• Former roommates criticise what they claim are cramped and draconian conditions at an eight-bedroom Queenstown boarding house. “It was an absolute nightmare,” Gina Cooper says. She claims she was “unreasonably” evicted and complains to Queenstown Lakes District Council’s enforcement arm. But boarding house manager Leigh Braden says she’s not breaking any laws, adding the house underwent a $40,000 refurbishment last year, is commercially cleaned weekly and fills a market niche for seasonal workers.

• Queen­stown real estate agent Simon Hayes and roading contractor Michael Scott join the mayoral race. A former deputy mayor, Hayes says he’s received a “constant stream of requests” to stand. Retiring incumbent mayor Clive Geddes beat him when he last stood in 2001.

• An 80-year-old Japanese skier dies from head injuries after falling during race training on Queenstown’s Coronet Peak. After four other deaths on Canterbury’s Mt Hutt, this winter has been a “challenging season” for NZSki, boss James Coddington says. But overall incidents on both mountains were below average, he adds.

• Owners of The Point apartments on Frankton Road are suing 15 parties in a $3.8 million leaky-home lawsuit. First defendant is Wensley Develop­ments, which opened the 24-unit Queenstown complex in 1999 but went into liquidation last year. QLDC is the second defendant, but apart from the first $50,000 it’s covered by insurance, spokes­woman Meaghan Miller says.

• Three Arrowtown family members don’t regret illegally felling a tree on their property despite getting 340 cumulative hours of community service. Jozephus Spijkerbosch, his son Leroy and nephew Michael plead guilty to removing a 50-year eucalypt without resource consent. Jozephus says the tree could have fallen over in strong winds and endangered kids playing in a reserve.

Mountain Scene is named a newspaper of the year finalist in the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association annual awards. Website,, is also shortlisted for news site of the year.

• Even professional Queenstown companies will benefit from a newly-released adventure tourism safety review, Tourism Industry Association sector head Geoff Gabites says. The Government’s review recommends compulsory registration and safety audits for every adventure operator.