FROM THE FRONT PAGE
the hip with the English but refuse to admit it. They get all the benefits but want to remain separate and have their own language. They resent being told what to do. A lot of the English gentry have houses in Wales and it’s a nice place to live.
‘‘Queenstown are the English – the bigger powerhouse driver of the whole region and basically want everyone to shut up and do what they’re told.
‘‘Kingston and Glenorchy are probably the Irish who are also making murmurings of seceding from the union and are almost ready to start throwing bombs around.
‘‘If you get to places like Makarora they could be the Western Isles, like Shetland, where they’re so disconnected they’re almost independent and don’t really care what the others are up to.’’
The analogy was greeted with some laughter at the Queenstown Lakes District Council table this week but had a serious side, he said.
‘‘The point I was trying to make is we really are a whole heap better off as a union. I think deep down everybody knows that.’’
The district-wide analogy came to him as he read through the hundreds of informal submissions made on the proposed Special Housing Areas in the district.
‘‘There was a lot of vitriol that was unnecessary really.
‘‘Of all the responses, and there were hundreds, there were probably 10 to 15 per cent that were well reasoned. The vast majority were really just about house prices. Another 10 per cent at the other end of the spectrum were just nasty.’’
Mayor Vanessa van Uden referred to the nature of some of the submissions at the end of the council meeting, saying that it was inappropriate to be ‘‘having a go’’ at the personalities and personal behaviours of people sitting at the council table.
‘‘We want to hear what you think, but we don’t want to be insulted on the way through.’’
MacLeod said there was a general opinion that Queenstown told everyone what to do.
‘‘It’s not like that really . . . but it does seem quite Queenstown-centric. They are the English by default and Queenstowners do seem to take themselves quite seriously.’’
In another analogy he likens the district’s infrastructure to models and movie stars.
Wanaka is about 30 years behind Queenstown and probably always will be and its infrastructure today is like a model starting his or her career, he said.
‘‘They’re young, the infrastructure is there and the bone structure is perfect. It’s how that gets handled whether it ends up being on the front page of Vogue or the back of New Idea.
‘‘Queenstown, however, is struggling a bit and needs a bit of Botox to keep it going. It was a Rachel Hunter but now it’s becoming . . . not quite. But you look at (actresses) Judi Dench at 80 and Helen Mirren – they are both very attractive women.’’