This week in Mountain Scene history


Looking back on 40 years of Mountain Scene

1975 Minister of Works and Development Hugh Watt officially opens the long-awaited new bridge over the Shotover River. The bridge, which has an unusual curve, cost $800,000 to build. The approaches cost an extra $400,000.
1981 An investigation into tourist routes between Arrowtown and Wanaka via the Motatapu Valley, from Kinloch to Hollyford via the Greenstone Valley and a bridge between Queenstown and Kelvin Heights is proposed by a district scheme review. 

1987 The Queenstown Airport Authority considers an option to build a runway parallel to the Remarkables mountain range for jet landings. Taking jets away from the airport at Frankton would alleviate the noise problem which has met with strong opposition from local residents. 

1993 The Airways Corporation says Queenstown Airport’s flight information service – which depends on pilot information – is “operating at the outer limit of (and sometimes beyond) its ability to provide a safe and efficient service”. Airways is adamant the runways and air space must be controlled by Air Traffic Control. 

1995 A judgment by Justice Barker in the High Court at Auckland tells how development at Arrowtown’s Millbrook Resort almost ground to a halt due to an “inept” funding structure and a fractious fall-out between Hong Kong and Japanese partners over slow sales. “Millbrook’s development had been held back two years,” chief executive Graham Smolenski says. 

2002 Local detective senior sergeant Steve Wood reveals cannabis dealers are supplying Queenstown kids as young as 12. Wood announces a crackdown as police seize about 1000 cannabis plants – with an estimated street value of $1 million – in an aerial swoop over the Wakatipu. 

2008 Education Minister Chris Carter scraps plans for a long-overdue Frankton school next to Queenstown Airport’s main runway. A smaller school will now go on Frankton’s lakefront recreation reserve – now known as Remarkables Primary. Ministry of Education officials fret that the lakeshore site may face the same hurdle that scuttled the runway site – aircraft noise.