Mobility is our modern miracle
Last week I tried to drive to Hokitika. It’s about 500 kilometres from Alexandra, so it’s a whole day to get there. Years since I did it last, I was looking forward to the trip. Mentally prepared, gassed up, lunch on the passenger seat and raring to go, I got as far as Hawea. Road closed, at least for 36 hours. There goes the day’s work in Hoki, I thought, call-in stranded, home we go. Disappointment all round. But no. ‘‘Can you fly?’’ ‘ I guess,’ I texted back, ‘Give me 10 minutes’. Sure enough, there’s a seat available from Queenstown.
I was in Hokitika by 5pm, ready to work the next day. And then, on Saturday it took exactly 4 hours from Hokitika to home in Alexandra, through Christchurch and Queenstown airports. I’d have been at about the Gates of Haast if I’d been driving.
So what? You’re asking. We take mobility for granted, forgetting how much that story is a modern miracle.
My Samson grandfather, who made a living shipping live sheep to Australia on sailing ships, and who owned the first Packard car in Dunedin, wouldn’t have believed it possible. ◗ Malcolm Macpherson teaches applied business excellence at Otago Polytechnic.