In this post I want to speculate about New Zealand and Covid 19 – how we have coped so far and what the future holds for our small country.
These last few weeks have got me, and I am sure a lot of people around the world, wondering what will happen after Covid 19.
Regardles of where you live in New Zealand, or the world for that matter, Covid 19 will have had a big impact on your life.
The big question is what will change when things return to “normal” and what will the new “normal” be?
Is A Recession In New Zealand Inevitable?
I am not an economist but with a lot of life experience (I turn 65 tomorrow – 18th April) I cannot see the world going back to what it was.
My situation is quite enviable – for one I have my own online business as an Internet Affiliate Marketer and secondly from tomorrow I go on pension here in New Zealand.
That’s a nice position to be in but …
I still see BIG changes coming post Covid.
First of all I do not believe anything will be the same again.
I cannot imagine for example everyone going back to work as if nothing has happened and having the same amount of disposable income as they had before. This will inevitably lead to a downturn in the economy.
New Zealand and Covid 19
New Zealand was probably one of the best places to be when Covid 19 struck.
- We are an island and very remote and therefore fairly easy to isolate – as many have said.
- With a small population and limited border entry points closing things down and controlling the population was always going to be relatively easy.
- The government acted very quickly in shutting things down – many argue too quickly and time will tell.
- As of now we have had a total of 9 deaths, all senior citizens and all with underlying health issues.
- Kiwis, with the exception of a handul of people, instantly rallied behind the cause and did everything the government asked of us.
- On the plus, and negative side, the government quickly implemented financial aid for virtually everyone. On the plus side this means we have a source of income (even if it isn’t 100%) but on the negative side this money has had to be borrowed and will need to be repaid. Yes interest rates are low at the moment but what will they be like in the future?
- And fuel prices haven’t been this low in years! Great except for the fact that other than filling up we can’t take advantage of it.
Everything but essential services is shut down and people are enjoying extended and quality time with family but also possibly also getting bored by now. Let’s face it we need direction in life and something to d other than eat, drink, read, watch Netflix and play monopoly.
How Will We Fair Post Covid-19?
Here is a really interesting article on how Covid 19 has impacted us and what the future might hold.
I absolutely agree with everything in this article except I suspect that our unemployment rate will be much higher than the projected 10% and even higher than the 25% that Sir Bob Jones says will be acceptable (albeit in the short term).
Something to think about …
If you are unemployed then the national numbers mean nothing because for you unemployment will be 100%
Why will we have such a high unemployment rate?
There are several reasons for this:
- Primarily we are very reliant on two industries – tourism and dairy and tourism expected take a massive hit (more on that in a minute).
- Secondly we are a nation of small (very small) businesses and many of these are predicted to not even be able to open after this is all over – think of the impact of that on staff, landlords income, insurance premiums, suppliers, contractors and everything else that relates to every industry.
- Medium and big businesses that employ a fair number of staff will probably now conclude that many jobs can be done from home – reducing costs, salaries and possibly even cutting jobs.
- Here’s another interesting article from a young friend of mine who works with a reaonabll sized company in New Zealand. In it she relates how she has more than just coped working from home but how it’s not quite the same as working with real people in an office environment. The question is if they decide that a consutlant like Sian can work from home how will this change impact on productivity and the bottom line.
Tourism in New Zealand After Covid 19
Let’s not fool ourselves Covid 19 will have a massive short to medium term impact on our tourism and possibly a long one.
A reduction in tourist numbers means a loss to:
- The hotel industry – in a nutshell the hospitality industry.
- The camper and car hire industry.
- Taxis and Uber owners.
- Buses and tour guide operators.
- Food and beverage shops – especially in small town tourist resorts that rely on seasonal travel and this includes our popular Queenstown and other snow skiing resorts that attract thousands of visitors from around the world annually.
- The llist goes on and on with tourism and I think we are in for a tough time.
- There is talk vaccination requirements over the long term for people to enter countries in the future. If this materializes the loss to our tourism industry could be even longer and greater than it is already likely to be.
The Dairy Industry After Covid 19
This is an interesting one.
With the hosptality industry predicted to slow down so will our local consumption of dairy and meat products – I would think.
On the other hand our dairy and meat products are well known and accepted in the International market and those tourists who would have come still need to eat and drink.
Will our export market increase as a result?
Will other countries feel imported dairy and meat products are a luxury?
Will the reduced income levels worlwide result in more people going vegetarian and/or vegan?
Movements that pior to Covid were the fastest growing with no sign of slowing – Covid could well accelerate the growth in both as vegetables are cheaper than meat and dairy.
I think we will be heavily reliant on our farming community to generate much needed capital from international markets. That in itself will be an interesting battle as the current government have recently passed laws that make farming pretty difficult in New Zealand.
This is not a post about politics but I do think we will need to pull together and do our best to stay on our feet. We are a small country and need the world community – and let’s be honest they will have their own issues and don’t need us. We were always a luxury item with our tourism.
Net Immigration … we’re a nation of immigrants
Always have been and probably always will be – but maybe we will have to slow down.
Covid 19 may in fact increase the attraction for moving to New Zealand but I think it will become even more difficult to get in.
- With less jobs to go around why would we encourage new immigrants – particularly in the short term?
- Will expat Kiwis who find living overseas a bit tougher decide to “come home”? If so that will put additional strain on our economy and further increase our unemployment numbers.
- With more people and fewer employed the government will have an even bigger headache than it already has in terms of housing.
New Zealand is Closed for Renovation … Re-opening soon!
Where will you be and what will your situation be like.
Nobody knows exactly what will happen and we won’t until it all unfolds.
I believe that many Liwis are going to be struggling even more than they currently are and this Covid virus will take a big toll on our economy in the immefiate future and for years to come. People are waking up to this and wondering what they can do about it.
Becoming self reliant is one option but growing your own vegetables in an apartment is a bit impractical and clearly limitied to just how self sufficient one can become.
A couple of weeks ago I placed a post in my local “Neighbourly” page that reached over 6,000 people.
The post was about starting your own online business – and there are literally thousands of ways to make money online. It was well recieved and from my Google analytics statistics a large percentage of people looked at it – a sure indication that people are concerned with how little old New Zealand will change (has changed).
We cannot expect the government to pay us all a benefit of a full salary or house us for fee indefinitely – we need jobs!
Or we need to find a way to make a living – I think an online business that markets other people’s/companies’ goods and services to people in other parts of the world in the form of Internet Affiliate Marketing is a potential answer for many of us.
It may be worth looking at and you don’t need anything to get started other than the computer you are reading this on.
It does mean you have to work though.
There is no such thing as easy money – if there was before Covid it just became harder.
Let me know your thoughts and particularly what plans you have in the new New Zealand – should that be Newer New Zealand?
Hang in there folks – we’ll get through this easily initially and somehow in the long term, but it won’t be with the traditional Kiwi #8 wire – it’s going to take a lot more resiience from us!