20 Mar 2017

Queenstown residents torn between Otago and Southland anniversaries

7:22 am on 20 March 2017

Today is Otago anniversary day, but after years of discussion Queenstown residents still don't know whether to observe the holiday or not.

Central Queenstown.

Central Queenstown. Photo: 123rf.com

Geographically wedged between Otago and Southland districts, efforts have been made in the past to come to a consensus about which anniversary to observe.

The tourist town is in the Otago district but, in the past, some businesses have observed Southland's anniversary, which was in April.

Queenstown Lakes District mayor Jim Boult said there was still no clear answer.

"This is an issue that has perplexed the town for the last 35 years ... and I regret to tell you we don't have a landing on it", said Mr Boult.

However, Pak'n'Save Queenstown owner Anthony King said direction from the council would help.

"There hasn't been any clear direction whether businesses or schools historically should follow Southland anniversary day or Otago anniversary day... so as a result there is no clear day which is Queenstown's anniversary", said Mr King.

"The effect on both employees and the community is that there isn't one day that a family can have off together."

To help solve some of the issues, Queenstown schools met last year and decided to observe Otago anniversary day.

Wakatipu High School principal, Steve Hall, said the problem the schools had was that some kids had one day off while others had another, forcing some parents to have to arrange childcare.

However, Downtown Queenstown town manager Steve Wilde said most businesses would be open regardless of what anniversary they observe.

"There is no such day as a holiday in Queenstown", said Mr Wilde.

Queenstown District mayor, Jim Boult, said he wanted the council to discuss the issue before next year's anniversary.

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