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“How’s the recovery going?”

November 9 2020 by Mayor Jim Boult

“How’s the recovery going?”

“How’s the recovery going?” is a simple enough question, but it’s a tough one to answer. Without overseas alternatives, adventurous kiwis are visiting us here in their droves on holidays and weekends. We’ve seen some fantastic marketing campaigns showcasing unlimited attractions – all set against a backdrop of the country’s most stunning scenery. And they’re working. Our challenge has shifted from no visitors to no staff to look after them.

It’s been rare in the last month or so, to have a conversation with those in business who are not experiencing recruitment or retention stress. Business and community leaders are all desperate for Kiwis willing to work or for changes to immigration policy that will allow our global grafters or manuhiri kaimahi (we have got to find a better term for migrant workforce!) to take the many available jobs we have going.

Now in my second term as Mayor, I’ve learned that the best way to get results from central government is to take them the answers. I’m extremely confident that the spirit of innovation that has long flowed through the arteries of this place is capable of finding a solution. There’s a couple of things that can help. Firstly, we need to ensure employers are registering their vacancies with MSD (Ministry for Social Development). This gives government accurate data reflecting the employment picture in the Queenstown Lakes, and it can match those looking for work with your positions. If you’re not using their free service already, I heartily recommend you do and you can sign up here

Secondly, we need to get creative and try new recruitment practices to attract Kiwis to the best part of the world for work. We hear it often that Kiwis don’t want the jobs we’re offering but it shouldn’t be such a tough sell to ask them to join our fabulous way of life. We’ve got a lot to offer, let’s package it correctly, reward them appropriately and make it about lifestyle as a whole. Our local Chambers of Commerce and the Economic Development team at Council are doing some excellent work in this arena. Get in touch if you need advice.

On the back of the successful ‘Jobbortunities’ employment expo a few weeks ago, QLDC is hosting the Central Lakes Jobs Fair on Thursday 26 November to provide employers with the opportunity to connect with potential new employees. If you have current vacancies and you’re wanting to register as an employer for this event, or you know someone who may be interested, please go to to sign up.

For my part, I will continue advocating for and convincing the appropriate new ministers that our international workforce is an essential and valued part of our communities and our economy.

We’re all in this together. Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui.

Mayor Jim Boult

- Mayor Jim Boult