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A plan needed beyond Red to get City Centre moving

Press release
Monday 8 Nov 2021

Heart of the City is pleased to see retail businesses reopening in the city centre on Wednesday. However, with so much at stake, Government needs to set out a clear plan for recovery beyond the Red level.

Viv Beck, Chief Executive, Heart of the City says that “The cost to city centre businesses is close to $1B in lost spending since the start of last year.  Even when we get to the new Red level, as things currently stand, there will be few visitors from outside Auckland and people are still encouraged to work from home.  This will be extremely challenging for our economy. We need to get to Green as quickly as possible.”

Beck says that “Auckland has done the right thing, with our three DHBs now at 90% for first doses, and on track for the second later this month, and it’s imperative that we see a clear plan. This needs to include a confirmed 1 December (at the latest) opening date which we and others have been asking for, as well as a pathway beyond the Red Level. This will bring urgency to the vaccination programme and much-needed certainty for our businesses.  Customers need to know that businesses will be open in December to make Christmas bookings.   We also need to see more clarity around the date for opening our international border, so impacted sectors can start to plan with some certainty.”

“We don’t want to see another incremental announcement next week. Instead, we need a plan that sets out when our businesses can open, plans for MIQ, plans for the domestic and international border, and activation funding to support the recovery of our city centre.”