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18 March 2020

A message from the CEO, Richard Beddie

Yet another COVID-19 email, but with some VERY important information on how we are helping you and the rest of the exercise community in New Zealand.
We know that right now there is lots of uncertainty around both COVID-19, and what it means for those operating exercise businesses and those employed in it. 
The most important message we can share right now is that WE ARE HERE TO HELP.
While, unfortunately some businesses will need to scale down at this time, we will be scaling up our operations to support you, as well as looking at ways of providing financial support to clubs for things like their ExerciseNZ fees etc. We want to support you, so that once things return to normal, your business is around to re-grow and thrive.  
We also want keep you up to date with what we are doing, as we are very clear that this is the exact reason why we exist - to support the collective exercise community during these challenging times.
Here is a summary of what we have been working on and our future plans:
- We have put all the relevant COVID-19 information in one place for you - It includes all the free resources we are providing, as well as direct links to government subsidy information and forms. We will update this on a regular basis and will be the central point for all COVID-19 information.

- We will continue to send ExerciseNZ members, REPs registered trainers (including those who are members through Yoga New Zealand) further support and tools directly via email as we develop them.
- HOT OFF THE PRESS: We have just produced poster for your use in staff areas which helps you as a facility to set correct protocol during COVID-19. You can download the poster here.

We are working on a separate handout for you to give to your members. 
Consumer Campaign
We are actively planning a coordinated campaign encouraging members/clients to support their club/trainer/teacher (and why) and also the importance of staying physically active. We are engaging a PR firm to design this, so it will be a professional and well thought out message that you can use to promote to your clients/members. 
- We will have a printable 'stay safe when exercising' handout for trainers and clubs to use within the next 48 hours. This will be sent to you directly. 
Government engagement
We are in direct dialogue with the New Zealand Government (the Ministry of Health) as well as other agencies to ensure we are well informed so that we can best support you. We will let you know as soon as we have any indication from Government about any possible regulations relating to gyms being open - in the meantime we encourage gyms to be proactive with not only cleaning, but also social distancing (this is detailed more on our COVID-19 web page).  
We will also be sharing the direct links to access the Government subsidy for employers and the self employed (yes self employed PTs and group exercise instructors can access the subsidy if their business is affected). 
So our advice from here is: 
1) Check out our COVID-19 resource page.
2) Follow our planning advice set out in our recent business tool (re-attached). This will end - the key is ensuring your survival in the short term so that when it does you can re-grow.  
3) Reach out to us if we can offer any other support.

Expert Advice
We have also engaged the services of an Infectious Diseases expert, who also has extensive pandemic response crisis management experience, and will be using them to ensure we providing you with only the best, and most scientifically robust information possible. They are also advising us about the possible Government regulations that may be put in place, and we are planning on various scenarios to support you through those.  
Feel free to contact me personally on 027 520 5744 or email me at 

You can also contact the ExerciseNZ office on
0800 66 88 11 or REPs on 0800 55 44 99 

We also had an offer from one of our board members/industry consultant Reece Zondag to call him personally to talk about  any challenges - no cost to members, or
021 248 6250

Richard Beddie
CE, Exercise New Zealand
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