Remarkably safer but too sparkly


A jewel in the Wakatipu’s crown has another sparkle to it – but this new shiny number doesn’t impress some local residents.

The new safety barrier on The Remarkables skifield road has become a visual spectacle since its recent installation and can be seen from afar, glinting in the sunlight.

One Arrowtowner, who didn’t want to be named, describes the 3.6km barrier as “hideous”, saying it “looks like a huge pipeline”.

Queenstown Lakes District Council utilities boss Mark Kunath says he’s received a few complaints about the road – owned by NZSki – and has “noticed the same issues myself”.

“In terms of the [QLDC-run Crown Range] zig-zag road, that was the very same issue and we had concerns over it so that’s why we put the timber rail on it.”

Tim Francis, compliance boss of QLDC regulatory quango Lakes Environmental, says he hasn’t had any complaints so he isn’t worried.

“I think that most people appreciate that [NZSki] have gone to a lot of expense to put a barrier up that saves people’s lives. I don’t think anybody will be complaining about it.”

NZSki boss James Coddington has had no complaints either: “Primarily, we are concerned about safety – that’s why we erected the fence in the first place.”

He’ll look into any concerns but “it would be a considerable additional cost which we really wouldn’t want to be incurring in the current financial climate”.