Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

It seems to me that tax and rate payers are getting our money’s worth from our local and national governments these days.  It’s all action, action, action.

Last month MBIE asked our opinion on improving social outcomes through a regional workforce planning and immigration policy tidy-up. We are waiting, well not quite with baited-breath, for the outcome of the consultation on the Draft Aotearoa New Zealand Tourism Strategy and RoVE is no longer a likeable Australian comedian, but the name of another policy review, this time of vocational education.  Oh, let’s not forget a proposal to do a major overhaul of our how we handle assets in our tax system. Most of you will also still grappling with the implications of employment relations reform and how you are doing to offer support for people affected by domestic violence and what documentation on the union you are going to offer people when they apply for a job.

Locally, our council also has the bit between the teeth. They are going to the people to get a mandate to apply a levy to help fund the infrastructure improvements so needed here and investing in land for the long-term benefit of the Queenstown area. Consultation is also well underway with ORC and NZTA to improve our transport.  

The speed of all this consultation and policy reform is unprecedented good, scary, surprising, overwhelming, refreshing, out-of-control, awesome, you can pick the adjective that suits, but I am waiting for hindsight to help me choose the most appropriate word.

In the meantime, your Chamber membership has never been more important. We continue to support our members, and their staff by offering education seminars on all of the above and representing you in the policy changes that affect business here in the Queenstown region.

Moving on, I would like to acknowledge the work done by DowntownQT over the past four years in developing a Town Centre Commercial Strategy, which was largely adopted in the development of the QLDC Downtown Master Plan. The board, of which I am a member, has recently asked members to vote on a recommendation to wind this organisation up at the end of June 2019.

DowntownQT, led by long-time Queenstown resident Steve Wilde, was an initiative developed and supported by members of the downtown business district, the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, QLDC, ANZ, Destination Queenstown, First Retail, Scope Media, Swordfox and McCulloch and Partners.  Steve has now left the organisation, but we will be thanking him and the board for their contribution on April 11th at 5pm at Attiqa. Members and stakeholders are invited. Please call the Chamber to RSVP.

Finally, nothing I can say, can add to what has already been said about the tragedy in Christchurch. Such loss for everyone. From a practical perspective, the Chamber team are here if you need a hand to help you or your staff with the response in your business.  Just pick up the phone. It is also worthwhile reading Destination Queenstown immediate response to the disaster, working with the Visitor VSEAG (Visitor Sector Emergency Action Group).

Kind regards


Anna Mickell