While the government was bringing good news to big business – a few of our biggest companies, anyway – National’s Small Business and Tourism spokesperson, Todd McClay, was out batting for small businesses.
The good news was that a “coalition of around 25 businesses across a range of sectors” has been granted an exemption by the Director-General of Health to import and use approved rapid antigen tests. The number of businesses involved is curiously imprecise.
Radio NZ presumably asked for the names of the companies involved (they aren’t listed in the ministerial press statement) and more specifically reported that “a coalition of 25 firms” was involved, although this suggests it didn’t list them all in its online report:
Companies taking part in the trial: Mainfreight, Foodstuffs North Island, Genesis, Hynds Pipe Systems, Mercury, Summerset Group, Wellington Airport, Christchurch Airport, Sky NZ, Queenstown Airport, Spark, Vodafone, The Warehouse Group, ANZ Bank, Contact Energy, Fulton Hogan, Countdown/Woolworths NZ, Fletcher Building, Carter Holt Harvey, Meridian Energy, DHL Express NZ, Air NZ and Auckland Airport.
But let’s not quibble. The aim is to quicken the pace of Covid-19 testing among the companies’ workers, no bad thing.
The chosen businesses have signed up to a charter with MBIE and the Ministry of Health, committing to work together and share insights to inform any wider roll-out of rapid antigen testing to other work sites.
Todd McClay’s concern, on the other hand, was that businesses all over the country are in “dire, dire trouble” as half the North Island remains in sustained Level 3 lockdowns. Continue reading “A bit of a break for big business (via a quick testing deal) but the Nats are niggling about neglect of businesses that are struggling”