Southern Lakes Business Response and Recovery Group is maintaining a website of local information on the QLDC website.  Bookmark this page.  

Money go round

Please let your suppliers know if you can't pay them in full. Even a partial payment or an indication of when you can make payment will be appreciated. Help them plan their response to this situation as best you can.  Most businesses will now be needing to borrow to keep their businesses afloat. Help your key suppliers out with telling them how much money they need to borrow. 

Help for affected workers

NZ residents or citizens - New Zealand citizens should be instructed to contact Work and Income (WINZ) by phone 0800 778 008 or www.workandincome.govt.nz. NOTE: WINZ has now closed its offices and all enquiries should be directed to the 0800 number. New Zealanders can also use the social agencies below (food, counselling and other support). 

Migrant workers - There is currently no assistance available for migrant workers (without work) on a national level. The high level advice is for migrants to stay at home, follow the Level 3/4 plan and work with their embassies by phone or email to get themselves home when, and if, appropriate.  For those that are unintentionally breaking the terms of their work visas, advise them to keep good records of their attempts to communicate with authorities and wait, at home, until the situation becomes clearer.

I am meeting with the local social agencies and the Civil Defense response team again, who have been providing information to MBIE about our community concerns.  We are in the process of establishing a register of vulnerable migrants to enable us to contact this group of people and put in place a system for help. In the meantime, social support for migrants should be directed to Citizens Advice Bureau on 03 442 6799 (local) or 0800 367 222, Salvation Army or Happiness House in Queenstown and Community Networks in Wanaka. These agencies are now taking the contact details of this group of people and will ensure that they are included on the register and, with the wider community, get them the information they need.  

There has been no changes to any of the visa conditions or settings at the moment. All visa conditions must currently still be adhered to. We understand that this is frustrating. We have given extensive feedback to INZ. They have advised two days ago that your feedback has been submitted to the minister for review. In the meantime, you must continue to act within the law. 

Wanting to help?

Volunteering Central is coordinating the volunteer response.  Click here to contact them.

Immigration queries

Immigration - Have questions about the impact of COVID-19 that aren’t currently answered on the website or on business.govt.nz?    Please email your questions regarding immigration to ceo@queenstownchamber.org.nz  with IMMIGRATION QUERY in the subject line.  Your questions will be collated immediately and sent to Immigration NZ who have committed to respond to the Chamber within 24 hours.  Please ensure you include your business name and contact details along with your questions.

Kind Regards 
Anna Mickell
Chief Executive Officer