Does anyone else feel like we’ve spent almost three years now on some godawful SAS-style assault course, trickd into doing it by our bosses
who said it’d be good for team-building?

We were up for the challenge at the start, and navigated those early hurdles with a fair amount of optimism and enthusiasm, completely blind to how many there’d be, or how long this particular assault course would take to finish.

Since 2020, we’ve had to climb things, jump over things, crawl under things, balance on one leg with our eyes closed while others (often government ministers) have lobbed things at us, knocking us off balance.

But I reckon 2022 was the last couple of corners and challenges before the final straight.

We’re knackered, over it, and very much in need of a cup of tea* and a lie-down.

We’ve just used every last bit of energy we have to climb up a behemoth wall, with very few hand and foot grips, while also lifting, pushing and pulling others on our team up, too.

We were promised some reinforcements by this stage, and had hoped they’d be on the other side of that wall, forming some kind of human pyramid to help us all down and support us on the way to the finish-line, which, if we squint hard enough, we can see.

But the reinforcements aren’t there.

So, we’ve had to jump, and it’s like we’ve landed face-first in a mud-pit.

We’re now on our stomachs, legit using our fingernails to drag us to the end.

Despite being exhausted, bruised, bloodied (both, hopefully, just as metaphorical as our assault course), and the enthusiasm for this particular team-building exercise being much diminished now, by jingos are we determined.

There’s no doubt this summer’s going to be an absolute banger.

Tourists are back, freely, for the first time since 2019.

It’s what we wanted, right?

Unfortunately, we still don’t have the number of bodies on the ground, working, we need to easily manage it.

We all want people to have the best time here, squeeze every bit of joy from our home, respect it, and leave bursting with stories to tell their mates, vowing to come back.

That, friends, is part of the final stretch.

Doing the best we can to make that happen for them, despite our obvious limitations.

One of Scoop’s oft-touted sayings to me over the past couple of years is “pressure is only for tyres”.

But pressure also makes diamonds, and I believe the past couple of years have proven Queenstown’s full of VVS-quality ones.

Regardless of whether you’re getting a break, or working to keep the town running over the next few weeks, I hope you find a little bit of time to stop, have a cup of tea*, reflect, and pat yourselves on the back, not just for getting through the worst of it, but getting through it the way we all, collectively, have.

To Team@Scene, thank you for being the legends you are, and doing what you have to make sure our little paper made it out every week, despite, at times, seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

And, while it’s been an almighty challenge, the bosses didn’t lie; that metaphorical assault course has built one of the strongest teams — our community — in this country.

We’ve come out of it more unified than I think we’ve ever been, collaborating better than ever, moving in the same direction with, largely, similar goals.

It’s something we should all be proud of.

Team@Scene’s going to spend a couple of weeks sipping tea* and sleeping, but we’ll be back, fanging to hit the final straight with you all from January 12.

We love you, Queenstown, here’s to crossing the finish-line together.

*may or may not mean alcoholic beverages

[email protected]

- Advertisement -