JANUARY

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• A Glenorchy Air pilot returning to Queenstown from Milford takes evasive action near Cecil Peak to avoid an Air New Zealand Boeing 737. The jet was performing what an Air NZ spokesperson called a “standard go-round” after aborting a landing from Queenstown Airport’s Shotover River end. Airways, Air NZ and Glenorchy Air conduct investigations for the Civil Aviation Authority.

• Two young Queens­towners die in a tragic start to 2010. Jessica Law, 16, dies on January 1 in a collision on Littles Road and Richard Doyle, 19, drowns on Australia’s Gold Coast on January 4. Josephine Clay, 16, who drove the vehicle Jessica was a backseat passenger in, is later convicted on one charge of dangerous driving causing death and four of dangerous driving causing injury. The other passenger, Jesse Boulay, 16, suffers brain injuries.

• Nine Queenstown men are arrested during a series of early-morning drug busts in the resort. Offences include cultivation, possession and supply of cannabis and utensil possession. “I don’t think there’s any more cannabis around,” constable Sean Drader says.

• Oscar-winning Kiwi movie director Jane Campion is to shoot a TV thriller, Top of the Lake, inspired by time spent at her Rees Valley holiday retreat. The murder-mystery storyline has already attracted interest from overseas backers like the BBC and cable TV giant HBO. Campion also treats Glenorchy neigh­bours and friends to a viewing of her new flick, Bright Star, at Arrowtown’s Dorothy Browns Cinema.

• American Robert Gates wins the third New Zealand Open at mega-wealthy jewellery chain owner Michael Hill’s Arrowtown course, The Hills. At the same time the NZ Golf Awards are held in Queenstown and Prime Minister John Key tees off to open Millbrook Resort’s Coronet Nine course, before viewing the Open.

• Local police warn the public about Dalefield-based mother and daughter talent agents, Sandi Alexander, 43, and Courtney Elice, 20. “I’ve got a concern there might be a scam going on with them because of a number of complaints,” Drader says.

• American billionaire John Paul DeJoria is caught up in a $25,000 flooding damage incident at Queens­­­town’s five-star Sofitel. About 10,000 litres of water is unleashed and the hotel is evacuated. “It would appear someone set off a wall-mounted sprinkler by trying to dry some clothes after putting them on a hanger and then hanging them from the sprinkler,” fire chief Bob Robertson says.