Fleurs closing to sort out operating under Orange

Moeraki’s Fleur’s Place restaurateur Fleur Sullivan has been able to reopen after the Government...
Moeraki’s Fleur’s Place restaurateur Fleur Sullivan. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Due to challenges around the new traffic light system, Fleurs Place has closed until further notice.

Owner Fleur Sullivan was out of reception in Fiordland and unavailable to comment, but staff member Mariebelle Winters said the award-winning seafood restaurant in Moeraki would reopen ''as soon as we can''.

''For us, being quite small and being so isolated, it is a little bit of a tricky situation - and it has got challenges for us.

"The biggest challenge is . . . finding enough vaccinated staff.''

The restaurant had hoped to continue operating for everyone - but the change to the Covid-19 Response (Vaccinations) Act, requiring all hospitality workers to be vaccinated even if the business had chosen to operate in a contactless way ''changed things for us''.

"We were hoping we would be able to keep our unvaccinated staff and welcome vaccinated and unvaccinated people.''

They tried ''everything we possibly can think of'' to continue operating, before making the ''difficult'' decision to close until at least Sunday.

''We are heartbroken and so sorry, but we do want to keep everybody safe.''

Customers whose bookings had been cancelled had been ''so awesome'' and understood the challenges of the new system.

"The most important part for us is we want to keep all our staff safe and we really do want to keep our customers safe - we've never been wanting to do this wrong. We've always been wanting to do this properly and be good people.''

When Ms Sullivan returned to Moeraki on Monday, there would be a staff meeting to discuss the next steps.

"I think we will have to advertise for vaccinated staff and then take it from there - and the question is how many vaccinated staff are around?

"It's a bit of a shift, but you know, you can look at this from all sorts of perspectives. We always try to see the good in anything - everything happens for a reason and we'll take this as an opportunity to build a strong team and come back strong.''

Ms Winters wanted to assure people Fleurs Place was not closing permanently.

"We are only closing because we need this break to get it sorted.''



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