Support local business
As the owner operator of the Funky Duck Cafe, Virginia Lake, I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank all those who have supported us through the last couple of months of the Covid-19 crisis.
Like many other Whanganui businesses, having to close was a stressful and costly exercise. All businesses still had overheads to pay in the form of leases, rates, power, insurance, etc.
Having the wage subsidy was a generous and necessary factor in preserving jobs for our valued staff and preventing a huge increase in redundancies. Even so, many business owners would have been compelled to take out loans or spend hard earned savings to keep the essentials running until normal trading could resume.
We have been humbled by the support of the dozens of well wishers and concerned citizens and to new online support organisations.
David Downs initiated (at no cost) a new voucher website named SOS Business for all small to medium sized businesses in New Zealand. Many local people purchased vouchers or donated cash during the lockdown.
We are also indebted to our many loyal customers who have personally offered cash and words of support since we resumed trading.
Who knows what's ahead? I fear we may be in for a rocky period economic-wise, but the kindness and spirit of generosity extended to us by our fellow Kiwis makes us determined to carry on.
Let's preserve jobs and businesses, buy local. Thank you Whanganui.
Bioforestry project risks
Rangitikei mayor Andy Watson's bold statement (Chronicle, May 9) that the bioforestry factory project in Marton is spade-ready is astounding.
The Rangitikei District Council has proposed to re-zone 217ha of productive rural land on Marton's eastern boundary to industrial and this zoning change proposal is about to go before the commissioner. This is not spade ready; this is in the early stages. There is opposition to this zoning change, and for good reason. To suggest otherwise is misleading.
Mayor Watson needs to come clean with Rangitikei ratepayers on the environmental impacts this proposal brings and the potentially significant associated financial costs it will have to our community.
The Government's Provincial Growth Unit summary comments on the NZ BioForestry funding application proposal are: "This application relates to high risk, volatile, specialist, capital intensive industry that has a mixed history in NZ".
The Rangitikei District Council is out of its depth and should jump out of this (quick)sand pit with its bucket and spade while it still can.
Dead cats bouncing
The New Zealand share market has just done a huge bounce. On March 23 the NZ Top 50 was down 30 per cent from its all-time high seen just five weeks before. Then the lockdown was imposed and over the next three weeks stock prices zoomed back up 23 per cent.
The swift decline was expected; the world economy had been inflated by the creation of trillions of dollars out of thin air, and the Covid-19 lockdown in March was the final straw.
But why the sudden bounce back again? Is the stock market a cat with nine lives? Alas no; the developing economic depression threatens to be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and this exhibited what was called a "dead cat bounce" before completely collapsing. Other recessions have been similar.
In late 1929 the American Dow Jones index reached a high of 380 before plummeting to 220. Then this dead cat bounced up again to 300 at the beginning of 1930 before a series of smaller bounces took it right down to 40 over the next 26 months.
In the process it killed off millions of jobs, with cut-price mortgagee sales leaving multitudes homeless and destitute.
Up here beneath an unpredictable Mt Ruapehu, I notice long-term Waimarino residents have gained nine lives for themselves by building up a variety of skills that give them a diversity of incomes. When the dead cats start falling on you over the next two years, you can avoid being squashed by doing the same.
As well as developing your specialty skill as a chef, fencer, lawyer, nurse, truck driver or whatever, gain experience with other skills - vege gardening, shopkeeping, beekeeping, carpentry, car maintenance, computer coding, sewing. Good luck.