Akaroa is having around 85 cruise ship visits this summer season.
Many of you are led to believe that is a boost for the town and surrounding area.
The truth is somewhat different as many of the locals, both residents and businesses only receive disruption and inconvenience.
Many of the passengers do not even come ashore. Around a third in fact, another third wander the streets and the other third take a bus tour out of the area.
A majority of the visitors appear to have spent their budget on the cruise and associated pre booked addons.
Very little spending with local business is occuring.
Traffic management undertaken by STMS is staffed by out of towners with little understanding or consultation and chokes the narrow streets with waiting tourist coaches.
Yesterday four emergency response volunters being paid nothing spent over four hours, mostly waiting on the wharf to treat and transport two passengers and for the second one, Air1 the Westpac Helicopter waited for half an hour on the ground here while the liner and its crew made no attempt to assist with timing to lighter the Patients ashore. At least the chopper crew and medics were being paid. Sad that the vollys were not.
The arrogance of the companies and their captains is unbelievable, culminating a couple of weeks ago with around 800 passengers being stranded ashore when predicted weather eventuated and completely overwhelmed already fully booked accomodation.
The ships don't tie up, they anchor out in the middle of the harbour and lighter the passengers ashore 100 at a time. A passenger requiring evacuation is held on board and only put on a lighter as a single passenger after all the other passengers are dealt with, hence the waiting for our ambos.
Many of those who visit our historic town on day trips are very welcome even if they spend bugger all and leave their rubbish and sewerage but the belief that the town is enjoying a boom is a MYTH.
For many the reinstatement of berthage at Port Lyttleton cant happen soon enough.
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