Level 2 here we come
May 11 2020 by Scott Stevens
Level 2 here we come
Domestic tourism recommences, exactly what the means we have no idea but still, my enthusiasm knows no bounds. I do not want to live off government handouts, I want the ability to trade despite the drastically diminished size of the market here in Queenstown. My dealings, at an appropriate distance, with other Queenstowners has proven I live amongst likeminded people.
We are a positive bunch and always eager to look on the bright side. However along with that enthusiasm I sense a growing level of frustration, particularly with the daily 1pm Ministerial lectures. We need meaningful information today to plan for tomorrow. I do not tune in to be told “wash your hands” and I don’t need to be reminded not to “pass your phone to others”. What I do need to hear from The PM and others who grace the stage at 1pm is detail to help me run a business and keep as many people employed as possible.
The time for warm and fuzzy “team of five million” speeches are over. I am a patriotic New Zealander, and the way we collectively handled Level 4 lockdown deserves praise. But that goodwill has run thin as the cases of COVID19 announced at these 1pm government press conferences sits at zero or close to zero. In fact, it is verging on the patronising to keep telling us we should be “proud” to sit on our hands and wait. The looming economic crisis particularly in our region needs the same level of government detail as the COVID-19 health crisis.
We are all detailing new business plans at lightning speed, and whether you are a self-employed businessperson, corporate mega company, or salary and wage earner, we are also having to detail new household financial plans at lightning speed. Because the urgency is here and now. Is it too much to ask for Government to also pull finger and do their bit with meaningful detail for local businesses? Government has a long history of moving at snail’s pace, maybe I am asking too much.
We experienced some strong decisive leadership in the early stages of Level 4. We need that same decisiveness now more than ever as we try to get our economy moving again. It seems the gravity of consequence is weighing too heavily on the shoulders of our rulers. So much so they cannot decide a definitive detailed plan for level 2 and Level 1 out of fear of getting it wrong. In my experience waiting for bureaucrats to make these critical calls is akin to watching paint dry.
Eventually the keys to our own lives will be handed back. Then Queenstown will prove what we are really made of. I look forward to that, because there is no better place to be than here in the Wakatipu. That much will never change.