Dive Zone: “The stormy weather has hammered our business. It’s been the worst summer in 18 years. People are keen but they can’t get out. I’m a glass half-full guy. It will come right.” That’s the wisdom of Darrell Bird, owner of Dive Zone. In the time The Informer was in The Dive Shop asking about how business has been effected, people were making enquiries and looking to update their gear for marine pursuits, but the waters around Mercury Bay were still not settled. “The traffic through the shop is not there; the weather is the reason; no one is getting the gear,” says Sam, who staff s the shop but is also a professional diving instructor and who will also fi nish her law degree this year. “I grew up here and have been at Dive Zone on and off while studying and travelling. The weather has really limited business but we are more fortunate than others in that we are self -sufficient in all that we provide visitors, from gear to teaching courses to maintaining all equipment and taking people out on the boats. It enables us to make last minute calls if we need to without disadvantaging another company. But when the weather is bad, you can’t take people out - lots of bookings have had to be postponed or cancelled. We can sometimes be fl exible in knowing where the calm and quieter spots are for snorkelers and scuba divers and try to ensure people have a nicer weather window,” says Sam. “I love what I do here and the fact that we are fortunate to be so independent; we just need some longer good weather stints.” Whitianga Takeaways: ‘I got used to a line of people out the door or a host of takeaway orders,” says Teresa. “But with the long, and I mean long, wet weather, many have left town. I’m tempted to close the shop early tonight because there are no people about.” My business relies on the summer season and long weekends and to this point, following covid, it’s hard to feel optimistic. This time the holiday makers who have waded through the several days of rain and wind have done more cooking indoors. That effects this business. I know I am not the only one. You feel like giving up but you can’t because you keep believing it can get better and you need to pay the bills. The locals are wonderful - without them I don’t know where I would be,” smiles Teresa. Every business depending on the weather, including The Dive Shop and Whitianga takeaways and Fresh Fish, has a big catch up ahead of them. We hope all readers can act local with their holiday spend, their living requirements and summer activities.
Alysha Read, Darrell Bird (owner), Sam Jackson - all hopeful of more good weather for the remaining summer.