Going the distance with Miss Daisy
Miss Daisy is Zara Wright and she has recently purchased the Driving Miss Daisy franchise in the Coromandel Peninsula. The Informer had a chat with Zara to see how her team’s driving people around the peninsula was working out.
“We took a person to Mercury Bay Estate today from the Cooks Beach ferry landing and it felt so good to do that,” says Zara. “Driving Miss Daisy is just newly established on the Peninsula but we are no stranger to transporting people wherever they need to go and accompanying our clients on as many aspects of the journey as they require. Our clients are all based in our local Coromandel-Thames region and we receive a variety of requests such as transports to Thames Hospital, Local Physio’s, Shopping to New World and Countdown, The Warehouse, Simpsons Beach, Cooks/Hahei Beach, Hamilton – Tauranga - Auckland Specialists.”
Q: How does Driving Miss Daisy work? “The requests we receive are prebooked and pre-quoted. That’s based on where the client wants to go and how long the visit will take. We pick people up from the door and return them home. Sometimes there might be a mobility issue and we are trained to help with that and can accompany the person (s) shopping or to the physio or wherever it is our client wants to go and needs to spend time. Sometimes people just want to go for a drive to the beach, buy an ice cream, get out of the house and away from the four walls.” Driving Miss Daisy sometimes get requests from adult children for their aging parents. “The adult children live out of the region and want their parent or parents to have good experience of necessary appointments or to enjoy a visit to a favourite place and not be isolated, says Zara. “We have earned that reputation in providing caring, helpful companionship on the outing or appointment.” Zara has another team member, Gloria, and there are two cars on call.
“We are trying new things. For example, when I recently caught the ferry from Whitianga to Cooks Beach ferrry landing and took the three kilometre walk to the Cooks Beach town centre, I realised that would be difficult or just too long in terms of time and effort for some people. So, on certain days in the summer, Driving Miss Daisy will be like a shuttle service at quite minimal rates for people to get from the ferry to Cooks Beach or wherever they are planning to go.
Zara adds,”We are in the process of applying for the ‘total mobility’ service through the Waikato Regional Council. We are prepared for this, but the paper work is proving to be a very long process. Once we get it, we can offer 50% to 75% rate reduction for people who are not mobile.” Zara lived here with her grandparents when she was growing up. “They are buried at Cooks Beach. Many years were spent with my grandparents. I loved my experience living with them and being in this beautiful area. It’s my first season here, but for two and half years, I represented Driving Miss Daisy up north from Kerikeri right up to Cape Reinga. We have moved back here to be closer to family.”
Zara Wright – Driving Miss Daisy NZ Ltd. Ph: 07 549 3145. M: 021 503 145 Www.drivingmissdaisy.co.nz