Migrant worker assistance system in place
Local government and the Chamber of Commerce are asking all unemployed migrant workers to register with a welfare system that has been set up to help them.
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce CEO Anna Mickell spoke to Crux this afternoon about the importance of these vulnerable groups getting in touch with systems set up to support them. "These are young people, living in shared houses, and they need help. Many of them will be lost and scared, but we are here to help them."
Any people who want confidential advice or assistance contacting the right agency can also contact [email protected]
"We'll need central Government support as well" Mickell told Crux, echoing an earlier plea from Mayor Jim Boult.
Anna Mickell said that many landlords who have joined the welfare group have already agreed to drop rents and generally support the hundreds, even thousands, of workers now out of work due to Covid-19 and the collapse of the local tourism industry.
Mickell is also highlighting the need for business people to take advantage of the chamber's current free membership offer so that they can get the advice and support they need.
Mayor Jim Boult also provided an update to Crux on efforts to support the welfare needs of unemployed workers.
"You will no doubt have seen from the recent media releases that Council is very active in this space, focusing both on the immediate and longer-term welfare needs of our local community (including workers from overseas) and the longer-term recovery of our district’s economy.
I personally have been working with Ministers from Central Government to secure additional support given our unique reliance on the visitor industry, and they have been both positive and very responsive.
This was reflected in their collegiate and constructive approach during the recent ministerial and visitor sector meeting held last Thursday, and I anticipate that engagement to continue and deliver some tangible assistance for our communities.
In addition to the excellent response from the Council’s Emergency Operations Centre, we have already created a team with a dedicated focus on recovery. This includes the economic recovery in partnership with key stakeholders in local business, and community welfare with support from volunteers and relevant agencies. I believe the groundwork we are putting in place now will stand us in good stead to come through this current situation strong and resilient. Expect further announcements in this regard."