Tourism big earner
When Deputy Prime Minister Bill English caught up with Queenstown Chamber of Commerce members last week he used his trademark good humour and local knowledge to raise a few laughs in between reviewing this year’s budget. The Mirror has selected a few quotes which may be of interest to locals.
Comparing himself with new Clutha/Southland MP Todd Barclay
‘‘I know I’m a bit old and frumpy compared to the new model.’’
Prime Minister John Key’s impending visit to Queenstown:
‘‘We were sitting in the House a few weeks ago and there was pretty intensive debate going on about the budget and other things and he turns round and says to me, ‘you know when I’m down for the Winter Festival, which restaurant should I take Bronagh to?’ So in case your wondering what Prime Ministers have to wrestle with, that’s the kind of decision he takes very seriously. I won’t tell you what I said because it is favouritism of course.’’
New Zealand’s rock star economy:
‘‘We don’t like that label at all because it implies rapid flashy growth. We prefer to think of it as a rock solid economy.’’
Dairy sector v tourism
‘‘You’re getting a lot more news about dairy than you’re about tourism. Tourism is a bigger Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Bill English speaks to Queenstown Chamber of Commerce members.
Photo: Debbie Jamieson/Fairfax NZ export industry and of course it’s growing pretty consistently now and we could expect it’s going to grow quite consistently for a while particularly now that the US dollar-headed exchange rate . . . will probably go under 70 cents in the next few months.
‘‘People think dairy is a lot bigger than it is . . . it’s actually 5.5 per cent of the economy . . . it’s manageable . . . Even as a proportion of exports it’s 20 per cent. Exports are now dominated by tourism.’’
‘‘We’re trying to make a difference. The basic problem with housing across New Zealand is just that it’s too expensive because the land is too expensive.
‘‘People talk about urban sprawl, wanting their urban outlook. Shift to Gore. Come to Dipton. No one will build you out in Dipton west.
‘‘If you want to live in a fast growing world-level city like Auckland expect people to come and build next door. That’s likely to happen. It could even happen in Queenstown. It’s part of the dynamism of the place.’’
Outlook for Queenstown
‘‘Certainly the outlook in Queenstown here with a lower US and Aussie dollar, big shifts but strong growth in the tourism market is really pretty good through to 2020 and we’re certainly keen to see the upsurge in tax receipts that will come with it.’’
New Kawarau Falls bridge
‘‘Todd will look after the bridge. All I care about is that we’re allowed to bike over it Todd. I don’t care where it is.’’
Later: ‘‘My guess is, without being too close to it for the last 12 or 18 months, is, it will probably be a trade off.
‘‘If you want to change it, it will probably take a long time. So there will be a bit of a choice, if you’re an advocate for shifting it, between a less satisfactory solution in the next year or two and a very satisfactory one in about 2025.’’ Crosson Clarke Carnachan Chin Architects design
Hills, in Arrowtown, winner of a housing 2015 Southern Architecture