- Date 4:50 PM Friday 20 March 2020
- Type COVID-19
The Marlborough Pandemic Group met again today to discuss the COVID-19 crisis and share the latest information about the economic challenges now facing the Marlborough region. The Group is taking a ‘Team Marlborough’ approach.
Mayor John Leggett, who chairs the group, said it’s a difficult time but people are doing their best to adjust to the new environment.
“Marlburians can have confidence that there is a lot of good work going on at the moment and our key industries and employer groups are responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.”
“We will come out the other side of this - we are a resilient bunch who have experienced challenges and emergencies before.”
“Also, remember to look after yourself, go for a walk, get some sleep and spend time with your loved ones. There is absolutely no need to stock up on food supplies; everyone should just shop normally.”
“I’d encourage everyone to support ‘the little guy’ with their purchases and activities locally in Marlborough.”
“The main impacts we are going to see immediately are on our smaller, tourism-related businesses,” Mayor Leggett says.
“Business owners may be eligible for the new Government wage subsidy."
"It is really quick and easy.”
“Obviously with the closure of New Zealand’s borders yesterday, there may be impacts on the supply of vine pruning workers for the winter, who come from the Asia-Pacific under the RSE scheme.”
“The viticulture industry is considering what contingencies they have to ensure that the vines can be pruned and that their human resources can be shared collectively. They may also need to seek local sources of labour.”
The Mayor said the Council will be doing all it can to support Marlborough economically and is looking to freeze any rates increase this year to the Local Government Cost Index, which is 2.2%.
“The Council can make a difference and with Port Marlborough and Marlborough Airport we have a lot of spending power. We want to keep all our budgeted capital expenditure projects going - they oil the wheels for many construction, trades and small businesses here,” he said.
“We’re all in this together – let’s support each other, be kind and consider our neighbours, clients, suppliers and business partners – we are all interlinked and we need to look after each other.”
Representatives at the meeting today included Port Marlborough, Wine Marlborough, Public Health, Marlborough Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Council, Marlborough Chamber of Commerce, Destination Marlborough, the RSE Employers Group, Marlborough Forest Industry Association, MBIE, MSD, Stuart Smith MP, Deputy Mayor Nadine Taylor, Councillor Gerald Hope and the Marine Farming Association.
Marlborough Civil Defence and Emergency Management are supporting the health sector with welfare coordination.