The Covid-19 crisis is taking a massive toll on business as a result of the restrictions put in place by the Government to fight the pandemic.

As well as severe cash flow issues, many small and medium-sized businesses are also affected by a high degree of uncertainty over when and how trading can return to more normal levels as the country tries to ease its way out of lockdown.

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But amid the carnage there are stories of Kiwi businesses that have adapted in the face of adversity and are developing new products and services to help the economy recover.


Take for instance Putti Apps, a small Takapuna-based smartphone app developer co-founded by John Hoult and former Nokia NZ general manager Bruce Howe.

In the space of just three days Putti created a Team Safe "Covid-19 Support Hub" app for Fletcher Building – a job that would normally take weeks or even months to put together.

Now more than 7000 Fletcher staff have signed up to the app, a programme that digitises health and safety and incident reporting and allowed the construction giant to re-start operations under level 3 and prepare for level 2.

"I am now lucky enough to be working in a business that can respond quickly in times of crisis through development of digital tools and apps," Howe says.

Open for business: Many Kiwi firms are adapting to help the economy recover. Photo / 123rf
Open for business: Many Kiwi firms are adapting to help the economy recover. Photo / 123rf

Fletcher Building chief people officer Claire Carroll says Team Safe has been a valuable tool to communicate through the unique challenges of the Covid-19 environment.

"Through the app we've been able to keep our people informed with near real-time updates, bring together leave and payroll, and provide wellbeing advice."

Another contact tracing app, developed by Simon Yock's company Fortsite, is now being used by major building site contractors and staff including at Auckland's newest office tower Commercial Bay.

There are 10,000 users on the system which gives instant and accurate records of visits, Yock says.


Read more about these innovative Kiwi companies in the Herald's new Go NZ! Series starting today.

Like all New Zealanders, we are proud to shine a light on all the incredible work being done to help our country recover.

Got a good news story? Let us know. Email GoNZ@nzherald.co.nz