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CBD with Miranda Spary

It’s so good being home again after our whistlestop roadie round the South Island - don’t tell the rest of NZ, but we do definitely live in the loveliest part of a very lovely country. We all need to keep on our toes to make sure we make the most of this crisis we are going through - it’s the perfect time to make some very big changes for the better. I was so excited to see farmers and their dogs moving such a lot of cattle and sheep on the roads as we drove around - I’d almost forgotten that agriculture is such a huge part of our economy - tourism has been so much more visible, especially the campervans and rental cars. I love the visitors but too much of anything is a pain, and we have had far too many of them for too long. There’s a saying about visitors and fish…

“The Wholemeal Cafe” in Takaka is famous for its ginger crunch, but they didn’t have any the day we were there. Just as well as their date loaf and cheese scones were sensational. My husband said he’d pay the bill so we all went out to the car to wait. And wait. And wait. Just as I got out to find and chide him, he appeared. He’d been chatting to our lovely Italian waitress as he paid, and while he was working out which complicated Covid19 exit door to use, she rushed after him as he’d dropped $20. He thanked her and she whizzed back to work. He looked at the $20 and realised she could put it to much better use, so he’d gone back and got a full Italian barrage of thanks from her. Talk about karma - we had the dream trip - everything went like clockwork, the sun shone, the food was always brilliant, we only met lovely people, the roads were empty and we couldn’t have made anything about our trip better. There are some tedious people around who say “No good deed goes unpunished”, but they’re wrong. And they’re mostly the people who don’t do good deeds, so how would they know?

So many people are doing good deeds in Queenstown, but the needs are far greater than we can help with. Wouldn’t it be more humane for the government to pay for people without residency or jobs to be repatriated? Isn’t it better for people without jobs here to be helped to move to other regions where there is work? Queenstown is a wonderful place to live if you have a job - without one, it’s impossible. Talking to the owners who’ve been in business in the Wakatipu for years is useful. They’ve seen huge ups and downs, and they’ve learnt how important it is to keep their local customers happy if you want to survive. But the ones that have relied on the “fact“ (think Trump fact) that every day will bring a whole new batch of customers are simply not going to come through this. The idea that we can keep the tourism numbers growing is dangerous and nonsensical. Time to think smarter.