Thursday, 6th May, 2021


Dear Member


We are looking forward to hosting the Hon Stuart Nash tomorrow morning where no doubt he will talk more about the exciting, and potentially game-changing investment into Tourism he announced today at the TRENZ hui in Christchurch.  

Minister Nash told the industry’s annual conference an all-of-government plan will support the recovery of tourism communities after the impacts of COVID19, and rebuild tourism on a more sustainable foundation for the future.
“The economic impact of the loss of international visitors is felt beyond the tourism workforce and businesses,” Mr Nash said. “Whole communities, especially in five South Island regions, are facing new challenges to their way of life.
“At the same time, reviews by agencies like the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Climate Change Commission, and the Tourism Futures Taskforce have highlighted transformation is required to rebuild tourism for the future.   
“We will roll out a $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan between now and 2023. It will invest in new programmes like small business support, tourism infrastructure, the conservation estate, Māori development, economic and regional development, and mental wellbeing support."

For many it has been a long time coming and it will be good to understand how it is intended to translate an announcement into reality on the ground. For the latest plan from the Minister of Tourism click here.

Recognising that it has been trying times for quite some time now, when being a small business owner/operator can be tough enough at the best of times, the launch of Take Stock yesterday by the Business Response Group, will hopefully be a welcomed and well-used initiative.  You can find out more about how to access fully-funded mental health and resilience support here.

Look forward to seeing you at one of our many events this month.

Take care


Take Stock

Media release from the Southern Lakes Business Response Group

Local business owners to receive fully-funded mental health and resilience support with launch of new programme

A new programme providing business owners with access to free confidential counselling or coaching support is being launched today.

Take Stock will provide owners with the opportunity to share the stress of running their business and the impact of this on those around them with a trained professional.  The service is being promoted by the Business Response Group (BRG) which is a collaboration between Ignite Wanaka, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Destination Queenstown and the Economic Development team within Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC).

Take Stock will be provided by Benestar and is being coordinated by the QLDC Economic Development team.  Take Stock offers a range of ways business owners can receive support including phone based, face to face, digital or live chat contact.

The programme will also include a series of webinars that will be offered to all owners, employees and family members of businesses within the Queenstown Lakes District. These will run once a month for the duration of the programme and will cover a variety of topics, such as Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work, Dealing with High Stress Customer Behaviour and Managing Your Optimism, Resilience, and Wellbeing.

Owners of small businesses play a key role in supporting the wellbeing of their staff, often at the neglect of their own. They not only carry the burden of responsibility for their livelihood but for other members of their local community.

Having sole responsibility for a business can weigh heavily on the mind; owners and operators may go to sleep thinking about their work and wake up still thinking about it. The threat of business failure or late payments, all whilst trying to maintain a semblance of work life balance, can impact heavily on mental health and wellbeing.

Benestar General Manager Julie Cressey, said she was pleased to be working with the Southern Lakes Business Response Group, as the team had acknowledged not just the financial impact of COVID-19 on the region, but most importantly, the human impact.

“The Southern Lakes BRG has acknowledged that the mental health of their region’s leaders has a direct impact on the wider community, and supporting these individuals will benefit everyone,” said Ms Cressey.
“We applaud the Southern Lakes BRG for taking a proactive, human response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the district.”

Speaking on behalf of Queenstown and Wanaka Chambers, Ignite Wanaka Executive Officer Naomi Lindsay echoed these comments, noting that support for the district’s small and medium business owners would build resilience and health, both key factors for community success.

“Accessing appropriate support and advice from professional counsellors will help owners be the best they can be, enabling them to continue to thrive, support themselves and their teams during the recovery journey ahead,” said Naomi Lindsay.

“The Take Stock programme will assist more than 90 small and medium enterprises and includes five dedicated webinars run over the next six months.  It is another way to help create conversations amongst our business owners and their staff about the importance of wellbeing and resilience.”

The first webinar will be held Tuesday 1st June.  Details below.
Webinar 1 (of 5)



You are invited to a Morning with Hon. Stuart Nash on Friday 7 May at Hotel St Moritz. 

The Minister will provide an update on regional economic development and the Government’s tourism priorities.  Light catering will be included.

Date: Friday 7 May 
Time: 9am - 10am 
Price: $15 + GST (members) $30 + GST (non members)
Venue: Hotel St Moritz, 10- 18 Brunswick Street, Queenstown



Join us at a special business lunch with Caroline Rainsford, Country Director for Google NZ.  Caroline will discuss the vision for business growth in the digital age and explore what opportunities might lie ahead for businesses. 

Caroline is responsible for driving Google's overall business operation and is focused on helping NZ businesses grow and progress with digital maturity. 

Date: Friday 21 May
Time: 12pm - 2pm
Price: $65 + GST (members) $95 + GST (non members)
Venue: Blue Kanu, 16 Church Street, Queenstown



A highlight of the Queenstown business calendar, please join us at this important business lunch with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Grant Robertson on Friday 28 May.  

The Minister will provide an overview of the New Zealand Government's 2021 Budget including his insights into the current state of the New Zealand economy and the challenges and opportunities.  

Date: Friday 28 May
Time: 12pm - 2pm
Price: $70 + GST (members) and $100 + GST (non members)
Venue: Bazaar Interactive Marketplace at QT Queenstown


Take Stock: Mental health and wellbeing at work webinar

Date: Tuesday 1 June
Time: 10:30-11:30am
Price: FOC
Venue: Webinar