Hostel’s swanky neighbours upset by drying undies

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Queenstown’s new flashpacker hostel is being slated by local businesses who say balconies used as washing lines smack of a “Third World country”. 

Guests at Nomads on Church Street have used its street-side balustrades to sling their laundry over since it opened last July. 

“There’s no day where there’s nothing hanging on the balconies – everything from underwear to towels,” The Spire’s Mel Bohse says. 

The boss of the $1000-a-night boutique Church Lane hotel has complained to Queenstown Lakes District Council. 

“I’ve lived in [overseas] apartments before coming here and there are bylaws that say you cannot hang your washing out over your balcony.” 

Bohse’s high-end overseas guests often mistake the flashpackers for private apartments. 

“They say it’s a shame to have such lovely condos in town like that with washing hanging off the balconies. 

“Whether I was running a hotel or not, I think it looks really tacky. It looks like when I’ve been in China and India and places like that … that’s what it reminds me of. 

“I personally think we don’t want Queenstown to look like a Third World country.” 

Queenstown developer Wayne Foley, who has an office on Church St, agrees. 

“As a town we promote ourselves as one of the best destinations in the world. 

“How is it that in the crown of New Zealand, in [Queenstown’s] CBD, this building can be allowed to be used as a clothes line? 

“In a town where there is nearly a rule for everything, how come this is ok?” 

Hamish Dobbie, boss of QLDC’s regulatory arm Lakes Environ-mental, confirms he’s received “more than one” complaint about the building. 

“We’ve looked into it and it’s not directly a resource consent issue…it’s an area where we didn’t have authority.
“It’s probably an unforeseen issue [in the consent process] that’s arisen and the question is, could it have been reasonably foreseen? 

“It certainly hasn’t been an issue elsewhere that we were aware of,” Dobbie says. 

Nomads manager Aimee Jeffrey says she and her staff take the matter “very seriously”. 

“We are aware of it and we are doing everything we can to stop people hanging their clothes out on the balconies. 

“We’re telling them at check-in, the staff are going outside and checking regularly and we’ve got 20 drying racks that we offer to guests free of charge.”