Look after each other
Tim Melville, Te Kāhui Whaihanga NZIA President, comments on the importance of prioritising the wellbeing of family, staff and colleagues amid the spread of COVID-19.
As you know, New Zealand has now entered Alert Level 4 (‘Eliminate’) of the national response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
At Alert Level 4 people must stay at home, educational facilities will be closed, all non-essential businesses will be closed; there will be rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities; severe travel restrictions; and a major reprioritising of healthcare facilities.
In architecture practices, as in all areas of New Zealand life, people will be worried, and many will be feeling vulnerable. All of us should be putting the welfare of family, staff and colleagues first as we adapt our offices to a national lockdown.
Practice leaders are under a lot of pressure to make plans for the next month. I urge them to be especially sensitive to the concerns of staff, particularly graduates and emerging practitioners who will be looking for guidance and support. We should remember that not all of us have worked and lived through difficult times for the profession.
It is important for people’s welfare, and for practices’ effectiveness, that physical isolation is managed well. Our COVID-19 page details the various tools, many of them free, that allow for one-on-one and group communication. Business assistance is available, and this page also points members to the government departments that offer support.
Don’t feel that you’re alone at this time. If you need advice, please contact the NZIA office. The staff at the NZIA national office are working remotely but are all available to help.
Tim Melville, Te Kāhui Whaihanga NZIA President