Destination Kaikōura General Manager Glenn Ormsby says the announcement, providing a staff support subsidy for small businesses, is welcome good news for a community that is dealing with the aftermath of a large quake that had left the East Coast community rattled and isolated.
The announcement by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley is timely, Mr Ormsby says. It follows an immense show of support that has poured into the region from across the country.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support in words and actions that has flooded in to help us.
“We are a tight community, and as happens in tragedy, it brings us all together. There has been some incredible solidarity and unity shown across the community and a desire to support each other to get through this and do what we can to get back on our feet.”
He says the priority initially was to ensure people were safe and had access to food shelter and support.
“The next phase is to assess and take a stock take of our infrastructure and the town and buildings to determine what is in good shape and what needs attention.
“Despite the road blockages into the town, we have weathered the impact of the quake reasonably well,” he said.
Getting the town open for the business is the next focus, and this is a way that the wider community can to continue to show its support, Mr Ormsby says.
“Kaikoura is a town of incredible resilience and character and we will come back from this.
“For those wanting to show support for our community please lock us in for a visit over summer when we are again open for business. Come and visit us and allow our community to give back to you with hospitality and the amazing experiences that are on offer here.
“I want to thank everyone again for their support, and send a high-five to the people of this community who have rallied around and supported each other and helped ensure we will get through this together.”
Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts is also pleased at the Government’s quick response to the situation faced by tourism businesses in Kaikoura and surrounding areas.
“While there will be a need to review the assistance package in a few weeks’ time, this is a good first step to help businesses retain their staff and keep afloat.”
TIA is contacting its Kaikoura members to ascertain their needs.
“We are working closely with government agencies and other tourism organisations to support our members and the wider industry through this challenging time,” Mr Roberts says.