Friday, 27th August, 2021

Dear Member,

 COVID-19 – Update 50 – 27 August 2021

Here’s the latest information for businesses on COVID-19 following the Prime Minister’s 3.00pm update today. 

The Prime Minister has announced, following today’s cabinet meeting, that the Government will extend the nationwide lockdown - due to expire at 11.59pm tonight - for another four days. 

The additional time gives health experts a full 14-day cycle of data and information since the country went into lockdown on Tuesday night last week.

All going to plan, all of the country - except Auckland and Northland - would then drop to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm next Tuesday 31 August.

Given the case numbers, and that lockdown is the most effective tool, it is likely at this point that Auckland will remain in Alert Level 4 for a further period of 14 days from the initial 11.59pm Tuesday 31 August. 
Our next update will be Monday 30 August where we will provide updates and reminders on what  business looks like at Alert Level 3. 

What's New?

Business NZ and Otago Chamber Q+A
If you missed the latest Q+A webinar with the Otago Chamber and Business NZ, you can find the  link to the recording of the webinar available here.   

Virtual tourism industry update
We may not be able to get together for Tourism Summit Aotearoa just yet, but you can join virtually on 1 September for some updates that just can’t wait. Wednesday, 1 September 2021 from 9.30am – 11.10am. Registration is free and you are welcome to pass this invite on to others who may be interested.      
What to expect 
  • An update from Hon Stuart Nash, Minister of Tourism. 
  • TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts will reveal the results of TIA’s latest operator survey and share what TIA is doing to tackle the big issues facing the industry. 
  • Professor Michael Baker, epidemiologist and COVID-19 elimination strategy expert will give an update on the current situation.  
  • Rhonda Parry from Our Minds Matter will help us manage the immediate stress of COVID-19 and show us what a resilient response looks like. 
  • Hear an update on TRENZ Connect and plans for future TRENZ events. 
Customer Service Training for our Kiwi market
Destination Queenstown and Lake Wānaka Tourism, in partnership with Queenstown Resort College, are rolling out a training programme for frontline staff, and those welcoming visitors, across all sectors in the Lake District. The Ambassador training will be an online (zoom) 1.5 hour course delivered by the Queenstown Resort College and fully subsidised.
The course is for people working in frontline hospitality, retail and tourism (however anyone that has interaction with visitors, from any industry, is welcome). Register online here for the course which is designed to build pride of place, hone customer service skills, and prepare and polish our welcome for our kiwi visitors.
As New Zealand’s premier visitor region, it’s vital we continue to invest in creating a warm welcome for our guests and continue the proud legacy of the pioneering spirit that has been built over the years through the Lakes District.  By taking ownership and pride in our region it makes it easy to connect with any visitor.  Through understanding the needs and expectations of our Kiwi market, we can adjust our products or offerings to ensure they have an amazing time in their own backyard.
The course will cover:
  • Our Kiwi visitor expectations and how we can meet them.
  • The art of Kia Ora/hello.
  • Domestic visitors and dealing with New Zealand customers.
  • Knowing and understanding the stories of our regions.
  • Celebrating our culture and resilience and sharing our adventurous spirit with our visitors.
  • Understanding that our people are our product. 

Other important updates

Air New Zealand will continue to operate a heavily reduced domestic schedule until at least 11.59pm Tuesday 31 August, in-line with the current COVID-19 Alert Level. Check the Air New Zealand Travel Alerts page for the latest information.
Regional Travel for essential workers
The government is re-opening applications for business travel exemptions across regions from midday Sunday. You can find out more information here.    
The Queenstown Lakes Welfare Response Action Group is providing essential services under Alert Level 4 to ensure the welfare needs of the Queenstown Lakes community continue to be met. All local social services remain open but are operating under Level 4 protocols.

Vaccines are now available to those 30 years of age and over. People aged 12 to 15 (with eligible parents or caregivers) can also receive a vaccination. Book online through Book My Vaccine or call the COVID Vaccination Healthline 0800 28 29 26. 


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. 
Q&A with Hon Grant Robinson 
If you missed this morning's Q&A with the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Grant Robertson and Auckland Chamber CEO Michael Barnett, joined by a selection of Chamber CEO’s, you can find the link to the recorded webinar here.
Business Update from Mayor Boult & Chamber CEO 
On Monday 30 August from 12.00-1.00pm, Mayor Jim Boult and Chamber CEO Ruth Stokes will update the business community on the COVID-19 response and emerging plans for recovery. This will be followed by a Q & A session. Open to all businesses within the Queenstown Lakes District, register here.
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 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 covers Managing your optimism, resilience and wellbeing and will be held on Tues 7 September from 10.30-11.30am. Hosted by Benestar for the Southern Lakes community. 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 

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.
  • Online and digital self-help tools and resources are available for teens and young people including:
    Youthline 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 – 
Arrowtown Promotion & Business Association (APBA) - Nicky Busst - Manager - 
QLDC Economic Development – Peter Harris – Economic Development Manager 
Regional Business Partners – Tara Druce – Business Advisor –