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Blow for city centre whose hopes were pinned on a shift away from Red

Press release
Wednesday 23 Mar 2022

The move away from the use of restrictions and an increase in indoor capacity is welcomed today but it’s a blow for the city centre whose hope were pinned on certainty around a move away from red – bringing with it a return of major indoor events, the ability for bars and nightclubs to operate properly, and workers to return.

At the two year anniversary of NZ’s first lockdown more certainty is needed for city centre businesses and its recovery, and today’s announcement hasn’t delivered.

Viv Beck, Chief Executive, Heart of the City says that “We really needed to see more certainty confirmed today - particularly a move away from Red. The reality is that whilst all businesses can open under Red there is a view that it means stop. Many larger businesses made their working from home policies around Red being a work from home – we need to see a shift to Orange to change that narrative.”

Beck says that “There is light on the horizon and there is lots planned over the coming months to bring positive attention to the city centre. We’d like to see people back, working and enjoying the city. Changes announced today will make a difference – but confirmation of a shift away from Red would have made a major difference for planning and confidence amongst our businesses.”

“The last two years have been incredibly difficult for many businesses. Government needs to provide further financial support including targeted wage subsidies.”