We live in a truly amazing community.
Covid-19 has brought with it a lockdown of our community and our country, but we will fight to get through this together.
Like you, I am in lockdown at my house in Queenstown.
Many of you may feel stressed or uneasy now, this is normal.
At the time of writing this, on April 1, we have 108 cases of Covid-19 in the southern district, 38 of which are in the Queenstown Lakes area.
I have spoken to management and staff at the Southern District Health Board to pass on my thoughts to all staff who were tested for Covid-19 after two valued members tested positive.
We do need to remember, however, this will pass, and while a lot of our lives will have changed forever, we will get through.
We all get to do our part in this battle against the virus, which is to stay home and save lives.
I’m in daily contact with regional leaders across the electorate, who are all doing a great job leading our communities through this tough time.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge our front-line essential workers who leave their homes and loved ones each day and put their own health on the line, going to their jobs, keeping our country going.
Our supermarket staff, doctors, nurses, vets, vet nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy staff, contractors, cleaners, waste disposal teams, farmers, truck drivers – the list goes on. Thank you.
It also depends on those who aren’t working, who are still playing their vital part in beating this by staying home.
Every day we need to remember we will beat this and we will get through.
My offices and I have dealt with more than 500 enquiries in the past seven days.
These range from people trying to get back to Queenstown, through to the many who have lost their jobs.
One of the other major topics of enquiries I have been receiving is from people worried about their elderly family members and friends.
We can all take some peace in knowing the wonderful team from the Ministry of Social Development has started to call over-70s up and down the country this week to check in.
Listening to those of you here in our Queenstown community, there are a lot who are disappointed in those not following the rules.
I am in regular contact with Queenstown police who are doing a fine job, for example, shutting down the backpacker party on Sunday night.
I, too, am disappointed and encourage these people to do what they are supposed to and stay at home.
What is incredibly pleasing is the vast majority of people who are following the rules.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted me over the past week and I encourage anyone to get in touch with me if you have any questions.
Look after yourselves and look after each other.
- Hamish Walker is Queenstown’s MP