1975 Hotel manager John Harper thanks those responding to his emergency call about a guest’s suspected heart attack: “The young lady on the [town] switchboard asked no questions and put me through in seconds. Within minutes there were three doctors on the scene.”
1985 Then-Waitemata mayor Tim Shadbolt is this year’s Winter Festival star guest, along with the Topp Twins. Shadbolt pulls a big crowd for a $20-a-pop fundraising lunch at the Lakeland Regency hotel.
1995 United States tourist Carol Palmer, 26, dies while rafting Queenstown’s river of death, the mighty Shotover. The river was closed for three days the previous week because of dangerously low flows. In the past 18 months, three people have died and another has permanent brain damage after whitewater tragedies on the Shotover.
2001 Queenstown’s wine valley is all but sold out, pioneer Gibbston vintner Alan Brady says: “There’s not a lot of land left to be planted.” Vineyard owner John Lane, who chairs both the Gibbston Valley Community Association and Gibbston Valley Wines, puts the land grab down to the local pinot noir. “The wines coming out of the valley are not of New Zealand or Australian class – they’re world class,” Lane says.
2005 Auckland developers Mark Perriam and Cam Marsh of Perron Group face intense community flak for felling four 80-year-old trees. The tall cypress and sequoia specimens were on a Perron development site gracing Queenstown’s gateway at the Frankton Road/Stanley Street corner. The original resource consent said the trees must stay but Perron successfully appealed that at a closed-door hearing. Perron subse-
quently goes bust and the site remains undeveloped.