SEPTEMBER

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• Queens­towner Ross Allan says his four kids are distraught because their beloved Abyssinian moggy was killed by a neighbour. Famed landscape artist Peter Beadle says he only intended to frighten the $1000 pedigree cat with his .22 rifle because he believed it was stalking his prized Pekin ducks. He also thought it was only a feral cat. Allan approaches the SPCA as police won’t take any action.

• Quick-thinking Queens­town cops ensure an alleged child porn fiend is stopped minutes before boarding a flight to South America – and freedom. The arrest of Daniel Cabral Schiavini, a 26-year-old Queenstown-based seasonal ski worker from Brazil, comes a day after he was sentenced in the local court for hacking into a hostel’s computer system. He now faces 10 charges of possessing objectionable publications.

• Top Welling­ton QC Hugh Rennie disagrees with legal advice telling local council candi­dates to zip their lips over the controversial Queenstown Airport share sale. Queens­town Lakes District Council lawyers Mactodd warned hopefuls they risk “contempt of court” because the partial sell-off to Auckland International Airport is being challenged in the High Court.

• With many of Queens­town’s new bus services running almost empty, locals are urged to ‘use it or lose it’. The feeder services are on a 32-month trial, with Otago Regional Council and New Zealand Transport Agency stumping up $3.2 million.

• Auckland hospitality guru Leo Molloy, who’s bringing his Cowboy bar concept to Queenstown’s Searle Lane, butts heads with Good Group chairman Al Spary – owner of neighbouring watering hole Barmuda. Molloy alleges Spary would only tick off Cowboy’s outdoor smokers’ area if he signed over half his bar to him. Spary calls Molloy’s claim “absolute fiction”.

• Queenstown hospitality pioneer Iris O’Connell dies in Dunedin at 101. She and late husband Jim O’Connell ran the former O’Connell’s Hotel on the site of O’Connells Shopping Centre, which is named in her honour. “In her day she would have been the businesswoman of NZ,” former son-in-law Bryan Douglas says.

• Queenstown’s Rugby World Cup coordination group dumps a planned “fan zone” in Earnslaw Park. “The reason was financial,” Destination Queenstown marketing boss Graham Budd says.