Katie Jolly Sheila Longhorn Don Locke






Vaccine separatism I was invited to a New Year’s Eve gathering and I gratefully accepted. However, the reply text stated that all attendees would be double vaccinated and that one of the attendees was concerned that because Chris Jolly Outdoors (our family business in partnership with Tuwharetoa) is listed as a “place of interest”, we may be a risk at the party. My rational brain that understands the fear was a little perturbed. Firstly, we had no contact with anyone on the boat, which by the way was only casual contact status and no positive spread, but for some reason we were the cause of some inherent fear polluting our nation and dividing society maliciously. So I uninvited myself. As a tourism company, all the staff have to be vaccinated and all safety protocols are taken as mandated by the Government. We, like many New Zealand businesses, have suffered greatly in tourism and jumped through major hoops to keep operating, yet even with masks and vaccines people still do not feel safe. Fear is a hungry beast that is never full. Whether you are vaccinated or not (I am for my job) you are still human. Your sister who you’re not letting come to the wedding is still your sister. Your osteopath who chooses to not get vaccinated is still the same person and, despite social media fear, will not kill you. I personally know people whose lives have been emotionally destroyed from vaccine separatism, and on top of that businesses hanging by threads with the stress of Covid19. Choosing fear to separate humanity is cruel and unkind. There are enough reasons in this world to build walls against each other, and this time it’s those we care for that are on the other side. Maybe it’s time to remember that we are one nation and practise love, not fear. Anyway, happy New Year to everyone. Let’s celebrate our similarities and build bridges, not walls. Please slow down Taupo¯ Please motorists, will you slow down on Wharewaka Rd before someone is killed. There are enough deaths on our roads without adding to it. It is not a racetrack, the speed clearly states 50km/h. Perhaps it’s time for the council to install the crossing that has been spoken about in the past so the residents of the retirement village can cross safely, without taking their lives into their hands. Wharewaka Praise for ‘forwardthinking’ council The Taupo¯ District Council is to be commended for its forwardthinking with the new footpath down Acacia Bay Rd. When I came to Taupo¯ and settled in Acacia Bay in April 1969, the road was just one lane with high grass and scrub on either side, but with only about eight permanent residents, traffic was light. As it was realised Acacia Bay was THE place to live, partially sheltered from the prevailing southwest wind, traffic became heavier and children walking from the camping ground to the store for their icecream were in danger. So, I pestered the then Taupo¯ County Council to provide a footpath, which they eventually did, initially just a dirt track but finally sealed. About this time, the road was widened to two lanes and Acacia Bay was really on the map. I used to cycle to work at Centennial Drive and I would have loved the new footpath to speed up my journey. Now, like me, the bike is retired but I look forward to cruises on the path on my mobility scooter. Congratulations to all involved. Acacia Bay