online editorial


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.

Scott Stevens
Long-time Local

- Scott Stevens
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    I agree Scott.....lets open her up, bring it down, just like they have done in USA, Sweden, Spain and Italy....then in 3 weeks time, we can go back into panic mode when the second (and more lethal) wave hits us, and starts killing the kids as well as the old hell with the vulnerable people in our society, we have got to get back to making MONEY MONEY MONEY like we used to.....lets get those bars and nightclubs going hell with the consequences

    Posted 11/05/2020 4:31pm (3 months ago)

  • greatgary

    How is this on the front page of the LWB?
    Your opinion piece about critcising what has been an overall incredible response, with the very real potential of genuinely pulling through and not having to head back into lockdown? Did you not listen and learn from what has happened in other countries, and do you not realise the huge benefit of being able to shake this virus the first time around? Yes, there will be pain. But it's damn sight better than the alternative, yo-yoing back and forth between lockdowns and deaths. Or are we still all so stuck in our short-sighted Queenstown money hungry ways that we can't look at the long term in anything anymore?

    Posted 12/05/2020 1:52pm (3 months ago)

  • Anon

    So, no longer in politics but at least you own a magazine you can use as your soapbox to still get your voice out there eh, regardless of whether people want to listen...

    Posted 12/05/2020 4:17pm (3 months ago)

  • Fuzzy Wuzzy

    Scott, it seems like you jumped ship just in time from what is becoming apparent was just a QLDC Ponzi Scheme, which has resulted in millions of dollars being wasted on Consultants and Blue Sky Planning and for vanity projects, whose main objective was to further enrich the Big end of town.
    I think the QLDC attitude to ratepayers is best reflected in that majority of QLDC staff and Executive hightailed home on 100% pay while their contractors to still have to go to collect rubbish and undertake other responsibilities to keep the area operating and that many ratepayers still had to work at 80% of their wages or less to service their and community needs.

    Meanwhile, we have a Mayor who saw saws between trying to keep his big end of town mates happy by trying his level best to keep their low-cost labour pool in town, in the unlikely event things pick up. and asking for millions from central government for social and shovel ready projects that he must know a Labour government is never going to provide to Queenstown.

    It's ironic that the Mayors mates repay him and the community that has enriched them by in many instances shutting iconic attractions and activities for an undetermined period of time, laying off their team members and doing a runner with hardly a whimper from our Mayor or Councillors.

    Posted 13/05/2020 12:44pm (3 months ago)