Make vaccination a priority to make best use of traffic light system’s freedoms

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The latest South Canterbury District Health Board Covid-19 vaccination figures show the Waimate district lagging behind the rest of the region, with more than 900 people yet to receive their second dose to help close the gap to 90% fully vaccinated.

From 11.59pm on Thursday, December 2, New Zealand is moving to the Covid-19 Protection Framework, better known as the traffic light system. This means vaccination passes will become part of everyday life and you may be required to use this pass to access local businesses and other high profile events or gatherings.

If you haven’t already had your first dose, or are waiting for your second dose, be sure to make this a priority in coming days to avoid any restrictions on your freedom this summer.

You can go to bookmyvaccine.nz, or visit covid19.govt.nz/walk-ins to find a walk-in clinic.

In other news, it was heartening to see a wide sector of the community, both rural and urban, coming together at the recent Groundswell protest and street demonstration, to signal their views against the Government’s Three Waters reform programme.

For those who missed my brief address to attendees, the Waimate District Council is working with like-minded councils to challenge the Government around its proposed models for Three Waters, collectively opposing the mandate and policy.

More information will be released on this in the coming weeks and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the best outcome for our ratepayers.

Meanwhile, with the alert levels becoming a thing of the past next week, we’re expecting a larger than normal turnout at the Waimate Lakes camping area in the run-up to and during our summer period.

Take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the new rules and guidelines, enjoy the wonderful facilities on offer and have a great time with family and friends on the stunning shores of Lakes Aviemore and Waitaki.

With this being my final Mayoral Matters column for 2021, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading and staying tuned every month, and to wish everyone a great Christmas and New Year.

Here’s hoping we can all look forward to a more prosperous and settled 2022.

Until next time, take care.

– Craig Rowley is the Mayor of Waimate