Hopes and wishes for the New Year

06 Jan 2022

Another lockdown, nationwide Covid-19 restrictions affecting all of us, financial, social and mental stress - last year was one of the hardest our community has faced in a long time. Notwithstanding, we have been able to pull through to finally close the door on 2021 and welcome 2022 with open arms. 

We have asked a few Mercury Bay residents to share with us their hopes and wishes for the New Year. Here are their thoughts.


Andrew Morrinson, Whitianga Police Sergeant

??I am really looking forward to 2022. I will be completing my 30th year in the Police and we have a good team of Police in our area at the moment who work towards positive outcomes for all. There are definitely issues with drugs for some in our community and a goal for this year would be to help as many of them as possible rid drugs from their lives. 

Personal goals would start with keeping my wife happy and a big part of that would be catching up with family and friends, especially my Mum who has done the hard yards in Auckland during lockdown. 

I am hoping that scientists can sort out Covid-19 and that everyone has a Happy New Year.   


Rekha Percival, chair of the Mercury Bay Community Board

Mercury Bay has been a hive of activity over the recent weeks which has been wonderful to see. Who knows what 2022 will hold as we continue to face the challenges that Covid-19 brings to daily life? It’s during these times I have been encouraged by how our community comes together to support one another. 

The Mercury Bay Community Board has a busy year ahead as we finalise plans for the Sheriff Block development and work toward the opening of a new waste transfer station in Whitianga. Wishing everyone a safe and happy 2022! 


Mike Grogan, owner of Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours

Hello 2022! Thanks to all the Kiwis who are out there doing it, supporting tourism in New Zealand and enjoying your beautiful backyard. Big thanks to all those in the business community for supporting each other during the last two years - for the phone calls, the chats, the grizzles, the coffees, the laughs and the friendships. We all know there will be more stormy days ahead but history shows we’re well equipped to keep going. 

We enter the New Year with confidence and optimism, ready to make the most of whatever time brings. It feels like good days are waiting for us, so here’s to a prosperous 2022!


Ian Preece, chair of the Mercury Bay Art Escape

Last year was the most challenging year, a time when it sometimes seemed easier to find the things that separate us than the things that connect us. My wish for 2022 is that we respect each other’s opinions at least as much as we respect our own, find common ground where we can or a respectful way to disagree when we cannot and to genuinely look for the things that bring us together. It’s not hard, there are so many of them. 

I work in the arts and conservation where I constantly see examples of selfless giving and community-minded behaviour from truly inspirational people. My reaction? It makes me want to be better. This is my aim for 2022.


John Wright, Mercury Bay Area School Principal

Looking into what 2022 may bring us all is really quite a hard thing to do, most especially in terms of our nation’s position around Covid-19. But what I do know, and hold onto steadfastly, is that whatever may come our way, we will certainly get through it, we will adapt, we will shift and change, and we will all grow our really strong “resilience” muscles. The more we are challenged, the better we are at overcoming challenges and the better we are at learning from others… and the better we are at recognising diversity of views and practice in our nation, and indeed the better we are at actually growing our culture as Kiwis, “Aotearoans”, New Zealanders. 

Our young people need us all to grow, model, practise and expand our “resilience” muscles. They will learn so much from us, and we in turn will learn so much from them as a consequence. I wish all in our community the very best for 2022.


Melanie Dowling, owner of Tango’s Shoes

This year, hopefully, will be a year to start repairing the damage from the previous two years where Covid-19 has had us all on the defence. I’m hoping that 2022 will bring more of an attack strategy, where we know how to deal with the virus, how to manage it and how to be able to get on with our lives safely without the worry of what Covid might spring on us again. 

I’d like to see our younger generation be able to plan more for their futures, so many have had to put their goals and dreams on hold. As a mother of four young adults, I have seen the frustrations they’ve had to deal with due to restrictions, albeit necessary at the time. Viruses have come and gone for decades and longer, so there is an end to it. I’m hoping that we’ve done the hard yards now and 2022 will reinstate our freedom safely and productively. Here’s to 2022 New Zealand.


Ian and Raewyn Diprose (Ian is padre of the Mercury Bay RSA)

When we consider our wishes for 2022, the thoughts that spring to mind are the hopes and dreams of living in a country and a world where families can be reunited without the restrictions and uncertainty currently in place. A year when the freedom to travel freely to connect with loved ones, to go about the daily life activities of school, work, sport, worship, everyday life events is uninterrupted or without a cloud of uncertainty lurking. And a reversal of the division that seems to be developing in our country. 

An old proverb says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when it is fulfilled, it becomes as a tree of life.” 

Oh, and that 2022 would become the year when the hopes and dreams promised and previously taken for granted become realities.


Amy Blair, community and biodiversity ranger at the Department of Conservation

I don’t usually make resolutions, but my goal for 2022 is to take more photos. I really enjoy photographing our amazing native wildlife, but definitely neglected my camera last year. 

I hope that we start to see a bit more normality, although that could be wishful thinking. Also, like many others, I’ve had to cancel a few overseas trips to visit friends and family that I would love to be able to reschedule. 


Murray Mclean (deputy mayor of Thames-Coromandel District Council)

The last couple of years have been particularly trying for everyone. Not only Covid-19, but we have had to cope with not seeing extended family, rising costs which are affecting every sector, be it in housing for the young or increased costs for the elderly, or those in between. Coupled with that, many of us have curbed our social interaction following lockdown. 

My aspiration is, if at all possible, some increased normality to return to our lives. I look forward to seeing overseas family again, walking around without a mask on and socialising as we used to. I hope it may happen soon.


Tony Fox (councillor on Thames-Coromandel District Council)

After coming through one of the most disruptive years in our county’s short history, we can only but hope that 2022 returns to normality. The cost to all New Zealanders has been significant, not only in monetary terms, but both socially and mentally. The recovery will be slow and there will be more hardship to come. To me the priorities will be to take good care of oneself, our families, our friends, our communities and our country’s needs and to show compassion to those who have greater needs than ours. 

Remember, there is nothing for nothing in life. We get out of life what we put into it. I wish everybody, friend and foe all the very best for 2022 and the years that follow.


Pictured: Rekha Percival with her daughter, India.