Queenstown Lakes District, Queenstown

38 minutes ago

Queenstown's big weekend party to celebrate winter, snow and visitors

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Otago News

The people of Queenstown will celebrate the winter they hope will turn the tourist destination’s fortunes around after a lamentable two years of Covid-19.

The Welcome to Winter 2022 celebration will take place over four days starting on Thursday and include fireworks, live music, night skiing … View more
The people of Queenstown will celebrate the winter they hope will turn the tourist destination’s fortunes around after a lamentable two years of Covid-19.

The Welcome to Winter 2022 celebration will take place over four days starting on Thursday and include fireworks, live music, night skiing and swimming in Lake Wakatipu for the enthusiastic.

Headline act Mitch James would play on the central Queenstown outdoor stage on Friday, followed by Stellar on Saturday.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Mat Woods said the celebration would be happening on one of the busiest weekends of winter when the Australian and New Zealand school holidays overlap.

Kiwi musician Mitch James will be performing in central Queenstown on Friday night.

Kiwi musician Mitch James will be performing in central Queenstown on Friday night.

While everyone would benefit, the celebrations would be focused on the local community, he said.

Since Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand in 2020 and borders closed, Queenstown’s tourism and hospitality businesses have been hit by a massive drop in customers.

Just in the year to January 2021 there was a 33% drop in visitor spending in the town, down to $610 million.

Even with borders open now, many businesses were running at less capacity due to critical staff shortages and staff being hit by winter illnesses and absences due to Covid-19.

However, the winter season had started with incredible snow, which attracted strong numbers of Australian visitors, Woods said.

Many direct trans-Tasman flights have been booked out and hotels were booked about 80%, the highest levels since 2019, Woods said.

“This is the boost we need. It’s great, but it’s going to be a long recovery.”

Future Hospitality Group co-owner Bert Haines said there were ten-fold more visitors in Queenstown in recent weeks compared to the last two years.

“We’re busy... we’re actually overwhelmed by the amount of people here combined with the lack of staff available to work.”

Like other businesses he was battling staff shortages and sickness across the company’s five central-Queenstown restaurants and bars.

Queenstown's latest boutique hotel is facing an unusual quandary as it prepares to welcome Australian tourists - it can't find any trained butlers.

“It’s been a very delicate line to navigate, trying to look after our team and look after our guests,” he said.

The company would not be able to continue operating all of its venues seven days a week, he said.

Woods said it would take some more time for the number of visitors to Queenstown to build up to 2019 levels and many hotels were restricting bookings due to the staff shortages.

Also, there were more beds in town than pre-Covid, including the 227-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites in central Queenstown and three new hotels with a total of about 340 rooms in the suburb of Frankton.

The Welcome to Winter celebration would also mark the return of large events to the district.

Paid for from the government’s $50 million Regional Events Fund, it marked the end of a horror run with events expected to generate $100 million cancelled in the first four months of the year.

“I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait,” Woods said.

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15 days ago

Is your broadband bill about to increase? Don't throw money away.

NZ Compare

Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.

Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings … View more
Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.

Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings each year on their broadband bill, because they are failing to shop around for cheaper broadband plans.

We estimate that over 500,000 households would be able to pay less for their broadband each month but many consumers are unaware of the fact that they could be making these savings and people often don’t know where to start when looking for a change in broadband plan or provider.

This is where NZ Compare can help. Our websites are simple to use and if you need more help, our friendly, Auckland based, customer support centre can advise on the most suitable broadband plan for your needs and help talk you through the switch. With unlimited fibre broadband plans available for less than $60 a month why would you pay more?

Find out more at NZ Compare or call the team on 0508 226672

CORRECTION: This post has been amended to clarify that the price of fibre and copper broadband internet services will increase, and that the increase is between $3 and $5 a month, not only $5 a month on fibre broadband plans as previously posted. (Amended at 10.31am, June 23, 2022)

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20 hours ago

World-first electric jet boat revealed as Ngāi Tahu unveils climate change action plan

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Otago News

Shotover Jet has unveiled an electric jet boat it says is the first to be designed solely for tourism as owners Ngāi Tahu plans for a zero carbon future.

The iwi revealed its 88-point action plan to tackle the causes and effects of climate change and a host of other environmental issues at a … View more
Shotover Jet has unveiled an electric jet boat it says is the first to be designed solely for tourism as owners Ngāi Tahu plans for a zero carbon future.

