Many of us are struggling with the issue of how to be sensitive to the community pain, alongside keeping our own businesses viable. The innate Kiwi value around “fairness” has a very dark side in these situations, where a significant portion of the public seems to feel that “I’m in pain, so it’s only fair that you should be in pain too”.

I think that the property market will be fundamentally changed as we come out, but you may well be right about pent up demand. Refinancing will also most likely be significant.

I’d suggest you don’t overthink it. Use your values to guide your messaging – and don’t feel you have to explain yourself to the general public. Do what’s right for your people and your business – if you’re not delivering value, you won’t get customers. If you are delivering value and getting customers, you’ll need a plan to manage any negative backlash from the general public (and potentially your competitors who may not be as on-to-it as you are).

My advice to others in this situation is be clear in your messaging, don’t feel the urge to explain yourself in great detail, and try to ignore the negative comments. If you have an online presence where people can post comments, don’t respond to negativity, but answer specific questions only with factual information (not opinions or justifications), and only delete comments that are actually offensive. Get a thicker skin – but act in a way that you’ll be proud of when you look back in 20 years time!

New Zealand will need businesses that come out of this fighting, and in particular, fighting to keep their people in jobs. Hope that’s even vaguely helpful.