Kāpiti, 9 June 2020 – Businesses are urged to implement permanent flexible working initiatives, as New Zealand begins its recovery from COVID-19 and moves into Level One.  

Jacinda Thorn, Chair of The Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce is urging decision-makers, Government Departments and businesses to use the learnings from the last two months and consider flexible working the norm, and not the exception. 

“I was very disappointed to see comments from Grant Robertson, the Finance Minister, that the ‘office environment boosted productivity’.  Where practicable, people have remained productive and continue working since Lockdown began – they’re still connected, creating and producing, instead they’re doing it from home.  

“One of the few silver linings to emerge from the Lockdown and the associated economic impacts is the fresh thinking about what our workplaces look like and how they function.  I’ve spoken to a number of businesses, workers and owners who have all appreciated the opportunity to give flexible working a go – and most importantly it’s working,” says Jacinda Thorn.  

Dot Loves Data last week revealed retail spending was up 15% in Kāpiti in the early stages of Level 2, spurred on by more people working at home.  

“Everyday thousands of people leave Kāpiti to work in Wellington, where they spend money on coffee, lunch and shopping. If more people work at home, they will spend more locally; cushioning our economy as the true impacts of COVID-19 begin to be felt. We will also reduce pressure on our already congested roads and train networks, commuters lose hundreds of hours every year battling traffic jams and contending with train delays.  

“Of course, this may not be physically possible for all businesses, but for those who can implement, we’re urging them to do so, and embrace New Zealand’s new normal. Now is the best time we’ve ever had to do it,” says Jacinda Thorn.  

The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce exists to advance the economy by creating wealth and employment and solve local business issues by providing a collective voice for business in Kāpiti. Over 300 members in Kāpiti belong to the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce to stay connected, network and gain knowledge and support from our local membership.