Back to business – EMA calls for strategy

ema-1bWhat goes down must come up but organisation is crucial as New Zealand looks forward to kicking its economy back into gear.

“We had little time to prepare for Alert Levels 3 and 4 but everyone has had an opportunity to learn from the lockdown, and consider what workplace practices can be put in place to safely enable as many businesses as possible to operate,” Brett O’Riley from the EMA (Employers and Manufacturers’ Association) says. “It is critical we get these guidelines finalised so we get businesses fully prepared to restart.”

Calling on the Government to prepare a new ‘recovery playbook’, Mr O’Riley stresses the importance of cutting bureaucratic tape as a way of fast tracking recovery.

“We have an opportunity for changes to be made that can ‘fast start’ existing businesses and potentially expand employment in key sectors. We understand the Government is up for change and our discussions with businesses point to some quick wins, with sectors like manufacturing and construction poised ready to go.”

The EMA’s recommendations include permitting manufacturing businesses to operate around the clock with multiple shifts while hiring more staff, initiating maintenance on infrastructure while students are still at home, and allowing local councils to draw on the Provincial Growth Fund for maintenance programmes.

Mr O’Riley also advocates changes to foreign investment rules and fast-tracking OIO (Overseas Investment Office) approvals to encourage private sector investment.