Mayor branded ‘a liar’ by fund manager
Accused of Wanaka bias
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Vanessa van Uden was labelled a liar during a mayor forum held in Wanaka last week. The forum, held in conjunction with the Otago Chamber of Commerce, attracted about 35 people. It became heated when fund manager Greg Marshall asked what Mrs van Uden would be doing about the bias she had towards Wanaka. Mrs van Unden said she did not have any bias towards Wanaka. However, Mr Marshall then accused her of being a liar and said he had at least eight other people who would confirm they attended a luncheon where Mrs van Uden said Wanaka was filled with ‘‘wingeing old people’’ and ‘‘greenies’’. She denied making the comments. Mrs van Uden said Wanaka would be ‘‘significantly worse off’’ if it was to split from the Queenstown Lakes District Council and become a stand alone council. ‘‘It will be sad to see you go away. I don’t think Wanaka has been badly done by or underrepresented,’’ Mrs van Uden said. Councillors voted in during the election would make an oath on October 12 to represent the whole community, she said. Mrs van Uden said one way of easing the tension of the issue in future was to make sure Queenstown and Wanaka representatives shared jobs. Mayoral candidate Al Angus said ‘‘it’s a bit miserable it’s come to this with Wanaka wanting to bail. I support strength in numbers.’’ He declined to respond to comments on whether Mrs van Uden was biased saying ‘‘a lady should never be called a liar’’.
Vanessa van Uden