I am ready to go but Covid-19 is not ready to let me leave

As planned I finished my 14 month contract position at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. There I have learnt a lot about Revenue, Reporting and Analysis for all the different transport related taxes in New Zealand. My repertoire of accounting knowledge now includes Road User Charges, Regional Fuel Tax, Fuel Excise Duty, Clean Car Discounts, Tolling, Driver Licensing and Motor Vehicle Licensing and Registration. All great knowledge to have gained but basically useless in any other field of work. This was my first real Public Service role so that was a learning curve for me. It is undoubtedly different!

I have learnt about that people can prepay, post pay, not pay, repay, under pay, over pay, mispay, don’t pay, can’t pay, won’t pay and pay twice. That all creates quite a lot of work for the finance department.

I worked with people from all over the world, with different personalities, strengths, work ethics and foibles. I had a good team of bright young accountants to lead who showed up how much I am slowed down in my old age. I have also made some new friends along the way.

But it is time to go off an another adventure and I was all ready to leave on Wednesday. However New Zealand has gone into a strict lockdown because the Delta variant of Covid-19 has got through our borders. We have had a great run over the last year living our life as normal, unlike many countries. So I suppose we can’t complain about the snap lockdown as we need to all get vaccinated before life will really get back to normal (whatever that will be in the future). I have been fully vaccinated since early June and was ready to go to Western Australia which has tracked along a very similar path to New Zealand. I have a G2G Pass which allows me into WA with a 14 day self isolation clause. My son has a decent sized upstairs area for me to isolate in away from the rest of the household. They can put my meals at the bottom of the stairs and I can sneak down to pick them up, just like a stray dog. However, I cannot get on a plane out of New Zealand yet. Tickets re booked for 1 September and I just have to wait and see if that comes about. Locked down until midnight on 31 August.

Our All Blacks pulled out of a game scheduled for Saturday in Perth so we have upset the Aussies so I hope they don’t take it out on Kiwi Granny who just wants to come over to visit her family and walk one of their great walking tracks.

In the mean time I am jobless and homeless as of tomorrow as my tenants take over then. This had always been the plan as living with what is on my back is something I do every now and then and quite enjoy. I will be staying with my youngest daughter, her husband and 11 month old grandson. This will give me some good time with them before I go away but I hope lockdown doesn’t last longer that they can put up with me. My eldest daughter had me for 4 months of the last lockdown as I had just finished Te Araroa when Covid-19 hit. I will do some much needed training for Bibbulmun Track by pushing the baby in the pram around the neighborhood with my pack on my back. That should do the trick!!

My bags are packed and I am ready to go but I may not be leaving on a jet plane too soon.

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