This week in Mountain Scene history



1975 Mountain Scene welcomes delegates to the 1975 Motor Trade Association convention, saying “Queenstown’s fast becoming the conference centre of the south”. There’s a programme for “delegates” and a separate one for “ladies”, featuring “hair appointments” on the Wednesday afternoon.

1985 Local clinical psychologist Denise Brady recounts how an extensive 1977 study of the effects of tourism on Queenstown revealed “growing concern in the community about high rents, social stress, lack of parking, a growing demand for housing and the high cost of living generally”. 

1995 The local body election attracts what’s believed to be an unprecedented number of mayoral candidates – frontrunners Warren Cooper and Margaret McHugh go head-to-head, leaving Chris Blackford, Chris Crichton, Rae Kirk, the late Barry Lawrence, Wayne McKeague and Kirsty Sharpe in their wake. In the event, Cooper hoses in. 

2001 With Cooper standing down after two terms, his faithful council servants Simon Hayes and Jerry Hohneck vie for the mayoral chains. Being allied to Cooper doesn’t pull many votes this time – newcomer and non-councillor Clive Geddes is elected in a landslide. 

2005 Queenstown Airport becomes the first in the Southern Hemisphere where satellite navigation may be used for approaches and takeoffs. Qantas installs ‘Required Navigation Performance’ (RNP) technology on its trans-Tasman jets – pilots can fly hands-free in virtually zero visibility via computerised tracks between the mountains.