This week in Mountain Scene history


1974 A Mountain Scene editorial calls for a tourist tax: “It is an obvious fact that rates derived from a town with a population of 2460 people are not going to be enough to pay for the establishment and maintenance of services.” By contrast, the Wakatipu’s permanent population at the last census update in 2008 was 17,880. 

1982 Lake County and Queenstown Borough councils announce the first joint meeting to discuss their eventual amalgamation. “We expect frank and open discussions will take place,” town and county clerk Bill Byers says. “For that reason, the meeting will not be open to the press or the public.” 

1996 Safety standards of Queenstown’s whitewater rafting regime take a hammering. A Transport Accident Investigation Commission report into the death of American Carol Palmer fingers harbourmaster Marty Black for failing to prohibit rafting of the Shotover River’s dangerous Toaster Rapid and TAIC slams Queenstown Lakes District Council for not enforcing bylaws effectively. The council expresses confidence in Black. The victim’s grieving husband plans to sue the council. 

2008 Long-time local Fiona Moran is unmasked as the woman who ripped off her Heart Children Central Otago charity for $23,000. Moran, 49, drops her bid for per­­man­ent name suppression on 11 fraud-related charges and is sentenced to 400 hours’ community work.