This week in Mountain Scene history


1976 Campaigning for Queenstown’s mayoralty election in early February heats up, with large profiles being published on candidates Jim Grant, the late John Royds and Jack Cook. 

1986 The Government’s Tourist Hotel Corporation announces it will appeal the Planning Tribunal’s rejection of a proposed hotel on part of Queenstown Gardens. The THC won and its hotel – built at a cost to the taxpayer of around $100 million – was later privatised for just a fraction of that. It’s now Novotel Lakeside. 

1996 A crowd of 5000 – including millionaire jeweller Michael Hill and wife Christine, as they were then – enjoy the annual Wine, Food & Jazz Festival in the grounds of Queenstown Primary. The Hills are supping Gibbston Valley Winery’s award-winning 1995 riesling. 

2002 Queenstown Parkroyal boss Michael Johnson pans Destination Queenstown chairman Vance Boyd’s push for a bed tax. With the post-September 11 tourism downturn, a bed tax would prove disastrous, he predicts.

2006 A “volcanic eruption” of sewage showers the interior of a Brisbane Street house, splattering walls and ceiling in the bathroom and oozing onto the kitchen floor. Tenants complain about the time-consuming clean-up. “It was gross,” Sam Agnew says, “a total health hazard.”