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Southern Ski Areas Blanketed in Snow
New Zealand A Winner for British Travellers
Tuesday October 20 02:44 PM
New Zealand has turned in a winning performance in the UK, being voted favourite long-haul country by readers of the Guardian, the Observer and guardian.co.uk.
At the annual Reader's Travel Awards announced recently, New Zealand beat Cambodia, Chile, Vietnam and Japan to take the top spot. Air New Zealand was named second-favourite long-haul carrier after Singapore Airlines.
Andy Pietrasik, Travel Editor for guardian.co.uk, said the fact that more readers this year voted for New Zealand showed that there were still many travellers seeking to get as far away as possible from the bad news at home.
"New Zealand also scored more highly than last year in winning this category, showing that the New Zealand experience has lost none of its appeal during the recession. This will stand it in very good stead as the travel environment improves," he added.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said it was important that New Zealand continued to be recognised by travellers in what was currently a difficult market.
In the year to August 2009, New Zealand welcomed 260,000 visitors from the UK, down 10 per cent on the previous year. Arrivals from the UK have been impacted by the global economic downturn which hit the UK in late 2008 and early 2009.
Mr Hickton said the award was a positive endorsement by travellers, which supported the message of Tourism New Zealand's 'What Do You Say UK?' campaign. The campaign is currently running online and on television in the UK. Advertisements feature real British travellers recommending New Zealand to other Brits.
Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager UK and Europe Gregg Anderson collected the award and said many of the other award winners expressed renewed optimism for the next 12 months.
"While the months ahead, including the New Zealand summer, will remain challenging, enquiry levels and bookings continue to improve overall," he said.
The Guardian newspaper has a circulation of 332,000, its weekend sister paper the Observer reaches 405,000 readers, while its online version has over 1.5 million unique users.
This is the second win for New Zealand in the UK in recent months. In September, New Zealand was ranked in second place as 'favourite destination' by readers of the prestigious UK Condé Nast Traveller magazine. It was the sixth year in a row that New Zealand ranked in the top five of these awards.
Snow falls overnight and off and on today has blanketed the
Southern Alps leaving skiers, snowboarders and mountain crews
buzzing with anticipation for the season ahead.
The Remarkables Ski Manager Ross Lawrence said the mid-winter
conditions had changed the landscape from green to white.
"We've received 20cm of snow and experienced some good snow
falls. It's starting to ease a bit now but temperatures are still
very cold at around minus two degrees," he said.
Across the valley at Coronet Peak , 10cm of snow has fallen and
continues to fall on the road below the development of the new base
Further north, Mt Hutt has received 10cm of snow. Coronet Peak is
scheduled to open on Saturday June 7, Mt Hutt on June 14 and The
Remarkables, June 21.
Pictured Right: The clowns were out celebrating the new snow at
The Stash at the Remarkables
All major earthworks are now completed on The Stash at The
Remarkables, and work has begun on creating the features, including
this trapezoid feature (pictured), unique to the kilometre long run.
A Jake Burton signature run, The Stash at The Remarkables is
designed to provide riders with a big mountain terrain park that
follows the natural lines of the mountain. Features include
rock-wall rides, log jibs, cliff drops, a stone hut and other
obstacles hidden away.
The Remarkables Manager Ross Lawrence said it was a time
consuming process creating the features, particularly the wooden
features that needed to be carefully crafted, and finally sanded and
coated with polyurethane to enhance slickness and enjoyment for all
freestyle riders and skiers.
Scheduled to open for the 2008 winter season, The Stash at The
Remarkables is only the third run of its kind worldwide and the
first in the Southern Hemisphere.
inter Games Planning Begins
Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 4:38 pm
Press Release: Winter Games NZ
An interim board has been created to develop a proposal to host
the inaugural New Zealand Winter Games in 2009.
The New Zealand Winter Games concept has the support of the New
Zealand Olympic Committee and the National Olympic Committees of the
Pacific Rim, including Canada , the United States , Japan , China ,
Korea , Mexico and Australia .
The interim board of Winter Games NZ comprises Vito Lo Iacono -
Major Events New Zealand; Eion Edgar - President of the New Zealand
Olympic Committee and Peter Cox - SPARC.
An initial feasibility study has been completed with favourable
results and the interim board has contracted Arthur Klap as Winter
Games NZ CEO.
Initial funding for the project has come from Major Events New
Zealand with a grant of $500,000. Additional funding will be sought
from corporate sponsorship and community trusts.
Eion Edgar Chairman of Winter Games NZ believes the New Zealand
Winter Games will provide be beneficial New Zealand as a whole, as
well as elite winter athletes.
" New Zealand can offer winter athletes with superb facilities
and conditions during the European summer and we hope the event will
become a regular event on Winter Sport Calendar," he said. "While we
can benefit athletes, we believe the event will establish New
Zealand as a highly credible winter sports destination bringing
significant sporting, social and economic benefits.
New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General Barry Maister is
delighted the NZOC can lend its support to the New Zealand Winter
Games. "The proposed Winter Games will provide our growing winter
sports with outstanding opportunities compete against some of the
best Winter athletes in the world just ahead of the Winter Olympic
Games in 2010."
With feasibility work complete, Winter Games NZ will now appoint
a permanent board and establish a charitable trust to manage the
development and hosting of the games.
