Home' Greymouth Star : March 2nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, March 2, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1791 - Death of John Wesley, English
theologian and founder of Methodism.
1835 - Death of Francis II, Emperor of
Austria and the last Holy Roman Emperor.
1836 - Texas declares its independence from
1882 - Roderick Maclean
makes an unsuccessful attempt
to assassinate Q ueen Victoria at
Windsor; he was later declared
1917 - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
1923 - Time magazine makes its debut.
1930 - Death of English novelist D H
Lawrence, author of Lady Chatterly’s Lover.
1933 - Motion picture King Kong, starring
Fay Wray, has its world premiere in New York.
1946 - Ho Chi Minh is elected president of
1949 - Captain James Gallagher completes
the first non-stop round the world flight.
1958 - Dr Vivian Fuchs completes the first
land crossing of Antarctica by land.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born television producer
(1917-1986); Mikhail Gorbachev, former
Soviet president (1931-); Tom Wolfe, US
author (1931-); Lou Reed, US singer (1942-
2013); Jeff Kennett, former
Victorian premier (1948-); Karen
Carpenter, US singer (1950-1983);
Jay Osmond, US singer (1955-);
John Cowsill, musician from The
Cowsills (1956-); Simone Young,
Australian conductor (1961-); Jon
Bon Jovi, US rock singer (1962-);
Daniel Craig, English actor (1968-); Chris
Martin, British singer, Coldplay (1977-).
“ Every one can master a grief but he that
has it.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616),
Much Ado About Nothing.
“ Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do
not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.
This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies
you are going to fight. ” — ( Joshua 10:25).
under way for a
major talent quest
in Greymouth to
raise funds for the Civic Centre project. It is
hoped to stage the contest over six consecutive
Sunday nights, commencing after Easter.
Confirming this today, Civic Centre organiser
Mr J Beban said it was planned to advertise the
contest in all leading South Island newspapers
to attract the best possible entries.
The contest will be open to anyone with
entertaining ability including singers,
musicians, magicians, jugglers, acrobats and
comedians. “Although it will be open to
performers throughout the country, we would
like to see as many West Coasters as possible
entered,” said Mr Beban. “ This could be their
big chance. ”
Fifteen-year-old Sally Flynn was the
dominationg figure at Saturday ’s West Coast
athtetic championships conducted at the War
Memorial Park Greymouth. Miss Flynn won
every event in the junior women’s section and
bettered three West Coast records.
Regarded as one of the favourites for a
New Zealand javelin title, Sally lived up to
expectations in her specialised event to again
win both senior and junior women’s titles and
set new marks.
Catholics at Masses throughout the district
were told yesterday of changes in ceremonies
of Mass which will come into effect in most
countries of the world next Sunday, the first
Sunday in Lent.
These changes are the consequences of the
Vatican Council which began its deliberations
in Rome during 1962 and is scheduled to hold
its fourth and final session later this year.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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03 755 8422
he lakeside drive from
Queenstown to Glenorchy
lives up to its billing as one
of New Zealand’s most
scenic roads — it just gets
better at every bend as the
north Wakatipu basin reveals itself.
Cradled in this beauty is Glenorchy,
population 250, its road’s-end location
helping to keep tourism numbers in check
for most of the year. Just 45 minutes’ drive
but a world apart from Q ueenstown’s
bustle, it is the gateway to the Routeburn
Track, Mt Aspiring National Park — and,
as the sign says, to Paradise, a dot on the
map in a wilderness valley which provided
locations for The Lord of the Rings, The
Hobbit and Top of the Lake.
Increasingly, the road to Glenorchy is
paved with the rates of foreign investors
who have snapped up properties along the
route. Just outside town is Wyuna Preser ve,
a gated subdivision of 34 lots where 2ha
sections are going for $2 million. About
a third have sold to date — all to foreign
Among them are Americans Paul and
Debbi Brainerd, whose fortune stems from
his pioneering development of Pagemaker
desktop publishing software in the 1980s.
Since selling the business to Adobe in the
early 1990s, the couple have used their
wealth largely for philanthropy.
But their plans for Glenorchy, however
well-meaning, have run into a wall of
A year ago, they bought the run-down
Glenorchy campground and general store,
closed them, and sent bulldozers in to clear
the cabins. Then they bought surrounding
land. There was talk of a conference centre
but locals were more concerned by the loss
of the campground over summer where
New Zealanders and foreign backpackers
paid $12 a night for a tent site.
