Parting Shot: Doffing the cap to our high achievers


It’s that time of year again. Chimneys swept in anticipation, milk and cookies (or is it whiskey and fruit cake?) placed in an obvious place and children going to bed all aquiver.

And in a triumph of the human spirit, Mountain Scene would like to hand out some awards to celebrate the high achievers in our community.

You see, we’re not all about doom and gloom.

At Scene Towers, we’re just as much about handing out bouquets as we are about kicking bums.

Think back to last month when we celebrated a $50 million gondola plan.

Which brings me to our first award:

The Mister Magoo Award for Blind Optimism

Now, I don’t have a chocolate hat but surely I’d have to eat one should Alastair Porter’s gondola to The Remarkables skifield cost just $50m. It’s going to be one of the world’s longest gondolas, which has to cross a major river and navigate a steep slope. Sounds expensive.

All Blacks World Cup Award for Surest Bet

Scott Stevens to take the Arrowtown byelection. Maybe your bookie doesn’t take bets on just anything, but I thought long and hard about ringing mine, cashing up the house and throwing the lot at him. Stevens had profile and a ‘don’t rock the boat’ persona. He took a reasonably pragmatic line on the issues and was the only bloke living in Arrowtown fulltime. Points for trying to Basil Walker but it really was a one-horse race.

King Saul Award for Plunging Onto Their Sword

Queenstown council boss Adam Feeley gets this. In fact, maybe it should be renamed the King Arthur Award because of the adolescent nature of his resignation. Feeley moved all the little council pieces around until someone else snatched a handful from him - and then he got bored. He threw the rest of the pieces at the feet of the other children, grabbed his ride-on toy and zoomed back to Arrowtown (beyond the urban growth boundary).

Induction into the Order of the Brown Nose

Who other than Queenstown council corporate services boss and former journalist Meaghan Miller. In a “let’s set the record straight” interview, the poacher turned gamekeeper gushed that her boss Feeley is a pleasure to work for. She then delivered this gem: “During my time at council the best thing that has happened to the organisation is Adam Feeley. Yes, he expects value for money and yes he holds us very accountable but we know exactly where we are.”

US Federal Reserve Licence to Print Money

Developers. They carved up land into parcels as small as an Arrowtown Golf Club green (read: postage stamp) and threw them into the air like some sort of property lolly scramble. People elbowed each other out of the way to buy at a half-decent price - and then lauded the landowners as they stuffed the cash in their pockets.

Papa Smurf Certificate for Bluest Suit

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay. Who else?

Richie McCaw Award for Largest Testicular Area

A brothel in Melbourne Street for operating just 200 metres from a Catholic church and primary school. Really? The joint winner is Mandarin restaurant - for breaching council food hygiene rules and then calling the local body