Suspected closure ahead for two Central Otago iSites

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Speculation is rife two Central Otago iSites could close, potentially affecting seven staff, but their employer is neither confirming nor denying that is the case.

The iSites are in Alexandra and Cromwell and employees have allegedly been told to justify to the Central Otago District Council how to make the information centres viable in a vastly changed tourism environment, amid restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the long trail of economic ramifications it leaves in its wake.

In short, is domestic tourism going to be enough to keep them operating?
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said he could not comment on the issue and referred all comment to Central Otago District Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs.
‘‘She is having discussions with some staff, but as their employer you would have to go to her [Ms Jacobs].’’

Ms Jacobs said the council was looking at a range of measures to help reduce the financial impact of Covid-19 on ratepayers across the Central Otago district.
That meant belt-tightening decisions where they were needed, across the board.
‘‘The economic challenges facing our country, and indeed the globe, are unprecedented and require all parties to act.
‘‘It is inevitable that some of those decisions will be difficult ones when it comes to the operations of council and the services it delivers.
‘‘The community is always at the forefront of those decisions.’’

She would not be drawn on the future of the the Alexandra and Cromwell iSites nor staff potentially affected.
‘‘I am sure you can appreciate that as an employer it would be absolutely inappropriate for me to discuss any confidential employment matters with any other person not involved in those matters.’’