Thursday, December 9

Covid-19 shutdown: Coastal Taranaki residents miss work and pub


People who live along Surf Highway or State Highway 45 in Taranaki have generally welcomed the change to alert level 3, although most will hardly notice the difference.

Contractor Rob Aim hopes to get back to work.

Contractor Rob Aim hopes to get back to work.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Contractor Rob Aim was filling gasoline cans at the gas station in Ōakura when RNZ arrived.

He was absent from work and was blocked.

“Daily life is just bullshit. It’s boring to be homebound.

“My son and I have gone for an hour and a half walk this morning, but generally the house we live in is finished, so there is no work to do around the house. It really is hell.”

Rob will not be able to work on level 3 and realized that it would make little difference to him.

Red was riding his Cheeky horse along the beach on Weld Road.

Because his confinement was already more or less life as usual.

“Just working on the farm and yes training horses and farm life in general, so yeah, nothing stops.”

He considered that everyone should get out of the house as much as possible and take some vitamin D.

Wayne Williamson was leading Shih Tzu Ebony and Holly at their rural stall.

Country post driver Wayne Williamson has cleared the block.

Country post driver Wayne Williamson has cleared the block.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

“We like to talk to clients if they want to talk to us. I guess a bit like us can be a bit lonely on the road if you’re not talking to anyone.

“And it gives everyone a break from the routine of doing nothing to him, I guess.”

Wayne said the dogs were popular with children trapped at home.

Ben Lilley was busy in his Ōkato furniture workshop.

Furniture maker Ben Lilley in his Ōkato workshop.

Furniture maker Ben Lilley in his Ōkato workshop.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

“Level 4 has been pretty normal in the sense that since I live and work on the same property, I can still come to my workshop, but obviously I had to be well stocked with materials just to make sure I could work.”

He said the drop in alert levels would mean he could order more materials.

Sergio Bentancor, an agricultural worker from Uruguay, had just left Plaza Cuatro in Rahotu.

The Rahotu Four Square in Taranaki.

The Rahotu Four Square in Taranaki.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

He hadn’t had time to notice the block much.

“For me and my wife at this time it is really normal because we work on the farm all the time and we only go to the supermarket.

“So it doesn’t change much when you have level 4 confinement because we are milking cows every day. It is not a problem for this whole area because they are all milking cows and it should be a normal life.”

Sergio Bentancor has been very busy milking.

Sergio Bentancor has been very busy milking.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

He accepted that staying home was good for the community.

Nearby, Corey Hodge had just filled up his gas tank.

Corey Hodge lacks socializing at the pub.

Corey Hodge lacks socializing at the pub.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

As a farm contractor, he was still able to work, but the good things in life were missing.

“It’s horrible … even though it’s horrible. You know, you have to stay home and everything.

“I miss going to the pub. You know, actually having a social life. You can’t go see your friends, you know.

“You can only hang out with the little bubble you have with your roommates, you know. It sucks … horrible, horrible … sorry.”

The 26-year-old expected Taranaki to quickly break out of alert level 3.

Meanwhile, in Ōpunake, Owen, who had just taken his dog Tinker for a ride on his quad bike, was taking it all in stride.

Retired Owen and Tinker look forward to the reopening of the Ōpunake coffee shops.

Retired Owen and Tinker look forward to the reopening of the Ōpunake coffee shops.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

“Yeah well I just take the dogs for a walk. Now I’m retired and I take the dogs for a walk on the beach and this old lady over here has a bit of trouble once she gets to the halfway point.

“She goes back up and around the corner and then back down and walks back to the house.”

He was able to see the bright side of the shift to level 3.

“It’s good because I have coffee in town from time to time, so yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”

The government will revisit the level 3 configuration on Monday.


www.rnz.co.nz

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