Coping with Covid the Kiwi way

A million cases and we’re staying calm





This week it has been reported that official Covid19 cases in New Zealand have surpassed the one million mark, although I think we probably all agree with the experts who say the true figure is likely to be much higher. Ten months ago I reckon that kind of news would have sent panic waves across the country. The calm, relaxed, and almost nonreaction among most Kiwis is a reassuring sign for the future. Just in the past week I’ve noticed a number of large school groups returning to Rotorua, and with borders set to reopen soon and the return of more tourists, hopefully — sooner rather than later — we can breathe a little sigh of relief. Positive vibes at Business Awards launch And there was a similar sentiment in the room earlier this week at the launch of the 2022 Tompkins Wake Rotorua Business Awards. I hosted the night and while much was made of the difficulties of the past two years, it was eyes forward and looking to the future of Rotorua. Nominations are open now and anybody can nominate a local business for an award. So share some of that inspiration and positivity for businesses who you think have done a good job over the past year at rotoruabusinessawards. Vending machines moving with the times Food vending machines used to be a very American thing. You’d see them all the time and everywhere in television shows and movies. They slowly started appearing here in New Zealand in the early 90s, I reckon? We’ve got one in our office and it is a good go-to for the odd chocolate bar or bag of potato chips in time of need. But it is certainly from that bygone era and more than occasionally it’ll forget to give you your change or not quite distribute the chosen item correctly. Yes, it can be a bit frustrating, and we’ve all got stories I’m sure that have similar lessons and outcomes. But the vending machine is certainly moving with the times. I’ve spotted in a couple of shopping malls recently a machine that freshly juices whole oranges before your eyes, and now apparently a US company has unveiled a vending machine that uses robotics to have a pizza hot n’ ready for you in just three minutes. The machine builds the pizza to the specifications of customers, who are able to select their favourite crust, sauce, cheese and toppings. The machine has a large window so customers can watch their pizza being built in one minute, before it is transferred into a special oven that cooks it in two minutes. Now that is fast food! Online listening growing On the subject of technology, I talk to more people every week who are listening to my radio show via the iheartradio app instead of the good old FM frequency of 97.5 here in Rotorua. Don’t panic — FM is not going anywhere, but the online listening is certainly growing, and it means you can listen to our Rotorua show wherever you go. The latest version of the iheart app now has a “talkback” function where you can leave voice messages for us, and we’re using that as a way for you to jump the queue in our massive Cash ‘n’ Car giveaway. Each day at 11am we phone someone who has left a message and give them the chance to have a guess at the cash amount. It’s pretty cool. We’ve stashed a heap of cash in the boot of a brand new Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo worth $45,990 and you need to guess exactly how much. The first person to do that wins the cash — and the car. You can play weekdays at 8am, 11am, 3pm and 5pm. When you hear the activator, call 0800-THE-HITS, or of course leave us a voice note through the app! Paul Hickey is your local host on The Hits Rotorua weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Featuring Rotorua news, information, and giveaways, plus trending stories from around the world. Listen on 97.5FM or download the iheartradio app. PLUS follow The Hits Rotorua and Paul on Facebook and Instagram.