The iwi revealed its 88-point action plan to tackle the causes and effects of climate change and a host of other environmental issues at a ceremony in Queenstown on Wednesday.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai said the escalating effects of climate change across the Ngāi Tahu takiwā (tribal area) were having a profound impact on the iwi’s interests, activities and whānau.

“We need to rapidly evolve if we are to adapt and thrive in this brave new world.”

The iwi would take major steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, embrace renewable energy, optimise resource use, and reduce water and ecosystem impacts over nine years.

One vital element was protecting whānau by powering marae with solar energy to make them more resilient and self-sufficient, as well as identifying jobs for Ngāi Tahu whānau in the green economy.

“We don’t claim to have all the answers, but our size and influence gives us the freedom to innovate.

“This jetboat prototype is an exciting expression of what that innovation can achieve,” Tumahai said.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism general manager Jolanda Cave said that once the jetboat prototype was put into service, the experience would be quieter and more environmentally sound, running on rechargeable electric batteries rather than fossil fuels.

The prototype project began in 2019 when Ngāi Tahu Tourism entered a co-founding agreement with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and was awarded up to $200,000 to convert one of their petrol-powered jet boats to run on electricity.

It would take several years to confirm the commercialisation of the electric prototype, Cave said.

The tourism arm of the company aimed to make all its operations carbon-neutral by 2050.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring our world is healthier for future generations and while there is a long road to travel, the electrification of our jet boat fleet is an incredible step,” Cave said.

Tumahai said that as mana whenua the iwi were putting into action the core principles of kaitiakitanga and rangatiratanga.

“We look after our whenua, we care for our whānau and we take ethical actions and decisions for the future of our mokopuna.”

Key targets:
- A 17% methane reduction from farm animals by 2035.
- By 2030, all marae and Papatipu Rūnanga facilities to be supported to upgrade to technologies that ensure long-term resilience in energy, water and resource optimisation.
- By 2030, agri-tech solutions to be in place in specific Ngāi Tahu Farming sites to reduce water use.
- From 2022, a year-on-year reduction in synthetic fertiliser with paddock by paddock soil testing.
- By 2030, Ngāi Tahu to be actively exercising rangatiratanga over freshwater.
- By 2030, all new developments to have ecosystem enhancement plans to protect wai and mahinga kai sites.

See all the targets here.

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1 day ago

Seniors Newsletter

Tina Hodges from Office for Seniors

Have you read our June Seniors newsletter? In this issue we discuss the Older Workers Employment Action Plan, Budget 2022 and hear from Equal Employment Commissioner Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo. Read it here now: bit.ly...

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1 day ago

Why aren’t Kiwis switching power providers?

NZ Compare

The chilly, gum boot wearing, kettle on, soup season has moved into town! Don’t get stung by your winter power bill neighbours, start shopping around now - even if you’re on a contract.

We asked neighbours why they’re not switching power providers and found out for many it feels a bit … View more
The chilly, gum boot wearing, kettle on, soup season has moved into town! Don’t get stung by your winter power bill neighbours, start shopping around now - even if you’re on a contract.

We asked neighbours why they’re not switching power providers and found out for many it feels a bit baffling with so many options and not enough help. Read why Kiwis aren’t switching and the easy steps to get your power sorted before bill shock hits.

Need to keep it stress free? Call our NZ based team on 0508 226 672, it’s free!

We’re here to help you compare, save and smile!
Help me switch

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1 day ago

Give a little kindness this winter

Trade Me

Help Kiwis in need this winter by giving through the Trade Me Kindness Store. Trade Me has teamed up with three awesome Kiwi charities - KidsCan, RainbowYOUTH and Women’s Refuge. The Kindness Store’s virtual shelves are stocked with small things that make a big difference to the Kiwis these … View moreHelp Kiwis in need this winter by giving through the Trade Me Kindness Store. Trade Me has teamed up with three awesome Kiwi charities - KidsCan, RainbowYOUTH and Women’s Refuge. The Kindness Store’s virtual shelves are stocked with small things that make a big difference to the Kiwis these charities help.

Giving is easy – just pick, click and ‘Give Now’. Trade Me takes care of the rest. 100% of the donations go to the charities – Trade Me doesn’t take a cut.
Know more

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5 days ago

Time to escape your neighbourhood?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Are you overdue a getaway? You could win a 13-day Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer South Island Rail & Coach tour by participating in Neighbourly’s 8th birthday celebration.