Then plans evolved into a three-
phase redevelopment: an eco-friendly
campground with space for camper vans;
replacing the camp store with a one-stop
shop selling food and gifts, an information
centre, cafe, meeting room and artists
studio; and comfortable cabins and cottages
with a massage facility for more well-heeled
visitors. The couple say all profits will
be distributed by a trust for community
purposes such as education and healthcare.
The development is expected to add about
200 beds to the town’s capacity — but some
accommodation and hospitality operators
fear it will put them out of business.
The campground sits near the entrance
to town on the main road. The town centre
is off the main drag on Mull Street. Some
businesses fear visitors will not venture
beyond the new ‘marketplace’ development.
Especially now the Brainerds want to
redesign the town entrance.
“A group of us have concerns it will
move the centre of town,” says opposition
ringleader Niki Gladding. “And do we need
Gladding lives just outside town in a
corrugated iron house as rustic as the
surroundings. When she arrived from
Auckland 13 years ago, you could buy a
section for $40,000, she says. “Most New
Zealanders can’t afford to live in Wyuna
“I didn’t think foreigners could come in
and buy so much land — the campground
is now the same size as the commercial
centre. The rules for foreign investment are
She concedes more locals support the
development than oppose it.
“A lot of small towns would love to
have someone coming in and building a
nice asset,” says community association
chairman Pete Reid. He says the foreign
investments on the town’s doorstep -
Blanket Bay Lodge, Aro Ha retreat and
Wyuna Preser ve — have created many jobs.
“The campground is going to be another
thing that attracts good types of people
who will come and stay.”
This is the village that famously fought
progress in the form of a proposed bus
tunnel near the Routeburn, under the
Humboldt mountains to Milford Sound.
It would have meant 80 busloads of
tourists passing through each day, with
economic spinoffs if they stopped for a
drink, a feed and souvenirs, or a jetboat
ride. But Glenorchians did not want their
The campground project has split the
unity forged over the tunnel.
“It ’s sad that wealthy Americans can come
into tiny Glenorchy and split the town in
half,” says Charles Cramp, co-owner of The
Gallery Cafe on Mull Street. “It has got
John Glover, who runs Glenorchy Lake
House and Kinloch L odge, fears the
new accommodation provider will not
be competing on level terms. With the
Brainerds bankrolling the development, it
could undercut competitors if costs such
as insurance and rent are discounted,
Paul Brainerd says prices will compare
to Q ueenstown rates. “He wants to make
a profit for his family; we want to make a
profit for the community as a whole.”
Supporters, who claim the backing of
the silent majority, say it ’s rubbish that the
town is divided.
“About half a dozen people are anti
it,” says Graham D unstan, who owns
Glenorchy Lodge on Mull Street. “ The
person leading it is a bloody foreigner as
well — she is from Auckland.
“I grew up in Q ueenstown and I’m not
considered a local.”
It is just that critics keep finding fresh
ammunition — sometimes with the
Brainerds’ help. When Gladding wrote
to the Overseas Investment Office, it
transpired that some of the land purchases
needed OIO approval — which the
Brainerds had failed to seek. The couple
say it was an oversight by their lawyer and
consent was needed only on a technicality.
In September, retrospective approval was
sought. A decision is awaited.
There has been other wrangling over
walkways, height, density restrictions, a new
sewage scheme ...
“I think it ’s the American thing,” says one
local who will not be named. “ They think
they can just march into town and buy
This may seem nothing more than
an overheated parish pump row. But
Glenorchy is the kind of place most people
like to think they could still stumble upon
— sitting on the edge of a tourism mecca,
resisting change. The main street reflects
a growing tourism reliance — cafes, a
hotel, gift shop, museum, a couple of tour
operators, a garage that doubles as a post
office — but you could throw a blanket
over the lot. Unpretentious holiday homes
and baches on unfenced sections fill
But most businesses are enjoying a steady
rise in visitor numbers and, with foreign
investors at the gate, how long can it
“Welove this town as it is — we don’t
want to become another Queenstown,”
Gladding says. “I don’t mind a bit of foreign
investment but it gets to the point where it
starts to change the culture of the town.”
The Brainerds may be the bridgehead
of inevitable change but there is one key
twist: they are not in it for the money. Their
philanthropic track record includes projects
which strengthen communities and an
environmental learning centre near Seattle.
