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Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Doing their level 3 best

GRAPHIC/TIMES-AGE

As Wairarapa began to come back to life on the first day of alert level 3, GRACE PRIOR, SOUMYA BHAMIDIPATI, and TOM TAYLOR hit the streets to gauge how the community
was feeling.

Across Wairarapa the roads were visibly busier than the past two weeks, while those on the footpaths practised their smizes [smiling with the eyes] above a variety of face coverings.

Jenny Afentakis, owner of Masterton’s Trocadero Coffee Bar, said it was good to be back, despite the early starts.

“We were waking up 11am and now we’re back to 5.30.” she said.

“We’re doing a lot of phone calls and texts. People have been understanding that we have been slammed and we’re kind of finding our feet again because we did it last year, but who knows, I don’t remember how we did it.”

Although it had been stressful when the cafe’s eftpos machine stopped working on the first day back, things had since gone well.

“It’s good to be back even if it’s a little bit different, it’s still fun, it’s just a different way to work.”

David Hedley, owner of Hedley’s Books, said he was also glad to be open.

“I found I was a bit impatient to get back, last time it was quite a novelty and you got a lot done at home, this time I felt a bit of wanting to get out.”

“Many orders had been placed over the last 24 hours, reflecting an increased appetite for books.

“We noticed it last time actually too in level 4,” Hedley said.

“It’s been quite helpful for our industry, which had been a little bit challenged with the rise of Netflix, audiobooks and also online ebooks.

“People are coming back to the printed book, it seems to be a worldwide trend.”

Carterton’s Take Note had a steady stream of customers queuing outside most of the day.

“Nobody is allowed inside,” owner Kim Juno said. “We get the products for the customers, deliver them in a contactless way, and just keep it as safe as we can with 2m distancing and everyone wearing masks.”

Juno said although Carterton people had been supportive on the first day of level 3, every lockdown caused more strain on businesses.

“Going into level 4 is a very scary time because it’s out of your control. You try to be as optimistic as you can, but it’s always in the back of your mind that you need to get back up and running again.”

Greytown clothing shop Stitch Boutique reopened for customers to collect online orders.

Owner Erica Carruthers said people had showed their support during level 4 by shopping through its online store, with many of the orders coming from within the region.

“It definitely increased, which was awesome, but we’re obviously still feeling a lot of pain from the lockdown.”

Stitch would now start shipping its online orders daily, with a click-and-collect option loaded on to the website.

“We don’t have set times – we’re just dealing with it order by order, and meeting people and passing out the goods in a contactless manner.”

PGG Wrightson lower North Island livestock manager Steve Wilkinson said the Masterton Saleyards weren’t operating under level 3, due to traditionally low stock flows for this time of year.

Last year the saleyard was hit hard when it lost its resource consent during the first covid-19 lockdown, but had since been up and running as usual.

A farmer wanting to sell their stock during level 3 could do so at the Feilding stock yards, which was operating under strict protocols.

Wilkinson said staff were doing paddock sales and prime stock drafting to keep stock moving.

“Other than that we’re doing all right. It’s not quite as hard as last time.”

The saleyard was looking to have its next cattle sale at the end of September, and a lamb fair in November.

Wairarapa Police Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Bysouth wanted to remind people to preorder before visiting businesses.

“We’re visiting cafes all around Wairarapa. We just want to encourage them to have a phone number available for people to ring to preorder, rather than going to a window or a door to then order,” he said.

“They should be dialling ahead, even if ringing ahead means there’s a phone number 15 feet away from the counter that they actually order and then wait for a callback to collect.

“It needs to be call ahead, call when you’re nearby, or wait to be called for your goods.”

 

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