Kiddle to contest mayoralty

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Anti-visitor levy campaigner Nik Kiddle has confirmed he’s throwing his hat in the ring for the Queenstown Lakes District mayoralty.

He’s the third candidate to enter the race, joining incumbent Jim Boult and former candidate Al Angus.

Kiddle, who owns Queenstown hotel Villa Del Lago, has been a staunch opponent of the proposed visitor levy.

He formed the Lakes District Tax Equity Group to oppose the levy.

At a meeting of the group in April, Kiddle said the preferred option would be GST revenue from visitor expenditure being rebated, which would be ”very easy to do”.

He confirmed his candidacy but declined to comment in more detail when contacted this morning.

However, in a letter sent to community association leaders and obtained by the Mountain Scene, Kiddle says “locals should not be crowded out by visitors”.

“We should be striving for the smartest way to use visitor expenditure to help protect the district’s quality of life.”

He also calls the council’s application to discharge wastewater in waterways “a disgrace”.

Council nominations close at noon tomorrow.