Queenstown Lakes mayor Jim Boult has welcomed the arrival of Alert Level 2 in one of the most fitting ways for his region - a bungy jump.
Mr Boult along with and AJ Hackett Bungy NZ co-founder Henry van Asch took the plunge this morning at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre to celebrate the end of the seven-week lockdown and the hopeful return of tourism to the area.
Mr Boult, who last jumped 10 years ago, said he was delighted to mark the reopening of the home of bungy, even if he had to jump off a bridge first thing in the morning to do it.
"Though these are tough times for all businesses across the district, we’re embracing Alert Level 2 and the cautious reopening that it is allowing," Mr Boult said.
Mr Boult made the jump after being strapped in by AJ Hackett Bungy workers who wore face shields as part of their PPE while working.
He added he was delighted to see so many businesses in the area now able to reopen at Level 2.
"We are still the country’s premier visitor destination, with a recent poll showing Queenstown as the number one tourist destination for New Zealanders, closely followed by Wānaka at number five.
"That enthusiasm for local travel will bring a much-needed boost to our local economy and the thousands of locals that will benefit from the return to work this will deliver. I look forward to welcoming visitors to our district from across the country.”
Mr van Asch also confirmed the Kawarau Bridge was the first of two Queenstown sites that would reopen under Alert Level 2. From Saturday, the Ledge would also open timed with the reopening of the Skyline Gondola.
Both the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower operations reopened today along with the Taupo Bungy as well.