Wednesday, 25th March, 2020

First, some good news ....
I have spoken to some of the bigger businesses in town today and the removal of the $150k cap on the wage subsidy has substantally reduced the number of people who would have been made redundant this week. This is great news for all parts of our community.

Our social agencies are organised and responding well. They are busy, but in control (for the most part), with good systems working. Your Chamber is helping these agencies as much as we can. It is ESSENTIAL that we all help them identify those individuals in need, and triage services to help them. The best way to do this is get them registered with the Civil Defence Emergency Operation Centre's Welfare Team. This link should be given to any migrant staff member who has lost their job or had their hours reduced.  Click here to do this:

The Business and Response Recovery Group is meeting daily and are working on passing your feedback on to the Mayor and Government so they both have a clear understanding of the issues you are facing. Plans to re-deploy staff after lockdown is lifted are underway and we are working on more, funded, ways we can get business advice out to business managers.

Please feel free to call the Chamber or myself. We are glad to help and can put you in touch with the right folk. Read on for more quick updates and Zoom training over next few days. Take a chance on Stop and Breathe .... you will not regret it.



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. 

Tips from the front line 

  • Your payroll company is your friend. Check for their updates. They are making amendments to their software to help you process the new leave payments etc. Check out their help folders/notices etc. iPayroll has done a great job already. Others will be working on it. 
  • Don't have enough work for people, but keeping them on? If you don't know what your annual liability is by now - you should. Start getting your non-essential people on annual leave to reduce your liability ... just in case. 

Is your business essential?

Click here to see whether your business is essential. If you have any queries around essential services you can get in touch with with MBIE on 0508 377 388 or email

Help for affected workers

Vulnerable people in Queenstown
Please encourge any person who may need assistance to register withour local civil defence team. This includes migrant workers without work, or those unclear on their visa conditions.

NZ residents or citizens - New Zealand citizens should be instructed to contact Work and Income (WINZ) by phone 0800 778 008 or 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). 

Wanting to help/give money?

Volunteering Central is coordinating the volunteer response.  Click here to contact them.
Hold onto your money for now. A way of collecting donations and giving to those most in need is being set up. 

Immigration queries

Immigration - Still no relaxation or changes announced to visa conditions, other than the extension for those whose visa was due to expire! We continue to ask on your behalf. Please email your questions regarding immigration to  with IMMIGRATION QUERY in the subject line.  Your questions will be collated immediately and sent to Immigration NZ.  Please ensure you include your business name and contact details along with your questions.

Anna Mickell
Chamber CEO