Queenstown accountant says CBD convention centre a ‘no brainer’

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A Queenstown accountant passionately lobbying for a CBD convention centre championed by the council denies he’s doing its bidding. 

Duncan Fea, Central Otago managing principal of accountancy giant Crowe Horwath, this week emailed a ‘Queenstown Convention Centre Q&A’ to the several hundred people on his contact list. 

Fea’s seeking to dispel concerns about the $60 million Lakeview centre, which councillors voted to continue progressing last month. 

Speaking as he flew out of the country on holiday, he says: “I have not been asked by the council [or] consulted to do any of this at all. 

“In the 25 years I’ve lived here, I haven’t been motivated that often but I sure am on this. 

“I believe in it so passionately, to me it’s a no-brainer decision. 

“The business case been done so let’s get on with it.” 

Fea says he was “highly motivated” to speak out after reading about the alternative Frankton convention centre proposed by Remarkables Park Ltd and the fact some councillors as a result were getting “a bit wobbly” before their vote two weeks ago. 

Fea says he put together his ‘Q&A’ with help from “interested parties” who “believe in the future of Queenstown and the inner city”. 

“I’ve tried hard to provide objective opinion the best I can. 

“I’m happy to be corrected on the odd thing but I think you’ll find most of it is very accurate.” 

He didn’t canvass his fellow principals but believes they’re totally supportive. 

“It’s very good for our business, and the convention centre in town will be so much better for our business than out of town.” 

Fea says he didn’t consult with Remarkables Park boss Alastair Porter: “He’s put his information out there. Alastair’s not consulted widely I guess with the parties that also have a different opinion.” 

Asked why he didn’t send Porter his Q&A, Fea replies: “You can apologise to Alastair – if he was on my contact list he would have got it.” 

Before heading overseas, Fea said he’d already had a lot of positive feedback.