December 20 2021 by David Gibbs
This is the last issue for 2021 and I’m sure you, like me, are ready for a decent break over the Christmas New Year holiday season. The team and Directors at the Lakes Weekly would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year. 2021 has been a long year and one that many of us will be pleased to say goodbye to, especially if you are associated with the tourism and visitor market - for you it’s been a brutal year. Hopefully 2022 will see a slow return of international visitors, which will be very welcome.
Also very welcome is the return of homeowners, friends and family from Auckland. It’s a wonderful to have you back and see the town start to get busier. The Southern Lakes region is special and it’s somewhere all of New Zealand can enjoy. This place we call home is for all of NZ.
Unfortunately, Covid is never far from our reality these days. Vaccines and the new strains continue to play havoc with our lives. That shows no sign of decreasing in 2022 with the arrival of Omicron and the resulting race for booster shots. The cancellation of New Year downtown fireworks and Lake Hayes A&P Show demonstrate we’re still some way away from getting back to life as it was pre-Covid.
Changed also has been our attitude toward how we approach Covid. Vaccines and mandates have created big rifts in the community and even amongst family members. This has come with some undesirable social effects, including some who’ve bluntly and rudely taken their views out on anyone they see as removing their ‘rights’. Thankfully this seems to be dying down and I certainly hope that the break will be an opportunity to destress and build back civility into the conversation.
Every Christmas is always a stumble to the finish line after a big year but 2021 is even more so. Many have not had the opportunity for a decent holiday this year and with the staffing levels very tight, the pressure has grown exponentially. We are physically and mentally shattered and ready for some time relaxing with friends and family, which is ultimately one of the key things Christmas is all about.
It’s time to say a huge thank you to those who have been giving their time or donated food, cash or toys to the support groups that ensure no one in the region goes without over Christmas. Additionally, there are many for whom the holiday is their peak time especially the police, firies, ambulance and transport workers. Thank you.
From our family at QMG to your have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and see you in the new year with our first issue out on January 11th.
Queenstown Media Group