Winter Games spinoff.pdf
Smaller Hilton plans expansion
By CHRIS MORRIS - Wednesday, 23rd April 2008
PLANS for a scaled-back $60 million Hilton Hotel in Queenstown
have won the approval of the height of the building by 1.6m and the
number of hotel rooms by 22.
The concessions were made following a round of court assisted
mediation between the developers and concerned neighbours, who
feared the impact the hotel would have on their views, and shading
during winter. Judge Jackson's ruling, which overturned an earlier
Queenstown Lakes District Council decision last year to decline
resource consent, meant the hotel could proceed with 103 hotel
However, Dan McEwan yesterday told the Otago Daily Times plans to
expand the complex were already being finalised, with designs for a
second wing of 43 hotel rooms already complete. The wing, to be
located behind the main hotel complex, would bring the total number
of hotel rooms to 146 if granted resource consent.
He said the frustrating resource consent process had resulted in a
''heavily modified'' Hilton Hotel complex, which he doubted would be
economically viable without the addition of the second wing. ''A
hotel only really becomes viable at 125 rooms and optimal at 175
rooms when it starts to operate well. ''We have got to make the
numbers up,'' he said.
He believed the additional wing would not strike hurdles in the
resource consent process.
Construction of the main hotel complex on an undulating site at
94-130 Frankton Rd was expected to begin by Christmas and be
completed in time for the Rugby World Cup in 2011, he said.
Pounamu Hotel Nominee Ltd is an offshoot of the Auckland based
McEwan Group, which is also planning to develop a Hilton Hotel in
Dunedin 's former chief post office building. Mr McEwan said his
company's Queenstown Hilton had become a tortuous process since its
inception with purchase of the land in September 2001.
He had watched other five star hotel developments such as those
planned at Kawarau Falls Station precede while his own dragged
slowly through the design and resource consent process, only to be
declined, before being approved on appeal. The proposal had
attracted 106 submissions, including 63 in support, 41 in
opposition, one in partial support and one providing comment.
Independent commissioners Collins and Macleod ruled the application
had failed on ''technical grounds'' as a noncomplying activity that
would negatively impact on neighbours through shading, loss of views
and a visual dominance over the surrounding area.
''I was going to pull the pin on it late last year. It just got too
hard,'' Mr McEwan said yesterday. ''But we had done so much work the
good old Kiwi spirit comes out and we didn't give in. We kept on
Despite the delays and growing competition in the five-star market,
Mr McEwan was confident the Hilton brand's international recognition
and the development's proximity to downtown Queenstown would now
ensure the venture was successful.
''The town certainly needs more high-level accommodation. It's got
too much apartment accommodation,'' he said.
''The proof will be in the pudding, when it's finished and it's
competing against everything else.''
Environment Court, but the developers are already planning to
expand the complex. Judge Jon Jackson, in a decision released to
media yesterday, ruled the hotel development could proceed after
developers Dan and Kelly McEwan of Pounamu Hotel Nominee Ltd agreed
to reduce the
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Thousands converge on Arrowtown for festival
By WILL HINE - The Southland Times | Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Unwitting visitors to Arrowtown on Saturday may have thought
there was another goldrush on as thousands swamped the small town
for the annual Southland Times Festival Street Parade.
Left: The Soutland Times Pirate Ship Float
Centrepiece of the 11-day Arrowtown Autumn Festival, the parade
again proved extremely popular this year, pulling more than 8000
Organiser Julie Hughes said the crowd was the biggest she had
seen at the event. "It was bigger than it's ever, ever, ever been.
How many people? I don't know. Eight thousand, eight and a half?"
The streets were absolutely chocka with nary a vantage point left as
the mid-afternoon parade wound its way leisurely through the town.
Leading the parade was a long procession of vintage cars,
followed by the Arrowtown fire brigade, with a large contingent
representing the service as part of its 75th jubilee celebrations.
Then the parade began in earnest, with The Southland Times pirate
ship ushering in the rest of the prancing, marching, pomping
Comic book and Star Wars characters, cubs and scouts, dogs big
and small; this parade had it all.
One boy watching on the town's main street had his cap stolen by
a brazen juggler.
Stone-footed for 5 seconds, the lad then capered into the parade
in pursuit of the thief, chasing him 100m along the street to the
laughs of the watching crowd.
Thousands lingered when the parade ended, many sampling the arts,
crafts and entertainment of the TrustPower Market.
Luana Frear, of Lake Hayes Estate, was a volunteer for the day,
helping to keep the swelling crowd back as the parade moved through
Queuing up for a hard-earned waffle afterwards, she said the day
"It was really good. The weather was just great." Asked to choose
a favourite section, Ms Frear said the comic book characters.
"They were the best - they seemed to get amongst the crowd."
Spectators Ian and Iris Roberts had come from Dunedin for the whole
week, after attending the festival last year. "It was so good last
year we rented a house this year," Mr Roberts said.
The couple looked forward to staying the rest of the week and
would be checking out more of the festival including a performance
of The Importance of being Earnslaw.
The actionflite Red Bull Pitts Special Performed a stunning
aerobatic display at the beginning of the street parade.
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Smaller Hilton Plans Expansion
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Thousands converge on Arrowtown for festival