Ken pipes up on airport deal

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Prominent Queenstown businessman Ken Matthews (right) has ungagged himself. 

Matthews – a member of the Queenstown Community Strategic Assets Group – backed off speaking at Monday’s council meeting after council lawyers issued a contempt-of-court warning. 

Matthews, chairman of tourism giant Skyline Enterprises, has since got legal advice that his comments posed only “a low level of risk” so gave his speech notes to Mountain Scene

In those notes, Matthews says he and other senior tourism personnel were “completely underwhelmed” by Auckland International Airport bigwigs at an industry meeting on August 12. 

Their arguments that Queenstown tourism would benefit from a strategic alliance with AIA were “without substance”, he says. 

Matthews adds: “I am very concerned at the perceived acquiescence by QLDC in respect to this matter, and even though the community is the major shareholder, our civic office appears to have been completely led and directed by Queenstown Airport, Auckland Airport and by their common legal advisers.”