Since arriving at Wyuna, Paul Brainerd has
helped bring fast broadband to the town
and provided iPads to the school.
The planned development is laden with
self-sufficient and eco-friendly features:
solar panels for energy, ‘healthy’ buildings,
water storage, car-free zones, a community
garden ... “ We like to invest where there is
some kind of need,” she says.
The couple accept that, being both
wealthy and foreign, they are up against it.
But they are taken aback by the hostility of
“a small minority”.
Support seems to have grown since the
Brainerds reopened the general store on
January 1, selling Italian gelato, fresh fruit
and vegies, eco-cosmetics, luxury items —
and Vogel’s bread. “ We haven’t had these
things before,” one local explains. “It ’s
Gladding retorts: “They stock a whole
bunch of stuff that people don’t need. I
came here to get away from all that excess.
People don’t come here to see a slice of
Dunstan won’t have a bar of it.
“Glenorchy’s the best one-day drive in the
world and it will remain so. It ’s not going to
Dedicated environmentalists Paul and
Debbi Brainerd spent years visiting New
Zealand before settling on Lake Wakatipu.
The philanthropists purchased at Wyuna
Preser ve, an exclusive subdivision outside
Glenorchy car ved out of Wyuna Station, a
former Crown pastoral lease.
Wyuna was acquired by retired American
businessman Tom Tusher — developer of
world-renowned Blanket Bay Lodge on the
lake edge — over several years, at first as
minority shareholder in a joint venture with
Queenstown developer John Darby.
Tusher, the former chief executive of Levi
Strauss, later bought Darby out and put
the 12,500ha station — much of it steep,
marginal land — through tenure review,
paying the Crown $1.5 million for freehold
title to 2900ha, with the Crown resuming
9500ha for conservation purposes.
The deal allowed Tusher to develop
Wyuna Preserve, covering 180ha on
the lower slopes. Marketing stresses the
magnificent views of the lake, Dart River
valley and the Humboldt Range. Section
sizes in the 34-lot subdivision range from
1.7ha to 3.5ha. About 12 have sold for
prices from $1.25m to $2.45m — all to
buyers from the United States, Britain,
Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland and
The Aro Ha health and wellness retreat
at the southern end has quickly established
itself as a luxury retreat. High-spec homes
are being built on other sections in the
gated community. Residents share a
“clubhouse”, g ym and spa and a small lake
created for fishing and kayaking. Extensive
native plantings promise privacy and restore
Glenorchy locals say while exclusive,
Wyuna has created work. Most owners
guard their privacy but some drop in to
Glenorchy for supplies.
Strangers in paradise
In this article on foreign investment in the South Island high country, GEOFF CUMMING of
the New Zealand Herald visits a scenic lakeside town that has been confronted by change.
Plans to bring changes to Glenorchy have pitted locals led by Niki Gladding, pictured above, against American philanthropists
Debbi and Paul Brainerd, below.
Lake Wakatipu towards the settlement of Glenorchy.
Tintin’s latest adventure is taking him to
Sotheby’s and Christie’s in Paris this month,
as booming prices for comic books attract the
attention of ultra-rich collectors.
Both auction houses have organised major
sales of comic and graphic novel items in the
French capital this month that are expected to
rake in millions.
It is the first time Sotheby’s is entering
the world of comics, after Christie’s held an
auction last April that raised more than
That was followed in May by a record-
breaking single sale — an original 1937 Tintin
book that went for $3.84m by French auction
Sotheby’s will put 288 books, storyboards
and drawings up for sale on Saturday,
including around 50 signed by Tintin
One of his drawings from 1938 is valued
between $635,000 and $790,000.
Christie’s holds its sale a week later, with 446
works on offer, including 10 Tintin originals
with a total value estimated at $2.2m.
“ Tintin is part of history,” said Eric Leroy,
an comics expert at Artcurial, who said the
Belgian cartoonist ’s value will not be dropping
any time soon because “it is becoming very
difficult to find good quality drawings by
Herge today ”.
Other major items at the auction include an
original cover and storyboard of Asterix
and Obelix, each valued at more than
Cartoons for film posters are also expected
to garner attention, with one for 1980s Alain
Resnais classic My American Uncle by artist
Enki Bilal valued at up to $110,000.
For now, most attention comes from buyers
in French-speaking countries — up to 90%
— since sales rely on a heavy dose of nostalgia,
said Leroy. —
Tintin to go under the hammer
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