Disruption to Wellington businesses must cease
Statements from Wellington Mayor Andy Foster this morning that "at the moment, we don’t have control of that part of the city" and to cautioning residents to be careful around the area just isn't delivering what business needs," says Simon Arcus, Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive.
"This is having a serious impact for businesses around the Parliament and across Wellington - additional pressure especially for our many hospitality and retail businesses, who are already making tough decisions facing a downturn at the red traffic light level, with this adding to further lost revenue and unrecoverable costs. People are staying away from the CBD due to the protests, businesses are having to close for safety, and we’ve seen people being stopped from getting onto public transport to get home safely.
"The protestors absolutely have the right to protest - as an advocacy organisation ourselves we appreciate vocal participation in the democratic debate. But they call it peaceful and instead bully business owners and their staff.
"The protestor’s message has been made. There’s a growing risk this becomes an ongoing idle protest getting in the way of others who need to make a living.
"The privilege of peaceful protest in a county that’s pulled together through restrictions and lockdowns, is an irony lost on the demonstrators who are inflicting further economic damage to the city.
"The point has been made loud and clear. But business who are already hurting from Covid19 are now hurting from this protest too. It's time for the protest's disruption to business to end."