Staying well during Covid-19

Fiona’s blog

As you will be well aware, New Zealand will move to a level 4 Covid-19 response at midnight tonight and all non-essential industries will shut-down for at least a month, including forestry. This move is being taken to contain the spread of the disease and to protect our communities.

I want to acknowledge how difficult this shutdown and the uncertainty it brings will be for people, including its impact on your family, finances and mental wellbeing. 

We don’t know exactly how long it will last. But the fact that most forestry operations are in rural regions, away from large population bases, means forestry could well be one of the first industries to start to recover.

Safetree aim to keep you updated – particularly through our Facebook page.

When I’ve been speaking with people, I’ve heard the following business tips to help protect your business during the shut-down, and to support your people:

  • Let your bank know you are not earning so you can’t pay all your bills and interest on time.
  • It’s important to claim the government wage subsidy and pay it directly to workers for the next four weeks.
  • Contact your insurer in writing telling them where your equipment is and how it has been secured.
  • Keep in touch with your crew. Do a ring around or set up a group chat on What’s App or Facebook.
  • Take an inventory of what’s on the skid and negotiate payment for stock; ‘the pulp price is better than nothing’. 
  • Speak to IRD and your accountant if you need to delay paying GST and Income Tax to free up cash.

See more information on government support for businesses on these websites: 

In the meantime, below are some ideas to help you look after the wellbeing of your mind and body, plus a forestry-related ‘feel good’ story from Gisborne – ‘cause we could all do with hearing some good news right now.

Kia Kaha

Forestry workers jog from Gisborne to Tolaga to promote wellbeing

More than 30 forestry workers and their families took part in a ‘Jogging for Logging’ relay for a second year. The run helped to shake off some of the stress caused by Covid-19.

The six-hour relay was organised by Safetree Toroawhi Wade Brunt and aimed to promote hauora, wellbeing and mental health. The runners ran in relay from Gisborne to Tolaga Bay.

The last four weeks have been stressful for Gisborne forestry workers as many crews were already affected by partial or full shutdowns due to the effects of Covid-19 on export markets.

So, preparing for the relay was a way for them to come together, train, talk and share what was going on in their lives.

See photos from the event above. Congratulations to everyone who took part.

Support to stay mentally and physically well

Safetree has just published 5 information cards on staying mentally and physically well. These cards were originally designed to be used at tailgate meetings and are part of our Tailgate Talking Topics package. But during the shutdown they can also be used to help people stay well and manage stress. 

See the full set of cards on the Safetree website. 

Here’s a taster of the information they contain, from the Stress card

Life can be stressful, which can add up to us feeling pressured, angry, anxious, and even depressed.

Use a buddy system

  • Check on each other – it’s OK to ask a mate how they’re doing if they don’t seem themselves.
  • Check on yourself – have you had enough sleep? Are you hungry? Need exercise?
  • Keep your ‘emotional bank’ in credit – do what you enjoy as much as you can.
  • Keep your ‘emotional bank’ in credit – do what you enjoy as much as you can.

Manage your stress

  • Reduce stress long-term – try to change whatever is stressing you and let go of stressors you can’t control.
  • Get enough sleep, regular exercise, and eat nutritious food – these improve mental health.
  • Make time to see people – strong connections help, so spend time with friends and family.

Know how to get support

  • Tell your boss if you need some time to deal with whatever is going on.
  • See your doctor or an employment assistance programme to see how they can support you.
  • Call or text 1737 to talk to a trained professional about anything stressing you out.

Safetree Conference Postponed

We are currently working on finding new dates for our conference. We will be in touch about this soon.

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