Monday, 23rd August, 2021

Dear Member, 

COVID-19 – Update 49 – 23 August 2021

Here's the latest update from the Southern Lakes Business Response & Recovery team.

Here’s the latest information for businesses on COVID-19 following the Prime Minister’s 4.00pm update today. 

The Prime Minister has announced, following today’s cabinet meeting, that due to the number of cases in Auckland, that Auckland will remain in lockdown for a further 7 days until 11.59pm Tuesday 31 August and this will be reviewed on Monday.

The rest of New Zealand will remain in Level 4 lockdown for a further four days until 11:59pm this Friday 27 August and this will be reviewed on Friday.
Our next update will be on Friday or if there are any major announcements for businesses made in the meantime.


What’s New?

Record keeping to become mandatory for most events and businesses
  • Record keeping will be mandatory in some businesses and locations, for everyone aged 12 and over.
  • They will be required to have systems and processes in place to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that people scan the QR code for the place or gathering or provide details in a contact tracing record.
  • Places where it will be mandatory to ensure records are kept will include: cafes, restaurants, bars, casinos and concerts, aged care, healthcare facilities (excluding patients), barbers, exercise facilities, nightclubs, libraries, courts, local and central government agencies, and social services providers with customer service counters.
  • This will become effective seven days after any change in Alert Level settings that might allow more businesses to open or gatherings to go ahead.
Childcare for Alert Level 4 workers
  • Workers who have children aged up to 13-years-old can now access free childcare.
  • A list of 32 providers, with national coverage, will be available for parents to contact.
  • These providers may offer options for childcare under the scheme either in the child’s home, or in the carer’s home.
  • To access a provider, parents can go to the Ministry of Education’s website.
Minister Hipkin’s PR regarding childcare for Level 4 workers can be found here
Minister Hipkin’s PR regarding mandatory contact tracing can be found here


Business support for businesses and workers

Financial support for businesses who have been impacted by the move to Alert Level 4 is now available. There are a few support initiatives available and here is our guide to what support is available and the criteria. Click here to download the guide.
Business NZ Network and the Otago Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar last Friday providing insight and guidance on the economic response and financial support available to businesses along with top tips for prioritising mental health and supporting employee wellbeing. Speakers include Hon Grant Robertson and Jimi Hunt. You can view the recording by registering here.
Working from home
We’ve been here before, but the team at Benestar have put together a guide on how to best work from home to stay healthy and productive. Click here to download. 
Here’s another guide to managing teams remotely.
Here’s a guide to supporting your customers during a pandemic. 
The next ‘Take Stock’ webinar, hosted by Benestar for the Southern Lakes community, is being held on Tues Sep 7. This one is on Managing your optimism, resilience and wellbeing. Click here for details and to RSVP.

Keeping your team upskilled during lockdown

Here’s some links to online courses that may be useful for your teams to enroll in and develop their learning during lockdown. We will continue to add to this list:
Hospitality Courses
Service IQ - Whether it’s new staff you need to upskill quickly, or experienced people who need a refresh, the courses are practical and contain the essential information you need to know to help protect and build your business. They are also quick, can be completed anytime, anywhere, and when you succeed you gain a certificate.
Click here to view courses.
Learn Te Reo
Toro Mai from Massey University offers two introductory online courses in Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori. These are taught via an immersive multi-media online platform with interactive activities. They are approximately 10 hours each and can be studied at your own pace. These courses are not accredited - there are no costs involved, no assignments and no exams.
Click here to view courses.

Digital Skills with General Assembly A Leader in Education
Learn new skills in just a few hours alongside industry experts.
Click here to view courses.

Vaccine reminders

QUEENSTOWN: Due to the heavy swabbing load being experienced at the Queenstown Medical Centre (QMC), they are suspending vaccination clinics until this Thursday 26 August. If you have a booking, a cancellation text will be sent to you (the system will also send a reminder to turn up, please ignore this!) Keeping patients and the community as safe as possible is QMC’s priority and mixing the two streams does not allow this. QMC is working with the DHB to continue vaccinating as soon as possible at a separate venue while we are in the lockdown stages. Thanks for everyone’s patience. 
Those on the frontline - including supermarket workers - are now eligible to get vaccinated. The Government will be working with larger employers to get their teams vaccinated. Smaller businesses, classed as customer facing, are also eligible to now get vaccinated. The process to book is the same:
Online: Book online through Book My Vaccine - the quickest way to make vaccination appointments. It will take around five minutes to book. If you have any problems booking or need to change your details, you can email the Book My Vaccine team.
Phone: Call the COVID Vaccination Healthline 0800 28 29 26. Calls are free and the team is available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.

What to expect when you call: You might have to wait a little while before your call is answered, as the lines can be busy — please be patient. Once your call is answered, it will take around 15 minutes to book your appointments. When you call, it is a good idea to have your NHI (National Health Index) number ready. This will make the booking process quicker. You can find your NHI number on a prescription, x-ray or test result, or a letter from the hospital. 

Here’s a reminder on some other things that may be useful:

Mental health and wellbeing support

Here’s some contact details if you, your team or family need help. Please reach out.
  • There’s information about local health and social services online or if you’re after some wellbeing tips, check out or follow them on Facebook
  • The Business Response Group (BRG) has a resilience initiative available called Take Stock. This involves 3 free counselling sessions available for any small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) business owner located within the Queenstown Lakes District. Confidential services are offered through Benestar. To access this service contact Benestar on 0800 360 364 or and quote the ‘Take stock’ program to redeem the sessions. As part of this, a free webinar is offered once a month to any owners, employees and family members of businesses within the Queenstown Lakes.
  • What resources are available for teens and young people?         
    There is dedicated support available to help support the mental wellbeing of our rangatahi.
    A range of online and digital self-help tools and resources are available:
    Youthline's free call, text or web chat
    There is also information on the COVID-19 website for adults, about how to help keep children safe and reassured.
Immediate safety
  • If you feel scared, threatened, or unsafe, please call the Police via 111. If you can’t call, message a friend and ask them to call on your behalf. You can leave your bubble if you’re worried about your safety.  If you need to talk, you can call: Family violence information line 0800 456 450; Youthline on 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email; Safe to Talk sexual harm helpline 0800 044334, text 4334, email .
Community Networks Wānaka offer local support which is detailed in their flyer here. For additional support and links for help, click here.
QLDC Services Update
All service centres, sport and recreation facilities, playgrounds and libraries will remain closed until further notice and there are a number of QLDC service changes to be aware of. However, the main QLDC phone line will still be operating with priority given to urgent issues. For non-urgent matters, email or visit the QLDC website.  


Useful resources for more information

COVID-19: Information for businesses
COVID-19 New Zealand Government updates
Ministry of Health website for the latest updates on COVID-19 
Work & Income NZ - COVID-19 Support
We are here to help so if you have any concerns or are not getting the support you need from the resources, please contact anyone below:
Destination Queenstown – Paul Abbot – CEO – 
Queenstown Chamber – Ruth Stokes – CEO – 
Lake Wānaka Tourism – Tim Barke -  GM – 
Ignite Wānaka Chamber – Naomi Lindsay – General Manager – 
QLDC Economic Development – Peter Harris – Economic Development Manager 
Regional Business Partners – Tara Druce – Business Advisor –