30 July 2020
Hub for Business and Community Launched
The Gore District Council has launched a hub to coordinate, support and explore innovative solutions to assist businesses and the community in a post COVID-19 environment.
Seen as a community partnership to navigate the District’s future, the hub has been called Te Kāpehu. This is the Maori word for compass, a navigational tool for guiding and showing the way.
COVID-19 community recovery taskforce chairman Cr Richard McPhail said there was a nice symmetry between the navigators of the past and the position the province, and much of country, finds itself in today.
“We are all dealing with finding our way in a new environment. While the impact has been less widespread in our District than elsewhere in the country, we have not been immune.
“In coming months people may find themselves in situations they have never experienced before. It is essential the Council, businesses and social services are prepared to navigate the unknown, such as changes in employment levels.”
Te Kāpehu will be located in Gore Visitor Centre’s spacious new location in the former Salvation Army building. It will be resourced by Gore Visitor Centre staff with support from the Council’s event coordinator.
Cr McPhail acknowledged the work of other support agencies and organisations in the community, such as Hokonui Huanui. He wanted to assure people Te Kāpehu was not about duplicating their work but supporting it.
“We look at Te Kāpehu as a triage point, a trusted location where staff can determine a person’s need then refer them to the appropriate business or agency.”
An example would be a displaced worker wanting to start their own business – “we would refer them to accountants, business banking managers and MBIE”.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said Te Kāpehu reflect the District’s inherent resilience and care. It was the result of a series of talks with business and community leaders.
“We just want to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks. No-one could have predicted the year we’ve had so far, and it’s pretty hard right now to predict where we will be in six or 10 months’ time.”
Mr Hicks said being prepared for whatever the future may bring was important. There may be minimal demand at present for Te Kāpehu’s services, but that could change as the impact of COVID-19 continues to roll out across New Zealand.
The Council has set up a dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org and dedicated phone number 0800 Kapehu (527 348). People were also able to drop in to the visitor centre.