This week in Mountain Scene history

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Looking back on 40 years of Mountain Scene

1981 Insurers offer a 10 per cent reward for the recovery of a safe containing $14,468 in cash, stolen from Skyline on Bob’s Peak. 

1989 Frankton households may have mail delivered, following a petition by householder Hudson Turnbull. Residents should find out their street numbers and start thinking about letterboxes, he says. 

1990 Queenstown members of the New Zealand Rafting Team (from left) Beau Rapley, Geoff Hunt and John McCormack board a Mount Cook Airline Hawker-Siddeley 748 for the first leg of their trip to the World Rafting Cup in North Carolina and Tennessee. Not pictured is fellow local team member Chris Duffy.

1993 Queenstown’s council has 20 complaints in six weeks about night-time noise from local bars. Environmental health officer Nigel Jackson fingers Eichardt’s Tavern, Lone Star, Red Rock and Westy’s, claiming they account for half the complaints. 

1995 Flying “cowboys” face tough sanctions, Civil Aviation Authority consultants Jerry O’Day and Michael Murray warn. The duo wings into Queenstown for a first-hand look at aerobatics, scenic flights, paragliding and heli-bungy operations before compiling a report for the Government aviation regulator. Heli-bungy is banned almost immediately but it takes 16 years – to 2011 – before other airborne thrills are reined in. 

1998 Qantas shows interest in following Air New Zealand jets into Queenstown. The Australian flag carrier faxes Queenstown Airport Corporation for runway dimensions and other details. 

2005 In a dramatic interview, local councillor and lawyer Wayne McKeague tells Mountain Scene he’ll plead guilty, after becoming one of 19 New Zealanders arrested in late February after a nationwide child porn swoop. McKeague is subsequently convicted and fined $2700 after 495 pornographic images are found on his computer. He’s forced to stand down from the council but narrowly avoids being struck off as a lawyer.