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Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker has today written to the Finance Minister informing him of Queenstown’s dire situation as at week four of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Walker has highlighted the main area of concern around the possible large scale redundancies to occur in the area following the end of the 12-week wage subsidy.

“It is clear in Queenstown the 12-week wage subsidy is not enough and for people to keep their jobs and businesses to survive more assistance is needed,” Mr Walker says.

“Queenstown is in a dire situation because of Covid-19. Businesses I have spoken with have informed me unless more is done, they will have to make their staff redundant at the end of the subsidy and shut their doors for good.”

“We have been brought to our knees, and there is no end in sight, with our borders closed to international visitors for the foreseeable future.”

“Two out of every three people in Queenstown work in the tourism sector. All of these people are in incredibly unnerving positions, where they don’t know if they will have a job very shortly.”

“This doesn’t include the many who already have lost their jobs, with more than 6000 people turning to Civil Defence and our support agencies for assistance.”

“Eighty per cent of these people are visa-holders who are not entitled to any Government support, have no way of finding other employment and cannot get home.”

“It is trying times throughout New Zealand but Queenstown is by far the worst affected area.”

“I’ve asked the Minister to provide some guidance as to whether there is more support coming after the 12-week wage subsidy and targeted support for tourism providers coming so businesses and our people can plan their way through this.”

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