The Economic Action Marlborough (TEAM) group was set up in April to identify and address the impacts of COVID-19 on Marlborough’s economy. TEAM brings together a range of representatives from across the public and private sectors and iwi in Marlborough.
TEAM published its Phase 1 report on 22 May, which identified that COVID-19 would have a significant impact on Marlborough’s hospitality, retail and tourism sectors, and on younger employees in particular. The report identified sixty local projects to help address these impacts.
Phase 2 of TEAM’s programme is underway with a refreshed governance group focused on the affected sectors, under the leadership of Councillor Mark Peters.
“A key focus of the Phase 2 work will be an in-depth study on the impact of COVID-19 on Marlborough’s economy, and identification of key projects that can mitigate its impact,” Mr Peters says.
“We also have an expert advisory panel on board that includes a wide range of people from across Marlborough.”
“A number of working groups are being established to focus on four key areas: hospitality, retail and tourism; labour redeployment; data and the Phase 2 report.
Mr Peters says a number of projects identified in Phase 1 have been actioned since May including:
- the ‘Make It Marlborough’ campaign
- business support webinars and advice services
- A Career Navigator employment support programme for 18-24 year olds delivered through the Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough, with support from the Council and MSD
- Submissions made to the Government’s ‘shovel ready’ and other COVID support funding, with successes including funding for the Blenheim Library and Art Gallery, the Whale Trail, Wairau River flood protection and the Marlborough Wine Research Centre
- Two hour free parking introduced in Blenheim and Picton
- Funding for key regional events.
“A key focus of our Phase 2 programme will be an in-depth study on the impact of COVID-19 on Marlborough’s economy, and identification of key projects that can mitigate its impact.”
“Last week’s change in COVID-19 alert levels highlights the on-going challenges we face in New Zealand.”
Mr Peters also noted the Infometrics Quarterly Economic Data for Marlborough to June 2020 that was released this morning (see below).
“These numbers were largely expected following the impact on the national economy of COVID-19 and the lockdown. The effect on the Marlborough economy is largely in line with national numbers, some better and some not.”
“The key thrust of the TEAM Phase 1 work was to preserve as many jobs as possible and this has been successful, with Marlborough’s unemployment sitting at 2.6% at the end of June, compared with the national figure of 4.1%.”
He said TEAM’s Phase 2 work will seek an improvement of the overall Marlborough economy, the visitor economy, retail spending, construction and manufacturing.
“The Council’s rollout of capital funded projects over the next twelve months will be instrumental in keeping our economy moving.”
“It’s important TEAM continues its work for the benefit of everyone. By working together we can make a huge difference for Marlborough’s young people and our affected sectors,” Mr Peters says.
The Phase 2 in-depth study will be published in December.