I have spent far too long thinking about this introduction to our weekly communication, mainly because I am aware that for some it has not been the easiest of times and uncertainty is still the word of the week. The good news is that as of yesterday the wider DHB district of Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough is sitting at 89% of people having had their first vaccine and 80% with their second dose. While there are some pockets that are lower, this bodes well for us reaching the 90% target before Christmas. However, there is quite naturally some trepidation at the prospect of Aucklanders having the freedom to travel around the country, and what that means for the spread of Covid into our region. And many of our business don’t just want but NEED people to visit our region – you can see why this is not easy.
This week, it has been impossible to ignore the depth of feeling against mandatory vaccinations displayed by a small number of people. Clearly everyone has a right to their opinion. Mine is that it is very unfortunate that this has been hijacked by vocal and at times aggressive opportunists who are using it to demonstrate for and against completely un-related issues. Not unusual but unfortunate all the same.
The vaccine pass (as opposed to a certificate) which is the first step to implementing the Covid Protection Framework is available as from today. To be clear, and I am quoting technologist Andrew Chen, “The distinction here is that a pass doesn’t actually contain any of your vaccination information it just says that at the time this pass was issued the Government considers that this person is fully vaccinated and eligible to enter venues that would otherwise be protected under the Covid-19 framework.” It is still not clear how the vaccine pass will be implemented and enforced – and we are advocating daily for this to be clarified quickly so that businesses can operate “as normal” once we move to the traffic light system.
To get us over the line with vaccinations, the NMDHB are holding a range of events in the coming weeks with a second “Super Saturday” planned for 4th December. These include:
Sherwood Hall, Tapawera – Wed 17 Nov 11am-2:30pm
Rangatahi Event, Greenmeadows Stoke – Sat 20 Nov 11am-3:30pm
Dovedale Hall, Dovedale – Sat 20 Nov 10am-2pm
Kaiteriteri Reserve, Kaiteriteri – Sun 21 Nov 10am-3pm
Victory Community Centre, Nelson – Wed 24 Nov
Please encourage those you know who have “just not got around to it yet” and they could win a great prize through the support of our local tourism operators.
Kia pai tō rā