Sandbags at dawn…

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While lakefront businesses frantically packed sandbags around their premises last week, flood-prone Novotel Queenstown deliberately hung back. 

Bosses of the low-lying hotel on Marine Parade preferred the water to creep up to its rose garden without any interference from messy flood mitigation. 

“Last time it flooded there was a lot of silt that was brought down and that got behind the sandbags and went up into the hotel,” general manager Jim Moore says. “Whereas this way it’s fresh water which is relatively clean and it’ll just flow back out again. 

“We’ve had discussions with our insurance companies and they’re happy with the decisions we’re making.”