Author visits Queenstown to research new book

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DUNEDIN author and conspiracy theorist Ben Vidgen recently visited Queenstown during research for a new book.

Vidgen, who began his writing career in 1994 when he wrote a Mountain Scene column entitled Q Files, is hitchhiking the length of the country for his fourth book, entitled BENSNZ

His first book in 1999, State Secrets, on international spy agency activity in New Zealand, was a best-seller which had a sequel seven years later, State Secrets II. 

Vidgen’s also written an Otago travel book and publishes a Dunedin-based newsletter, The PostMan Show Gazette

BENSNZ, he says, will cover interesting people in the hospitality industry, those doing extraordinary things in their communities and Kiwis doing practical things. 

“My belief is if you sit around waiting for the National Party or Labour Party or Green Party or Pink Banana Dotcom Party to save the day, you’re wrong.” 

While in Queenstown, Vidgen, 44, interviewed local councillor and sustainability practitioner Alexa Forbes and veteran Mountain Scene journalist Philip ‘Scoop’ Chandler. 

Vidgen says Queenstown’s undergone radical change since the early 1990s when it only had four pubs. 

“It’s become very sophisticated and cosmopolitan. 

“It’s still a really fun place and it’s an incredibly complex place. 

‘‘The more you’re in Queenstown, the more you realise there’s layers upon layers,” he tells Scene.