They came, they stood and then they went on holiday

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WHAT is it about Queenstown mayoral candidates flitting off overseas during election campaigns? Three years ago, Phil Dunstan flew off to France to watch the World Cup and Colin Cloudesley left for China. This time, Simon Hayes has gone on a Mediterranean cruise. At least Hayes early on flagged that he’d be leaving. He also attended every candidates meeting before going.

QUEENSTOWN’S next mayor may be at the Vatican for the canonisation of Australia’s next saint, Mary MacKillop – that’s if Hayes wins the October 9 election. A Catholic and a former Aussie, Hayes is fitting in the October 17 event during his five-week holiday. Also at the Vatican that day will be Queenstowner Louise Kiely, who’s going with her brother, Monsignor Bernard Kiely, from Auckland’s St Patrick’s Cathedral. MacKillop’s sainthood will be celebrated over the weekend of November6/7 in Arrowtown – where she established a convent in 1898.

QUEENSTOWN’S 15 council and mayoral candidates almost outnumbered the audience at election meetings this week in Kingston and Glenorchy, which mustered gatherings of 17 and 18, respectively.

RUMOURS persist that beleaguered Act Party leader Rodney Hide proposed to his partner, former top NZ squash player Louise Crome, at Deer Park Heights during a recent visit.