I hope this newsletter finds you well.
Now, more than ever, we must support our local businesses. These small and medium-sized businesses are the hardest hit by level 4 and level 3 lockdown restrictions. So for them to come out the other side and continue to make our community a great place to live, we must support local. Below I have listed some ways you can do just that.
SOS Business is a not-for-profit initiative supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website is set up to purchase vouchers from small businesses across the country. You buy a voucher now and redeem from your local once open. All of the proceeds go straight to the businesses and nearly one million dollars has been received! Visit https://sosbusiness.nz/ to support our small businesses.
Check out the Whakatane Online Retailers Facebook Group! It’s a space for people to showcase their local businesses, the people behind them, and share their online websites. A great way to learn more about your locals and how to support them during this time. Gisborne also has a page similar to this, search Gizzy Local on Facebook.
Open for Business is a free directory created to help kiwi businesses let their customers know when and how they are operating under the COVID-19 restrictions. Visit https://open-for-business.co.nz/ to find out how you can support your local business or register to list your business. Open for Business are also on Facebook and Instagram.
With demand being so high, it’s hard to secure a space on supermarkets delivery or click-and-collect services right now. Delivereat is an alternative to this, where you can purchase grocery items straight from the source. Updated daily, Delivereat currently has 803 independent kiwi businesses delivering products throughout the country. Visit https://delivereat.co.nz/
Eat Local is a kiwi start-up doing their bit to support our local cafes and restaurants. It’s an online platform where cafes, takeaways and restaurants from all over NZ can register free of charge. As a customer, you log in and choose to have your food either delivered for $7.99 or to pick it up for no charge. Eat Local’s surcharge on restaurants is only 5%, which is great compared to UberEats 35% surcharge. They also have a ‘local legends’ program which is designed to help those who have lost some income due to COVID-19, earn some extra money. When you register, for every local business you sign up with they give you a cut. Their fees are 5%, transaction fees and platform costs cover 3% and the remaining 2% of profit they split 50:50 with you! By teaming up with a local ride-sharing partner, they pay local drivers more than they get paid driving for UberEats. Using the https://eatlocal.co.nz/ platform will also allow for contact tracing! As awesome as this sounds, this platform will only work if we all get behind it, so spread the word and check out their website for more information!
With Parliament going back this week, each day will begin with Ministerial statements, followed by Question time.
The Government has an Omnibus Bill to introduce, which contains 30 technical amendments to various pieces of legislation, mainly to allow digital actions rather than face to face, some to delay actions for several months, none of which are contentious other than some concerning mental health which may need some discussion and further changes. The Government have also indicated they intend to introduce a Taxation Bill and a Commerce Bill.
Each of the three days this week and next will start at 2 pm and conclude no later than 6 pm. There are no catering facilities on site so any MPs and Ministers will need to feed themselves.
Half of Cabinet will return to Wellington and be available for questions, but the Whips can use proxy votes for MPs of up to 90% rather than the norm of 25%. So in the House, to maintain the safe 2 meter distances, no more than 30 MPs can be present at any one time and the Whips will manage this.
The normal 10 hour debate on the financial reviews from each Government agency as reported back by the Select Committees has been reduced to 5 hours maximum and will continue throughout the week.
So, there will be minimal attendance by MPs and Ministers, and Parliament will be focussed on legislation for Covid-19.
As an MP travelling to Wellington, because I am not an ‘essential worker’ I need to carry an authorisation paper from the Speaker outlining my reason for travelling! Interesting times.
Don’t forget to check https://covid19.govt.nz/ for the most up to date information. As we move to Alert Level 3 today, and over the next two weeks, we must continue to keep our bubbles exclusive, so as not to reverse the great progress we’ve made throughout Alert Level 4. Be sure to keep active and healthy this week, check on your friends and family and take some time for yourself too.