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TEAM Group Releases Phase Two Interim Report

Marlborough is in a much better position than first feared due to the impact of COVID-19 but there are still challenges ahead for the region.

So states The Economic Action Marlborough (TEAM) Group Phase Two Interim Report June-December 2020 released today. The report is an interim update given Marlborough is still in a period of change. The next full report will be released in the second quarter of 2021 to capture impacts of the pandemic on the local tourism, retail and hospitality sectors and as well as any new mitigating actions undertaken.

TEAM was one of the first groups convened in New Zealand to address the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the regions. “A significant amount of work has been undertaken to ensure that all that can be done is done, to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic on our Marlborough community,” said TEAM Group chair, Councillor Mark Peters.

“While there have been challenges faced by our businesses and people, and there are impacts still to come, for the most part, our region is in a significantly better space than we feared at the time of the first report,” he said.

The interim report reveals the biggest effects have been on the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors (despite a higher than expected consumer spend May to October), job losses particularly for young people and lingering labour shortages (wine harvest).

“It also speaks to the actions TEAM has taken and has planned in the future to cushion the economic shock to our region and our people,” said Clr Peters.

Of the 60 projects identified under the first “Recovery Response” phase of TEAM, all have had all their TEAM actions completed. TEAM worked to gain access to “Shovel Ready” funding for multiple projects - these funds, where approved, have been received and the projects are underway. This includes the new Blenheim Library/Art Gallery build and Blenheim stormwater works.

TEAM has also directly funded, or has committed to fund, 23 local projects, committing $576,066 of its allocated funding of $865,000. This has come from Council reserves which does not impact rates.

In terms of what the future holds, Infometrics produced a report in November 2020 updating their projections on the economic impact of COVID-19 on Marlborough’s economy and this is contained within the report.

“We are fortunate in Marlborough that we have a diverse economy which will give us a solid base for recovery with strong demand for primary and processed food and beverage products and wood. However, the impact of the lockdown and economic downturn in other parts of the world may affect export demand for some industries,” said Clr Peters.

“Thank you to everyone who has assisted in this recovery effort. It indeed has been a community endeavour and a real example of mahi tahi,” said Clr Peters. “TEAM is a community-based programme of work, and we look forward to continuing to work with you all on mitigating the economic impacts of COVID-19 on Marlborough,” he said.

For the full TEAM Group Marlborough’s Economic Action Plan for COVID-19 Phase Two Interim Report June-December 2020 go to:

http://bit.ly/TEAMreports

Ends.

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