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Panel focus moves from surviving to thriving post COVID - Council

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The reignition panel of council and community representatives has shifted focus from finding ways help the economy survive to supporting it to thrive.

The re-ignition panel was formed in May by Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen and has been meeting regularly to provide additional support to the recovery of the Timaru District. With much of the local economy weathering the storm well compared to other regions, the panel has identified that the focus should now be on economic growth. "The Timaru Reignition Panel brought together a diverse range of community representatives all with a focus on growing our post COVID-19 economy," said Bowen.

"I would like to genuinely thank those local industries and workers in our primary sectors; food processing and manufacturing, transport logistics and health and social services that have got us through the COVID-19 pandemic better than most parts of the country. "These backbone industries will drive our local and national recovery and reignition in the coming months and years.

"Our inherent strengths of diverse and strong industries, underpinned by the great people in our district, has enabled us to focus more on the reignition aspects of the strategy.

"To date the Timaru District hasn’t had the significant rise in unemployment like most other areas in the country and in fact have a number of jobs across various sectors needing to be filled. We anticipate these opportunities will only increase as we head into our traditionally busy spring and summer months. "The panel has readily acknowledged areas of pain but we are in a great position as a district to bounce back quickly as we have a strong foundation of collaboration, connections and networks that enable us to quickly redeploy and retain those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The re-ignition plan is currently being developed, details of it and other panel activities will be made available on the reignition panel website when completed.

"With our strong social services industries continuing to do an amazing job along with the inputs from the Timaru Reignition Panel the Timaru District people should feel confident that our region will take care of our people, our place and re-ignite the local economy across business, social and cultural activities and needs, while ensuring full alignment to council activities," said Bowen.

"We have a great opportunity to play to our strengths and return to a better and stronger region."

The reignition panel consists of:

-Timaru District Mayor, Nigel Bowen

-Timaru District Councillor, Peter Burt

-Nigel Davenport, Venture Timaru

-Nicky Donkers, Barkers Group

-Josh Earnshaw, Youth representative

-Karl Jackson, Te Runanga o Arowhenua

-Liz Nolan, Familyworks

-William Rolleston, South Pacific Sera

-Gary Rooney, Rooney Group

-Grace Scarsbrook, Youth representative

-Keith Shaw, YMCA

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