By Friday businesses will have a clearer planning horizon for the next 12 months.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the "vast majority" of businesses and workers will be "back at it" in Level 2 which makes it sound close to normal, but social distancing rules of one metre will still apply in the workplace (two metres with "strangers") and the borders will still be largely closed.
The Government will present its budget tomorrow, so we will know where it is directing its Phase Two stimulus, and the limits of its largesse. We will also have the benefit of Treasury’s fiscal and economic forecasts, which will be grim but will provide an insight into Treasury’s view of the depth and duration of the economic contraction.
And we will have more of an idea of the Government’s ambitions for the post-COVID economic rebuild. Robertson is clear that we can’t afford to waste the opportunity created by the pandemic, saying:
While many of our economic indicators were strong – low debt, low unemployment, rising wages and government surpluses – there were ways in which we had not reached the standards we aspire to as a country. Too many children were growing up without the basics, housing has been too expensive, many of our waterways are still not swimmable, our emissions have been rising, people are working harder but don’t feel they are getting ahead.Grant Robertson
Policy directions the Government has either already embarked on, or indicated, include: building digital capability at both individual and national levels, creating a more skilled, flexible, confident and resilient workforce, putting a massive investment into infrastructure and dealing to the housing shortage.
So it may be time to take stock – review your COVID-19 response to date, and accelerate your business strategy planning for the next 12 months.
With this in mind, we have identified some of the issues you may want to consider in our latest publication: