Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | July 2020

Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | July 2020 1602 1773 The Flyer Magazine

The Top 10 things I’ve learnt during Covid-19 levels:

All the words to the Moana movie and both Frozen movies.

That all the grandiose ideas I had while being on Level 4, were too grandiose.

My kids surprised me with their resilience and their willingness to see the good in a stringent lockdown period.

If I had to do it over again I’d still wear track pants every day.

That I now have a lot of grey hairs in my beard that were not there a year ago.

That as important as I thought I was, the world still kind of continued without me doing stuff.

My personal space increased to around 6 feet (1.8m) when I left the house and continued until Level 1.

You can still see people smile with masks on their faces.

Queenstown is a resilient and welcoming place that cares for its people.

That despite a month of practising I still can’t make a really good flat white.

With the fall out from everything that’s still happening in the world, and NZ’s premature celebrations on “eliminating Covid-19”, it’s time we took stock of who we are Queenstown.

We have been lucky to get $85m in Government funding, which we need, but are we going back to the way we were before? I hope not. This is a time to reassess who we are and how we want to be.

A town centred around tourists or on the people who live here? When the tourists don’t come, what do we have left? Well, we have a community that gathers around its “trapped and jobless” Queenstowners. A town that puts food on people’s plates and clothes their kids. If this time has taught me anything, it’s that the underbelly of Queenstown is not seedy and dirty, it’s soft and cuddly and warm. We need this to continue for our kids. Schools are having a bit of a hard time at the moment with behaviour, which is understandable. Some of these kids finally had Mum and Dad for a whole month, then ‘whammo!!’ back to some type of normal, but not really normal. Some of them are not handling it at all. Kids pick up the vibes from financial pressure, marital stress, job insecurity, not knowing if they can stay in the only place they’ve known as home.

So, if this Covid thing has really taught me anything it’s that we need to restart Queenstown with a focus on the people who are here, not the ones we hope to come, especially when this won’t be the last time we see something like this. So let’s prepare by having a community that focuses on the people. That means a community that looks to art, dance, drama, music, food, and eco-tourism, and yes, still a community with the iconic things that Queenstown is known for around the world. But why can’t we also have tourism that also focuses on the amazing arts we have in Queenstown. The talent that we have here is unrivalled by places far bigger than us. Let’s use some of this money to finally get an Arts Centre in Queenstown. One that creates national and regional tourism, because it’s just that good.

Kia Kaha Queenstown
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