This week in Mountain Scene history


1975 Queenstown mayor Warren Cooper promotes himself as “a thinker” when successfully campaigning to become National MP for Otago Central. He says “creeping socialism threatens the individual’s right to choose”, “only a National government can achieve responsible economic management”, and “we will not strengthen local government by making it big and bureaucratic”. 

1985 Queenstown mayor John Davies trumps his Airport Authority secretary’s earlier dismissal of jets ever flying here. “The technology of tomorrow” will solve all the problems, Davies says – correctly. 

1995 Queenstown adventurer Bruce Grant perishes on Pakistan’s 8611m peak K2, reputedly the world’s most formidable. Grant summitted without oxygen on August 13 but died with two other climbers when atrocious weather swept in. His memory lives on with the work done by the Bruce Grant Memorial Youth Trust.

2001 Four Wakatipu mansions feature in National Business Review’s Top 100 Homes – developer John Martin’s Lake Hayes retreat, actor Sam Neill’s Dalefield pad, the Lake Hayes mansion originally built for the late entrepreneur Howard Paterson, and the Queenstown Hill home of architect Ed Elliott and wife Joanne.

2005 SDHB is in a Wakatipu breast screening scandal. SDHB board member Errol Miller says it’s dealing urgently with under-screening of local women. He’s then floored by SDHB planning boss Christine Miller, who rejects any suggestion of prioritising Wakatipu screening in her strategic plan.