Thursday, 30th April, 2020

Good morning all,

Prior to lockdown, I did not think there could ever be a phrase that could wind me up more than someone ‘reaching out’ to me. I missed the gentle softness of ‘get in touch’ or lyricism of ‘sing out if you need a hand’.   After 5 weeks in lockdown, my irrational irritability has reached new lows. Talk of pivoting, re-imaging or unprecedented-ing really gets up my nose. Even Jacinda’s perfectly shiny, gorgeous hair, dressed every day is not out of the firing line. 

Feedback from members suggests I am not the only one getting a bit ratty.  We are ready to move on, but to what? Post-Covid business will be different. The question that the media is most interested in exploring is what Queenstown will be like post-Covid.  I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Drop me a line, I need a hand to answer this question.

Thanks to the dozen senior members who joined me yesterday giving some direct feedback to senior Treasury officials on the efficacy of the government economic response.  This group powerfully described the impact of the government intervention on our economic community and gave their thoughts on what assistance for the recovery period should look like. They did you proud. 

I have also represented you in a range of media outlets over the last week.  RNZ: National's panel had me on yesterday. Click here to have a listen.
Many of you enjoyed hearing from the mayor Jim Boult and members Paul Anderson (NZSki) and Bridget Legnavsky (Wayfare) about their plans for the 2020 ski season last week. If you missed this, click here to view. 

If you aren't on the DQ mailing list, click on the link above for further updates from the Southern Lakes Business Recovery Group. Apologies for this very busy newsletter – there is too much for one read I know – but you know – the times they are – well – darn it - unprecedented.

Anna Mickell
CEO 021 488709
P.S. Did you see DQ's #WeAreQueenstown social media campaign on Facebook? Add your photo. 

Business awards postponed - three cheers for Westpac - your support means a lot at this time
I am disappointed to announce that our biennial Westpac Queenstown Business Awards have been postponed. Westpac have kindly transferred these partnership funds to support members via our webinar series. Mayor Boult, NZSki CEO Paul Anderson and Cardrona/Treble Cone GM Bridget Leqnavsky kicked off this series last week with an interesting and informative business update. If you missed it you can check out the recording here. Our next webinar is with Aspen and Queenstown Mayors and Chamber CEO's, who compare Covid-19 response and recovery plans for each town. Details will be circulated later in the week.

Wakatipu Greatest Needs Fund
Over 6,000 people have registered for welfare support in our district. 75% are migrant workers, 25% Kiwis. The Wakatipu Community Foundation has responded by establishing the Greatest Needs Fund which will help address gaps in central Government assistance to the most vulnerable affected by Covid-19 in our community. Donations start at $5 and all will receive a tax-exempt charitable receipt. 100% of your donation will be allocated to the key charities working on the front line e.g. Salvation Army, Happiness House, Central Lakes Family Service etc. Click here for further information.

Free KYND Wellness App for members
Sadly the Deloitte Business and Banter event last month was postponed till later in the year. One of our presenters Dr Tom Mulholland developed the KYND Wellness App which is a risk assessment tool to measure, monitor and motivate employee health and wellbeing. The Chamber has partnered with Dr Tom to offer members a free subscription to the KYND App to help you and your staff look after your health and wellbeing. Click here for further information, to start your wellbeing journey use the following KYND code: N93CCQT. You are welcome to pass this on to your staff.

Influenza vaccinations - order your staff vaccines now
All people over 13 can now have an influenza vaccination at our member pharmacies Unichem Remarkable Park, Life Wilkinsons Pharmacy and Five Mile Pharmacy. Businesses can pre-order and pay for staff vaccinations through the Chamber. Please email for an order form. 

WINZ Counselling Allowance
If you need help with counselling fees, you may be eligible to claim a subsidy from WINZ to use towards sessions. Please click here for more information.


COVID-19 Business Support Helpline

The government has launched a helpline to support businesses with one-off questions in the areas of human resources, employment relations and health and safety. The South Island support line number is 0800 505 096.

Covid-19 Advisory Funding

The Otago Regional Business Partner Network is available to support businesses through COVID-19. The service is funded by government and delivered by the Otago Chamber of Commerce. Their job is to discuss key business challenges with businesses and link you with the support that is available at this time. Please register on the Regional Business Partner Website and one of the team will be in contact. Please understand that demand for this support is significant and that the RBP team will get back to you just as soon as they can.

The additional government funds are to assist businesses to access 1-1 support with professionals to navigate the current environment and recover. Advice areas are as follows:

  • HR
  • Health and Wellness
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Finance and Cashflow Management
  • Marketing and digital enablement

Businesses may be able to access up to $5000 (ex gst) in funding to fully fund advice in the areas above. Allocations are managed by the growth advisors and will be at their discretion.

Business Eligibility:

Businesses will need to have registered on the RBP Platform here and met with an RBP Growth Advisor to access this support. Businesses will need to meet these criteria. Please note these criteria have changed and now enable business with up to 100 FTE to apply for funding. Businesses are also required to have a NZBN number which can be applied for here.

Provider Eligibility:

Alternatively, if you are able to provide businesses expert advice in the areas above please register your service on the RBP Portal and select COVID-19 Support under the service categories.

Providers will need to register services with the following information:

1.  Description of the relevant advisory areas they can provide expert advice and support in

2.  An hourly rate for this service

3.  Details on mode of delivery, i.e. Zoom, Skype, or Phone

4.  Select the new COVID-19 support subject category

Any queries about becoming a RBP provider, please email

Business Mentors New Zealand

The RBP also manage the Business Mentor Programme for Otago. They have a talented and diverse set of mentors available to work with businesses and help you through the weeks and months ahead. If you would like to be connected with a mentor, please register here:

For any other queries, please email our team on Thank you for your ongoing support.