JUNE

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• Queenstowner Janine Learmonth warns skiers and boarders against using Coronet Peak’s new Meadows Express chairlift after almost breaking her neck. Learmonth, 32, was loading her daughter when the mechanical automatic safety bar catches the back of her helmet, squashing her chin against the seat. “I felt all my ligaments go pop, pop, pop.” Department of Labour investigates. NZSki takes tension off the automated safety bar.

• A brainwave by Queenstown Lions Club member Simon Hayes becomes a nationwide “Heads up for kids” fundraiser. By people handing over out-of-date coins, bank notes and foreign currency to the Reserve Bank – via Resene ColorShops and Lions branches – a potential $2-$4 million could be raised for youth programmes in schools and outdoor education courses, Hayes says.

• Former Queenstown surveyor Kerry Harford, jailed for his part in rorting millions from Otago District Health Board, is released after serving little more than a quarter of his four-year, three-month sentence. Living at his Frankton home is one of the conditions of his release.

• Convicted drink driver, Queenstown Winter Olympics ski racer Tim Cafe, says he has no rational explanation for his boozey May 1 shocker on Frankton Road. Cafe, 22, drove a parked Subaru Legacy – which his key started – about 100m then got into another vehicle on Adelaide Street, later claiming he’d wanted to sleep in it.

• A year after taking over Qantas’ domestic services, budget airline Jetstar has fitted its Airbus planes with similar ‘flying-blind’ technology as its main rival Air New Zealand. Queenstown diversions because of bad weather this winter should lower from 12 to one per cent, Jetstar boss Bruce Buchanan says.

• Due to South­land District Health Board dithering over new funding, long-time Queens­­town diabetic nurse Jenny Britland accepts a post in Auckland. It’s “an enormous loss”, Queens­town Medical Centre boss Richard Macharg says. Wakatipu Diabetes chair Adele Jackson is “gutted”. SDHB finance boss Robert Mackway-Jones admits they should have advised QMC sooner that the contract was being extended.

• Arrowtown jewellery magnate Michael Hill launches a campaign to retain golf’s NZ Open as rumours circulate that Christchurch’s Clearwater will get the nod. Hill isn’t giving up the event he helped revive during three Opens and wants to host another five. “Quite frankly, if it needs support in the way of money, Queenstown Lakes District Council should underwrite it immediately,” Destination Queenstown director Russell Gray says.