The Tasman Mako winning the Mitre 10 Premiership title felt like the perfect analogy for 2020, writes Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar.

Throughout the season Tasman Mako has been described as “unpredictable”, “all over the shop” and “on fire one week, downright poor the next”, but in the end, their tenacity, determination and teamwork led to triumph.  And not just that, but back-to-back Premierships.

It was wonderful to welcome the team home, and better still to see the looks on the faces of supporters filling the airport terminal to congratulate them.  Being able to finish 2020 on a high is not only great for rugby fans, but also our community spirit.

Our community has had a similar degree of ups and downs. We’ve Googled sourdough recipes, Ozark and Dalgona coffee one week, and the next COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolation and death tolls.  Similarly, some businesses were able to to pivot, innovate and flourish, whereas others are having to lay off workers or close their doors altogether.

Early economic predictions were grim; the economy was predicted to decrease by 7.9%, unemployment projected to reach 8.6% and earnings expected to decline by $280 million.  

But like the mighty Tasman Mako, Nelson fought back and data for the September quarter shows a region in recovery with GDP up 3.4% compared to 2019, consumer spending up 10% and unemployment at 3.4%.

Like winning the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership, back-to-back, tenacity, determination and teamwork will be needed to get through this. Working across the Top of the South with businesses, communities, NGOs, and local and central government, Nelson City Council formed a team led by Wakatū Incorporation to develop the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy, launched at the end of November.

The Strategy acknowledges these uncertain times and that business as usual is no longer fit-for-purpose.  It challenges us to make decisions that think not just about tomorrow, but the future, ensuring they support our vision to be good ancestors: tūpuna pono.

While we’re not ready to celebrate economic recovery yet, for now we can celebrate the Mako’s win, hopefully enjoy time off with family and friends, and look forward to what 2021 brings.