A Queenstown hospo worker’s got a simple explanation for why the staffing situation’s got so bad.

‘‘Since Covid hit, all we’ve had for the last two years is people leaving, no one’s coming in, so the rest of us that are left have just been working — a lot.’’

Burn-out’s an issue, but to the credit of most venues, she says, ‘‘they’ve been pretty good at closing for at least a day, or two days week, to give staff days off.’’

The worker, who doesn’t want to be identified, says the situation’s ‘‘definitely pretty drastic’’.

‘‘We’re over a barrel, there’s nothing we can do.’’

She’s aware of people coming to town for the ski season, but says they seem to be applying for mountain jobs, and certainly not downtown jobs, or at least not daytime ones.

Compounding matters has been the government’s move to allow overseas workers who’ve been here three years to gain residency.

‘‘I know a lot of people will be getting their residency and leaving town.’’

Ironically, she knows of someone who was here on a working holiday visa, then got stuck back in England when Covid hit, who’s now been contacted by Immigration NZ (INZ) offering a new visa if she returns within six months — even though the person
hadn’t been in contact with INZ.

As it happens, her friend’s not able to take up that offer.

The worker says Covid’s also been taking a big toll on local hospo staff, especially as often staff from different outlets flat together.

However, what’s nice, she adds, is a lot of hospo staff have been working ‘cameos’ at other venues ‘‘because we’re all trying to help each other out’’.