Stokes' 'Qtown closed by Friday' a step too far?

by Peter Newport - Feb 15, 2022


People all over New Zealand, and all over the world, are reading a NZ Herald headline today – “Queenstown in Crisis: Resort town tipped to be closed by Friday.

Many are taking that news seriously and have actually been in touch saying “So sorry to hear that Queenstown will be closed by Friday”.

Ruth Stokes told RNZ’s Checkpoint that she wants Covid restrictions relaxed and that “everywhere will be closed by Friday”.

Well Ruth, everywhere will not be closed by Friday.

Yes, local businesses are doing it tough and yes, they deserve our sympathy and support. And even yes – The Government’s Covid response has not been perfect.

But who could have come up with a perfect response to Coivd-19? The good news is that we have had a very low death rate and disruption to our society has been uncomfortable but manageable.

The constant scaremongering by Mayor Jim Boult and Chamber CEO Ruth Stokes is not helping local businesses – it is damaging them. Damaging them by doing something that Kiwis hate most – whinging and whining from a position of wealth.

There are hundreds of small and medium size businesses that do deserve support. Ironically, they are not the ones that have been complaining – most have rolled up their sleeves and done that very New Zealand thing of just getting on with it.

Here’s a free tip for Ruth and Jim. If you want a result, like getting onto a busy road from a side road, do you wait patiently or try to push in? In this example imagine you are driving a $350,000 Bentley SUV.

You wait – and invariably kind Kiwis will let you in. That’s who we are. Well done to everyone who has adapted and survived, as locals we’ll support you all.

But to Ruth Stokes and her multiple jobs and her $600,000 ZQN7 Ltd income from QLDC ratepayers – we suggest you might want to keep your mouth shut and stop causing any further damage to the community you claim to be part of.

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