Resort titan from Trojan is inspiration for deputy PM

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Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says he finds Queenstown entrepreneur John Davies more inspir-ing than the world’s top economic advisers. 

Local MP English, who is also deputy Prime Minister, made the comment when presenting Davies – a tourism and transport heavyweight – with a lifetime achievement gong at the local Queenstown Chamber of Commerce business excellence awards last Saturday. 

In the past month, English said he’d talked to the US Federal Reserve chairman, the Governor of the Bank of England and finance ministers in the US, UK, France and Japan. 

“If I had the choice between spending an hour or so trying to be inspired by them or the hour or two I’ve had with John and some of his family, being inspired by them, I’d choose John Davies. 

“Famous as they may be and influential as they appear to be, none of them have the commitment, the passion, the understanding of the creativity of risk that this man has, and so none of them actually make that much difference compared to [Davies].” 

A former Queenstown mayor, Davies is best known for his substantial skifield interests, including the resort’s Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. 

Other interests include Northern Southland Transport, the guided Milford and Routeburn walks and Mount Cook’s Hermitage hotel. 

He and his family also have major property interests including Queenstown CBD’s Station building and the Walnut Grove subdivision by Lake Hayes Estate. The National Business Review Rich List estimates Davies’ fortune at $65 million.