211123220027 new zealand border reopen file restricted


Well, it looks like we made it! Well largely anyway

March 28 2022 by Mayor Jim Boult

Well, it looks like we made it! Well largely anyway

Our borders are to open to Australians at midnight on 12 April and to a large part of the rest of the world, in the form of the Visa Waiver countries, at midnight on 1 May. It can’t come soon enough. In the case of the Australians, the open date precedes Easter and the Australian school holidays so we should see a reasonable amount of Australian’s visiting us over that period. Don’t expect an immediate return to times of old though – I still think it’ll take a while for folk to get their heads around travelling internationally, but at least it’s a start. I do expect the real benefit to come in ski season though when, weather permitting, we should have a bumper season. Two years of frustration pent up by Australian skiers combined with the local market will hopefully see the district pumping.

To our business community – you’re an outstanding bunch! I know that not all have navigated through the past two years and I’m mortally sorry for them. However, for those who have, well done and I do hope that you are able to rebuild your businesses soundly for the future.

Over the past two years there’s been lots of conjecture as to whether the tourism industry will bounce back to its pre-covid form. I really do think it will take some time to recover, in particular for would-be visitors to get their heads back around long haul travel. I also do think that it’s inevitable that long haul travel will become more expensive with a good portion of the world’s wide bodied airliners parked up in deserts in the US.

When I met the Prime Minister and the Minister of Tourism last week, I stressed the need to ensure we have the workforce available to us to service the industry when it does come back. Migrant workers have been an essential part of the local economy for decades and unfortunately, I don’t think those in Government quite understand this. The very last thing we want to do is see our visitors back here and only be able to provide a below-par experience because we can’t field the workers required.

Regardless of all else, the light at the end of the tunnel is now very much daylight!  I for one, can’t wait for some normality.

Mayor Jim Boult

- Mayor Jim Boult