This page contains a column written by Mayor Sheryl Mai, summarising her thinking about the Economic Recovery Response to COVID-19.
22/04/2020 1:59 p.m.
We’re living through strange times right now, and I hope you’ve all managed to make your Easter as festive as possible while in your lockdown bubble.
My Easter was spent with my bubble buddy Mike, making (virtual) contact with family in New Zealand and Texas.
It wasn’t what we had in mind, but its worth it knowing we are making fantastic progress in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 due to our collective dedication to the lockdown rules.
Work landscapes have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, with council staff now into their third week of working from home.
Democratic processes also look different in this new contactless world.
All Council meetings up until 17 April were cancelled, as we knew we would need to adjust both mentally and technically to the crisis at hand.
Not all meetings will recommence as we work through the COVID-19 situation, a limited schedule will be put in place to manage urgent decisions, and keep information flowing to elected members.
Elected Members will be attending bi-weekly online meetings starting this week. Support staff will take minutes and transcriptions using the technology we have in place.
With nearly 100% of our council employees working from home (except for our fabulous essential workers, who are out in the field every day) it’s timely to look at how we’re working now, and how that could shape the way we work in the future.
We’re reviewing all our processes and plans during this time, including capital projects.
We’re thinking strategically, considering the long-term implications of decisions we make, as we take in to account current and future generations who are, and will be, the beneficiaries of what we’re planning now.
Some things will never change, such as the high standard of our customer care, the essential role we play in maintaining and improving our District’s infrastructure and core services, and our responsibilities to our ratepayers.
Some things have already changed – the economic landscape will not look the same for some time to come.
In light of this, we are busy finalising a recovery response for our District, which will address economic, social, environmental and community needs immediately, and on into the foreseeable future.
Whangarei Economic Recovery Response
While I sit and write this, the draft response package has just been released, for ratification by Councillors later this week. We have shifted from a reactive and responsive phase, into a strategic planning phase.
This means that our current goal is to ensure all sectors of our District are supported in a post-Covid setting, so that when we emerge from our lockdown bubbles, we have what we need to carry on.
He waka eke noa – we are in this together, and we will come through this together. E noho ana ahau ki te kainga – I am staying home.