Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson are in Rotorua today talking with about 30 representatives of key business sectors.
The invited members of representatives from tourism, hospitality and forestry sectors, as well as economic development agencies, Rotorua Lakes Council, iwi and council and trade unions, are meeting at Terrace Kitchen this morning.
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Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson opened the meeting and put in an apology for mayor Steve Chadwick who was in self-imposed isolation working from home.
He said while the farming sector was grappling with a severe drought, now forestry, tourism and manufacturing industries were facing a different challenge.
"We can do this together again in partnership."
He said Rotorua must be ready to open for business.
"In that regard, the words of Finance Minister Robertson that really struck a chord were 'now is not the time for austerity nor ideology' which would result in enormous damage to our economy. I believe our council will take note. Our people and place are resilient as we recovered from Tarawera's eruption which damaged tourism 134 years ago. We will do this again with your support. Tatau tatau."
Waiariki MP Tāmati Coffey addressed the beginning of the meeting before it was closed to the media and the public saying it was a "really trying time".
"It is better together and this is how we are going to be able to get through what we are currently going through at the moment.
"Our people are suffering at the moment. We know that we feel that. I have just come from an Eat Streat meeting where all of our retailers from the street have got together to try and show a bit of solidarity in trying to carve out a pathway forward."
Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Sir Toby Curtis told the Rotorua Daily Post from the meeting this morning he likened the current situation to the Mt Tarawera eruption.
"This to me reminds me of the Tarawera eruption where things were destroyed but we are still here carrying on with activities with tourism and Tarawera is still in our presence."
Sir Toby said it was important to keep a positive frame of mind and work together.
Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams told the Rotorua Daily Post before the meeting got under way it was important everyone worked together.
"We are all going to be here. The critical thing is we all work together so when we come out the other end we are in the best place possible," Williams said.
"Today is a remarkable opportunity to talk directly with the Prime Minister to hear how we can make the best of our place."
Tree Walk co-founder and director Bruce Thomasen told the Rotorua Daily Post before the meeting got under way he was grateful for the Government's rescue package announced last week as it slotted in well for his business, giving them sense of certainty for the coming three months.
He said the message to locals now was to buy local.
"Support local. Keep having your coffee, keep your social distancing but have your lunch dates and visit the attractions. We need that now more than ever," Thomasen said.
Ardern is expected to address the media when the closed-door meeting finishes at 12.45pm.