CEO comment 16 March 2021

16 March 2021

Virginia webIt is now more than a year since New Zealand’s first Covid-19 cases were recorded, changing our lives in unforeseen and unprecedented ways.  Despite the welcome first aid administered by the Government through its range of business support payments, unfortunately, the pandemic’s flow-on effects have been dire for many businesses in Otago and Southland.  Now is the time for the Government to provide some indication about its plan to help the country’s economy heal.

While it is true that some businesses and communities have sustained little impact on their livelihoods or lifestyles, most have been affected – and many have been hit hard.  The financial and social costs have been simply devastating in some of our communities.  Read more here in the ODT.

We are all grateful to see the whole of New Zealand back in Alert Level 1, and to know there is financial support available for those affected by the recent alert level rises.  The Government has confirmed the details of these measures, which include the Short-term Absence Payment, the Leave Support Scheme, the Resurgence Support Payment, and the Wage Subsidy.  You can find more information about these and other support initiatives for businesses here.

It is pleasing to see the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is well underway, with about 83% of border workers and Managed Isolation and Quarantine staff having received their first vaccination.  Other priority groups will be next in line, including frontline health workers and the elderly, with the rest of the country expected to receive the vaccine from July.  You can read more about the Government’s vaccination plan here.

In the meantime, we will continue to help shape the conversation with the Government regarding plans for managing and mitigating the effects of Covid-19 into the future.

A reminder that you can stay up-to-date with our Helpful Covid-19 Resources page.  If you have any questions, please phone us on 0508 656 757.

And finally, we look forward to seeing many of you at our Health & Safety Forum in Dunedin and Invercargill on 19 and 20 May, where we have a wonderful programme full of inspired and expert speakers.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do let me know.

Ngā mihi nui \ with kind regards,


Virginia Nicholls | CEO |

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