Zooming takes on whole new meaning for us



When I was a young lad in Scotland the terms “zoom” and “zooming” related to my ability on a bicycle.

Where I lived we spent hours on our bikes each other, zooming down hills at breakneck speed with scant regard for safety and, sometimes, zooming along in the slipstream of the double-decker bus heading to town for school.

In later years an older cousin of mine became very keen on photography, and he started to show me what could be done with a zoom lens on a camera.

Moving along a number of years to the United States, we have a chap by the name of Eric Yuan who, in 2011, started a new video-conferencing company. It became known as Zoom and Mr Yuan is worth a cool $US7billion ($NZ11.5billion).

Now here in New Zealand, in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions, Zoom meetings have become a part of normal life for companies, councils, organisations and government where all participants can join a meeting from home via their computers.

This week the Dunedin City Council held its first formal council meeting via Zoom and is also hosting three days of annual plan hearings, where about 100 submitters have joined the councillors via Zoom.

Community board chairmen have been part of the process this week and, in representing the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board, I have been pleased to put forward our views on a number of issues.

These included our support for better and cheaper bus services, and possible integration with rail services; support for encouraging domestic tourists to experience the many gems around the north coast area; a request to minimise any increase in rates, to reflect the hardships which many people are experiencing under Covid-19 restrictions; a request to defer any non-essential capital projects; a request to use the “shovel-ready” concept to get stuck into a number of overdue roading projects, many of them with safety issues; and a request to present the proposed multi-bin kerbside collection and recycling system to the community in an easily understood manner.

I also took the opportunity to thank DCC essential staff for keeping the city operational during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The proprietors of the general stores in Waitati, Karitane and Waikouaiti also deserve our thanks for remaining open for business during these restrictive times, thereby minimising the need for people to travel into the city for supplies.

Wishing you all the best from our Blueskin bubble.