Mountain Scene editor Tracey Roxburgh asks a very good question: Dear Minister, where the hell have you been?
I know you’re busy and all, but I just had one quick question for you.
Where, exactly, have you been?
Or, perhaps, more to the point, as Minister of Tourism, what – aside from tasking Tourism New Zealand to come up with a domestic marketing campaign – have you been doing to support NZ’s tourism industry?
Here’s the thing.
Please forgive me for being blunt – it’s been a tough couple of months and, like many, I’m running low on sleep and patience – but you seem to have been dumbfoundingly quiet. . .
The whole piece is worth reading, it finishes:
This, Kelvin, is your job.
There are thousands of people in our community who were doing theirs, extremely well, until two months ago.
Now they have no income and no idea when, or from where, they’ll get their next pay cheque.
Some of them will lose their homes, Kelvin.
And, with the utmost of respect, sir, you look like you’re asleep at the wheel of the tourism industry.
Todd Muller was right when he talked about the few heavy lifters and all the other empty chairs round the cabinet table.
The Tourism Minister’s is definitely one of those. You could add the Small Business one too.
It’s closely related to tourism and both Ministers should have been not just working with their sectors, they should have been seen to have been working with them.
Some 1,000 jobs are being lost a day, most of those from small businesses and many from tourism, and it will get worse.
The answer to what have you been doing? is not nearly enough.
Is that likely to change?
If the gaping gaps between promise and delivery on almost everything else this government promised, it won’t.