This week in Mountain Scene history

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1976 Queenstown Borough Council adopts new parking fines – $1 for overstaying up to 30 minutes then graduating up to $10 for four hours or more. By contrast, current fines are $12 for up to 30 minutes then ranging up to $57 for overstaying six hours or more. 

1986 Veteran Hollywood star Robert Mitchum and wife Dorothy spend three days in Queenstown on a paid promotional junket. They’re hosted by the Government’s NZ Tourist & Publicity Department and accompanied by a United States TV crew. 

1996 A radical anti-flood plan floated by Otago Regional Council is universally panned. ORC wants to encase Queenstown Bay with a two-metre high dike more than two kilometres long. Chief opponent is Queenstown council boss Keith Grantham who says: “The physical damage to Queenstown as a tourist town would put it out of the question. Actually, the more you think about it, it becomes crazy.” A Scene page two round-up of flabbergasted public reaction is headlined: ‘Are You Kidding?’ 

2002 Queenstown police warm up a cold case – the 1993 mystery death of Simon Stone, 25, hit by an unknown vehicle on the Arthurs Point road. Detective sergeant Grahme Bartlett confirms two people have been questioned. Nothing comes of the fresh enquiries and the Stone death remains unsolved.

2006 Following revelations of double-dose party pills, controversial legal-high store Herbal Heaven closes its doors. Joanna Booker, local agent for billionaire Irish landlord Eamon Cleary, says the store had no consent to sell legal drugs. Two weeks after it opened, Mountain Scene revealed some Herbal Heaven pills contained 500mg of chemical BZP – more than twice the industry standard maximum.