To enter the competition, just tell us what you love about your neighbourhood. It could be your favourite spot, a … View more
Are you overdue a getaway? You could win a 13-day Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer South Island Rail & Coach tour by participating in Neighbourly’s 8th birthday celebration.

To enter the competition, just tell us what you love about your neighbourhood. It could be your favourite spot, a beautiful view, or something that makes you smile. You could be in for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway!
Share now

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6 days ago

Springtime craft

The Team from Resene ColorShop Queenstown

Brighten up your life and home with these fun party cup dolls, beads of joy and blooming plant pots with your favourite Resene testpot colours.

Find out how to create your own.

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6 days ago

Get Upcycling to win in 2022!

Resene

Unleash the artist within you, showcase your DIY creative skills and spruce up an old item or completely repurpose it! Resene and Neighbourly are challenging everyday Kiwis like YOU to take part in the Resene Upcycling Awards.

We want to see your amazing creations so don't be afraid to go … View more
Unleash the artist within you, showcase your DIY creative skills and spruce up an old item or completely repurpose it! Resene and Neighbourly are challenging everyday Kiwis like YOU to take part in the Resene Upcycling Awards.

We want to see your amazing creations so don't be afraid to go all out! Check out some of the previous entires here.

Take part in the 2022 Resene Upcycling Awards. There are four great prizes worth $500 up for grabs: a $200 Resene voucher and a $300 Prezzy® card!
Find out more

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12 days ago

Fried Chicken or War Goddesses?

Stuff

As partners of the Elemental festival, Stuff Travel is giving away 2 amazing packages! For each you'll win 2 nights of luxury stay at Fable Auckland with a welcome dinner and daily breakfasts. You'll also get tickets to either the Takurua - Nafanua, The War Goddess or the Auckland Fried … View moreAs partners of the Elemental festival, Stuff Travel is giving away 2 amazing packages! For each you'll win 2 nights of luxury stay at Fable Auckland with a welcome dinner and daily breakfasts. You'll also get tickets to either the Takurua - Nafanua, The War Goddess or the Auckland Fried Chicken Festival.

Flights included for those out of Auckland.
Enter now

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13 days ago

Insect house

The Team from Resene ColorShop Queenstown

Build a cosy bug hotel to hang in a quiet corner of your garden and paint it in your favourite Resene hues.

Find out how to create your own.

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14 days ago

Do you have a great tamarillo recipe?

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

Dear neighbours,

Every month, NZ Gardener runs a series of tested reader recipes using a seasonal crop. We are now on the hunt for tamarillo recipes, so send your best ones to mailbox@nzgardener.co.nz before July 8, 2022.

Every published recipe wins a copy of our special edition Homegrown … View more
Dear neighbours,

Every month, NZ Gardener runs a series of tested reader recipes using a seasonal crop. We are now on the hunt for tamarillo recipes, so send your best ones to mailbox@nzgardener.co.nz before July 8, 2022.

Every published recipe wins a copy of our special edition Homegrown Recipes.

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14 days ago

Time to escape your neighbourhood?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Are you overdue a getaway? You could win a 13-day Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer South Island Rail & Coach tour by participating in Neighbourly’s 8th birthday celebration.

To enter the competition, just tell us what you love about your neighbourhood. It could be your favourite spot, a … View more
Are you overdue a getaway? You could win a 13-day Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer South Island Rail & Coach tour by participating in Neighbourly’s 8th birthday celebration.

To enter the competition, just tell us what you love about your neighbourhood. It could be your favourite spot, a beautiful view, or something that makes you smile. You could be in for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway!
Share now

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15 days ago

Have you told us about your amazing houseplant collection?

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

Dear neighbours,

You have just a few more days to send your entries for our Houseplant Hero competition. You could win some great prizes and of course, more houseplanst!

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15 days ago

Tūmai beach restoration - join us!

Trees That Count

We're planting native trees to restore the Tūmai Beach waterways! Sixteen families co-own 39 hectares of retired farmland alongside Te Hakapupu (Pleasant River Estuary) in northern Otago.

They're busy facilitating and managing the … View more
We're planting native trees to restore the Tūmai Beach waterways! Sixteen families co-own 39 hectares of retired farmland alongside Te Hakapupu (Pleasant River Estuary) in northern Otago.

They're busy facilitating and managing the restoration of the ecological systems and native flora and fauna within the Tūmai Beach Farm Park. To date they have planted 21,467 plants into retired pasture—and they'd love your help to plant the next 3,500!
Know more

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20 days ago
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