A word from Tim Cadogan, Central Otago mayor

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Covid not done with us

I was looking forward to Anzac Day this year. I have attended most of the services locally in my time as mayor and enjoy seeing how different communities reflect on the service of those who came before us, and this year in particular, how fortunate we are to live in our peaceful part of the world.

I had planned a trip to the Ranfurly service, followed by one in Alexandra, but those plans were scuppered when my wife Linda tested positive for Covid on Sunday, meaning I am now isolating with her for a week or longer, depending on whether I come down myself sometime in the next few days.

It has been interesting seeing the system kick into gear as a household contact, with a message coming through my Covid Tracer app that I had been near someone with Covid.

Good to see the system working though, and it needs to as it appears in Central Otago that we are still right in the midst of things.

It’s easy to fall into a false sense of security with going into Orange and the numbers nationwide dropping away, but the latest figures show that we may not have even peaked yet locally.

We are all suffering pandemic fatigue, but now is not the time to ease off on taking care of ourselves, if not for our own sake, then for the sake of those around us.

Speaking of people around us, there have been a lot of late, haven’t there?

I rode the Lake Dunstan Trail on Saturday with a niece who was visiting from Melbourne.

She absolutely loved it, intends to bring her partner back to do it and will go away an ambassador for our place.

Word of mouth such as this, as well as some extremely good media coverage, has made the trail an incredible success, pumping huge amounts of money into our local economy.

But we need to be careful that we don’t become a victim of our own success and that is why the destination management plan (DMP) that came before the council on Wednesday is such a crucial document.

The DMP is about shaping a tourism future that aligns with our shared values and aspirations for people and place and has been created in consultation with industry and the public.

It is well worth a read.