I would like to thank you for the government's effort in wiping out Covid-19 from our wonderful country.
What a pleasure it is to go about our everyday life, knowing we are COVID free. My company, Impression Real Estate, manages 1500 properties, primarily Auckland apartments rented to overseas students. The purpose of this letter is to suggest that the way forward should be all about creative and innovative thinking that will support the learning institutions to not just survive the next 12 months but also to thrive. I realize you are both competing to be the governing party this year, however, at times electioneering needs to be put aside to help everyone move forward.
It seems there is a $51m earmarked for support funding, however, even the University is saying “this money should not simply fall into the category of a handout, it should support the goal of searching for and developing solutions to this extremely difficult situation”.
Student immigration is reportedly worth $5b to the economy and although the educational institutions are the main recipient of this money there is a huge trickle-down effect that benefits and to a degree relies on the student industry. Accommodation, food outlets, convenience dairy’s, transport, etc, the list goes on but the point is that most, if not all these services are currently being supported by Government handouts in some form or other, so it makes absolute sense to develop strategy’s that firmly addresses the top of the cliff example rather than the ambulance at the bottom.
We absolutely support the Governments' position in controlling the problem at the border and this must not be compromised in any way, but equally let's not compromise our resources in support when it would be far more beneficial to look for solutions that will produce an intelligent and enduring result.
As much as this may seem unpopular, we believe that to be successful, there must be a bi-partisan approach to finding solutions. We must have common goals and we believe this would be welcomed and appreciated by NZ as a whole. I would personally be happy to sit on a working group for this purpose and I am also in a position to attract some of the most creative brains in our industry to support this project. Without this kind of intervention, I believe the prediction of students returning to our shores by January 2021 to be extremely optimistic.
Once again thank you for all your effort this year, and once again we have shown the world what a fabulous country we are.