It’s 2022 - let’s hope this year brings us better things. Whats on Invers column

Originally published as a column in Whats on Invers

It’s 2022 - let’s hope this year brings us better things.

Over the past 18 months, Southland’s economy has been hammered by Covid-19.

Businesses have suffered and events have been cancelled.

The closure of the border slashed $20 billion from NZ’s economy almost overnight with the loss of international tourists and students.

Our agriculture sector lost access to seasonal workers and businesses were cut off from skilled migration.

Some of the economic damage has been masked by massive government borrowing and spending.

In just 18 months New Zealand has doubled its debt.

The country is now shifting to a new period in our Covid response.

We need to continue to focus on getting our vaccination and booster shot rates up - suppressing cases and treating the sick.

We also need a new economic strategy.

The Government cannot just continue to borrow while locking down our economy and hoping for the best.

We need to back business and back the regions.

Business is really just people. People with an idea, some capital, and the confidence, talent and courage to take a risk.

National’s economic team has developed a comprehensive plan that will save livelihoods and unleash our economy.

We strongly urge the Government to adopt it immediately so New Zealanders can back businesses, like those in Southland, to succeed and flourish.

Let’s make 2022 a better year.