Give up the golf and run for public office.
That seems to be the message from voters in a pretty unscientific online scene.co.nz poll this past week asking: “Michael Hill for mayor of Queenstown?”.
The idea split voters almost down the middle, suggesting Hill, who lives near Arrowtown, would have a decent shot at winning a mayoral race if he stood.
No doubt Hill’s revival of golf’s New Zealand Open by bringing it to his own course The Hills near Arrowtown earned him plenty of thumbs up among the 48 per cent who voted for him. Not a bad result, given he’s not actually planning to stand for mayor.
A total of 52 per cent gave the hypothetical Michael Hill mayoral bid the thumbs down.
Hill has until Friday to decide whether to stand – an idea first suggested in jest during a Winter Festival function a month ago by fellow Queenstown multi-millionaire Sir Eion Edgar.
At the time, Hill – known for his quirky TV adverts promoting his Michael Hill Jeweller stores – responded that Edgar would make a far better mayor.
Hill today (Monday) poured cold water on any suggestion he’d stand for the job.
“You’d have to be joking ‘cos there’s no way I could even consider it. I’m pursuing 1000 stores and tragically can’t consider it.”
Hill says the 48 per cent support from online voters is very humbling.
Two candidates have so far entered the race – Queenstown Lakes District councillor Vanessa van Uden and real estate agent Simon Hayes, a former deputy mayor.
Reigning mayor Clive Geddes has decided not to try for a fourth term.
The poll’s margin of error is unknown – but likely to be on the large side.
Cast your vote in this week’s scene.co.nz poll – does Queenstown have too many bars?