metropol » COVID19

Tag: COVID19

Silver linings

There’s been a lot of darkness in the world recently and sometimes it can be hard to find the good in things. No-one one saw COVID-19 coming, but we have learned to adapt and live with it. This is the perfect time to remember every cloud has a silver lining.




A MUCH-NEEDED BREAK: While many of us were isolated at home and unable to travel, Mother Nature got a well – deserved holiday. Air pollution levels in China are down, the canals in Venice are cleaner than ever and some wildlife have made a welcome return!

WFH NOW A THING! Working from home – or WFH as it’s now being called – has had a massive push in the right direction and employers and workplaces have been forced to adapt. Here’s to more flexible workplaces in the future!

FROM OUR BUBBLE TO YOURS: Ironically with everyone in their own bubbles and separated from each other, there’s never been more of a sense of closeness. It’s been a time of connections – old friends, new ones or even a new community.

CLEANLINESS MADE COOL: One of the best ways to preventing the virus is by washing your hands. There’s definitely nothing wrong with having a little bit more of that around.

YOU KNOW HOW TO WHAT? A month in isolation can drive some up the wall and drive some to try something totally out of the ordinary! Learnt a new language, how to juggle or perhaps you’ve tried your hand at ventriloquy? We’re looking forward to hearing about everyone’s creative new talents!


Raising an army

Until recently, University of Canterbury graduate and Kiwi entrepreneur Guy Horrocks was living in New York helping launch a new data management company, Solve. But, as the number of Covid-19 cases in the city climbed, cafés closed and business meetings were cancelled, he realised it was time to go.


Guy Horrocks


He and his wife, Rose, took their five-month-old daughter home to New Zealand, to hunker down at a friend’s house on Waiheke Island.

Guy, who graduated from the University of Canterbury with Law and Commerce degrees in 2007 and won the university’s Entré Startup Challenge competition in 2006, is relieved to be home but hasn’t been taking it easy.

Wanting New Zealand to act quickly to avoid the situation he saw unfolding in New York, he set up an entrepreneur group to lobby the Government for a lockdown.

He also began voluntarily helping UC’s Student Volunteer Army (SVA) mobilise a national volunteer response to help people affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

“It’s a great story of entrepreneurs from different backgrounds coming together to help. For me personally, it’s a really cool, meaningful project that’s very rewarding,” Guy says.

His expertise helped the SVA build a call centre, payment system and shopping website that allows volunteers to deliver medicines for people who are unable to go to a pharmacy, provide childcare for people working in essential roles, and work with Foodstuffs to deliver groceries to the elderly and vulnerable.

“My focus now is trying to help with arranging funding and partnerships to make sure they can keep the service going.”


The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

Between Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and the Metro Sports Facility alone, Ōtākaro has been pumping around $15m a month into the construction sector, on behalf of the Government.

Pre-lockdown, around 600 people were active across both sites and we’re continually working to get back to that level, while maintaining safe working distances.

When you consider these numbers and how that money then flows onto the suppliers of parts and materials, that’s a lot of people receiving a pay packet each week because of these infrastructure projects.

They put Canterbury in a strong position when it comes to economic recovery, as these projects aren’t just ‘shovel ready’, they’re out of the ground.

Construction work will now be carrying on at Te Pae Christchurch into the new year and work at the Metro Sports Facility is back near full capacity.

Alongside these projects, work on the South Frame is back underway and the North Frame pedestrian bridge construction is ramping up.

Our friends at Fletcher Living will also have work going on at One Central for several years. These projects all put money directly into the hands that swing the hammers.

It’s a skilled workforce supported by a wide range of design, legal and finance professionals, that can look forward to being busy for a long time in this region with the likes of the Canterbury Arena and Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor on the horizon.

There may also be other local projects the Government opts to support to help our economy bounce back from COVID-19.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented.

If we are to save jobs and businesses, get the economy going again and ensure Christchurch is well positioned for the future, we need to do so together.

We have a chance to usher in a sustainable future by working together to save jobs, to support local businesses and to reposition Christchurch to deliver inter-generational wellbeing through a smart, sustainable and future focused economy.

It will take a collective commitment across the community and public and private enterprise to make this happen.

We need to balance necessary and urgent activity with longer-term recovery planning to usher in a sustainable future.

Our early economic recovery planning encourages people to think about working within three horizons: response, recovery and ultimately, repositioning the city for a stronger future.

In this early stage, one of the most powerful tools we have to hand is consumer spending.

Consumption accounts for 60 percent of economic activity, this means how you choose to spend your income makes a difference.

The money you spend on everyday items doesn’t just go to the business owner. It trickles through the community, it goes to workers, it goes to suppliers.

It keeps people in jobs.

I realise not everyone can spend and times will be tough for many.

But, if you are one of the lucky ones to come through COVID-19 with a job and your health, now is the time to spend locally to support businesses and keep people in their jobs.


A kindness pandemic

The Coronavirus lockdown has caused an unprecedented need for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Kiwis to stay socially connected and to get a hand with urgent supplies, meals and picking up prescriptions.



Enter Support Crew, an established online help roster that activates a community to remotely coordinate meals, supermarket shops, a friendly phone call or any other help that’s needed during isolation, from anywhere in the world.

“Over the last three years, we’ve helped more than 4,000 Kiwis coordinate support needed for aged care, hospitalisation, mental health, new babies and unemployment,” Support Crew Co-Founder, Kelly Banks says.

“We now critically shift our focus to bring Kiwi’s together to unite against Covid-19.”

The free online platform enables anyone to set up a private support page.

By inviting friends, family and neighbours to their page, they can then manage and coordinate help with meals or errands and sharing updates.

The platform’s Give Store allows Kiwis in insolation to provide remote help for vulnerable family members to receive ‘heat and eat’ meal deliveries, supermarket vouchers or fruit and vegetable boxes.

Since launching in 2017, Support Crew has coordinated over 2,500 requests for help and organised 1,850 meals, 400 trips to appointments, 200 hours of cleaning, 110 social visits, 220 dog walks, 5,200 messages and over 65 errands.

During the global pandemic, the organisation has seen an unexpected number of expat Kiwis organising help for their loved ones in isolation.

“We have many stories of generosity, from the expat in the UK who organised $500 worth of food and petrol vouchers for her immune compromised sister; to finding a loan portacot within hours,” Kelly says.

A significant number of vulnerable Kiwis find online shopping confusing and overwhelming, so nominating a family member, neighbour or member of the community as a designated shopper is proving vitally helpful.

That’s why Support Crew is now matching people who need help with people in the community who are close by and want to help.

Sign up to help or sign up someone who needs help.


The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor

It was an interesting time in lockdown within my bubble of two living as we do in the heart of our city!

We have explored the parts of the central city we don’t usually get to see.

The juxtaposition of the old and the new that tells part of our story; the history before the European settlers arrived now embedded in our landscape, with the legends that complete our story; the street art, largely hidden behind rows of parked cars, has been in full view.

And, of course, Hagley Park has been our place of solace and beauty as it always has been no matter what happens in our lives.

I missed the Botanic Gardens while they were closed, but now they too are open again with their autumn splendour on full display.

And, for the first time in a long time, I can see how “time poor” we had become as a couple.

Although the days have been crazy, with Zoom and Skype dictating a new pattern of working, I’m reminded that being in the presence of someone isn’t the same as being present with someone – switching off from the pressures of the day and having deep conversations with meaning and purpose, and enjoying our wonderful city together – that’s what really matters.