COVID-19 update

1st May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a heartbreaking impact on New Zealand’s tourism sector. It is expected to be many months, possibly years, before this industry recovers.

Many of our visitors are from the international market and with New Zealand’s borders expected to be closed for some time, our organisation has already been significantly impacted as a result. Transport World closed its attractions before New Zealand entered the Level 4 lockdown, to keep our staff and guests safe.

We dearly want to keep our doors open, but our survival is all going to be dependent on local and domestic support. Our products – Bill Richardson Transport World, Classic Motorcycle Mecca, and Dig This Invercargill – have helped bring visitors to Invercargill and we want to continue contributing to our city’s economy and vitality. However, no tourism business can survive for long without visitors. We have gone from hosting tens of thousands of visitors to zero.

Like many tourism businesses, Transport World has had to make some changes and I am deeply saddened to confirm redundancies have been made within our organisation. Without doing so, Transport World’s operations would be unsustainable and our organisation would not survive. All staff, including those whose roles have been disestablished, will continue to receive the Government wage subsidy  in full.

Thirty percent of roles within Transport World have been disestablished. This includes a mixture of full and part-time roles. All remaining staff have had their hours reduced and the executive director is on a reduced salary. Some staff have also been redeployed into other areas of the business so that we can retain as many people as possible.

The decision to restructure Transport World was not made lightly. Transport World is part of a family-run organisation and our team is a tight-knit one. I have appreciated the contributions of every person who has been part of the wider Transport World family, and I sincerely regret that we have had to make these changes. I would like to personally thank all of our affected staff for their professionalism throughout this process. Transport World will continue to offer affected staff support.

Given the sensitive nature of this decision, no further comment will be made.


Jocelyn O’Donnell

Executive Director, Transport World