Opinion: Don’t mention the airport

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The Queenstown election race has been gripped by Fawlty Towers-like absurdity. Remember the classic episode when John Cleese memorably coined the phrase “Don’t mention the war” whilst hosting German guests at his shonky hotel and goose-stepping around the restaurant? Replace “war” with “airport” and you’ve got Queenstown’s version. Advice from council legal beagles Mactodd to mayoral and council candidates initially left most running scared about even mentioning Auckland International Airport’s controversial Queenstown Airport buy-in. Tough for voters – how are they supposed to make an informed decision if they don’t know where the candidates stand on one of the most important issues facing town? We prefer the counter-advice from top lawyer Hugh Rennie QC – there’s no way candidates could be held in contempt of court by making responsible statements on this very public issue.