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Source: Auckland Council

Mayor Phil Goff today announced the formation of a Mayoral Business Advisory Panel (COVID) to help work through the issues created by the COVID-19 lockdown and to assist the city’s transition back to normal economic activity when the lockdown is lifted.


“The Mayoral Business Advisory Panel brings together a range of leaders in the business and public sectors to ensure we are working together to address the challenges faced by Auckland businesses and workers during the lockdown period,” said Mayor Goff.

“I have spoken to the Prime Minister and she has appointed Hon Carmel Sepuloni as the liaison between myself and COVID Cabinet Committee to allow for feedback from this Advisory Panel directly into central government.


“The Advisory Panel allows for regular communication between Auckland Council, key government sectors and the business community, even during the lockdown period. It will identify issues needing to be addressed and opportunities to get through the difficulties caused by the unprecedented interruption in economic activity.


“Auckland is 38 per cent of the country’s GDP and we have never had to shut the city down like this. These are extraordinary times and it is important that local government keeps engaged with our business community.


“The Business Advisory Panel is another mechanism of keeping abreast of what is going on in the city in addition to our other already established networks like local business associations, the IMSB and community and NGO organisations,” Mayor Goff said.


The Advisory Panel will act as a conduit for messages to be relayed to government and for responses back to the business community.


Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore said, “The initial membership of the Advisory Panel is a group of people who are well connected in Auckland from a range of industries that are most affected by the lockdown. Most of them wear several different hats but the aim has been to ensure we are looking at this issue from as many angels as possible.


“The Business Advisory panel is another method by which Auckland Council can achieve a deeper understanding of the serious challenges that  are before businesses in our city and country areas. We need to fully understand these challenges and also the opportunities to get our business economies and employment moving  again once we emerge from lock down.”


Mayoral Business Advisory Panel (COVID) members:

  • Ailsa Claire – CEO, Auckland District Health Board
  • Peter Reidy – CEO, Fletcher Construction
  • Mark Goldsmith – Regional Commissioner, Ministry of Social Development
  • Brett O’Reilly – CEO, EMA
  • Rachel Brown – CEO, Sustainable Business Network
  • Derek McCormack – Vice-Chancellor, AUT
  • Robert Reid – President, FIRST Union
  • Grant Webster – CEO, Tourism Holdings Limited

Changes to the panel membership may be made over time.