If the government won't do something about housing, then Queenstown mayor Jim Boult will – or at least, that's the plan. Peter Newport finds out how he proposes to fix the town's affordable housing crisis – now officially worse than Auckland's – and why he's calling on Wellington to loosen its iron grip on local government.
Martin Matthews has resigned as Auditor General on the back of a report into his actions – and inaction – during the three years that Joanne Harrison was committing fraud at the MOT. But if the report was so damning, why can't the public read it, asks Peter Newport.
The ever-deepening storm centred on the Harrison fraud case just became a mid-category hurricane. Yesterday's State Services Commission investigation report is likely to trigger a new chain of events that could extend well beyond embattled Auditor General Martin Matthews, writes Peter Newport
Each winter, cold houses in New Zealand cause the death of almost 1600 people, and hundreds of thousands more have their health and wellbeing severely curtailed. It's a national emergency, but the government agency tasked with addressing it has had its budget slashed to the bone. Cold comfort for freezing New Zealanders, writes Peter Newport.
Dunedin can sometimes seem like the neglected afterthought of New Zealand's main centres, unappreciated by all except those who choose to live there. Peter Newport reports on what's coming next for Dunedin after Cadbury shuts its doors.
The battle for New Zealand mobile network supremacy got a whole lot more interesting today, as Spark launched some cutting edge technology – in Queenstown. Peter Newport reports.
The fast-growing Southern Lakes district – Queenstown, Wanaka and surrounds – currently faces enormous challenges. But the bigger problem? The body in charge is three hours' drive away and seems reluctant to spend the money needed to fix them. Peter Newport explains how an upcoming by-election could become a referendum on the future of Otago.
Auditor General Martin Matthews has come under extra pressure to resign today as the State Services Commission launches a full, independent investigation into the treatment of whistle-blowers who tried to warn Matthews about fraudster Joanne Harrison. Peter Newport reports.
The story of government fraudster Joanne Harrison is one of almost unbelievable greed. But in many ways as shocking, writes Peter Newport, is how her boss, Martin Matthews, ignored the whistle-blowers – and allowed Harrison to exact her revenge.
It's survival of the fittest in the NZ tourism industry, where some regions struggle for visitors while our biggest hotspots can hardly cope – all while our GST-besotted government resolutely rejects a tourist tax to help fix the places worst affected by the visitor onslaught. Little wonder New Zealanders increasingly feel that tourism is getting away from them, writes Peter Newport.
Queenstown has some special systems and facilities to cope with billionaires, movie stars and VIP’s. But here’s our guide to Queenstown for the VVIPs – like the CIA director James Comey, FBI director Mike Pompeo, and other Five Eyes bigwigs expected in Queenstown this weekend.
Behind the affluent image of luxurious resorts and multi-million dollar homes, there is a another, far darker side to life in Queenstown. Peter Newport investigates the shocking state of the town's rental market, and what it means for those caught up in it.
Residents of rural towns are facing astronomical bills to support basic infrastructure. In Glenorchy, a mecca for film and tourism, they're mad as hell and not going to take it any more, writes Peter Newport.
Driving in Queenstown has become a kind of Russian roulette. Platitudes about 'education' won't cut it: we need a tourist licence requirement, and urgently, argues Peter Newport.
A small storm in Queenstown over some sewerage pipes on a new bridge points to how little we know about the vastly expensive infrastructure we pay for, writes Peter Newport.
This year thousands of people priced out of Auckland – or just looking to escape the big city rat race – will pack up and move to regions like the Queenstown Lakes District, where Peter Newport calls home. But if they're hoping to be welcomed with open arms, he says, they may just be in for a nasty shock.
It's a place with low wages, stratospheric property prices and housing stock that's often near-uninhabitable. Sound familiar? But this isn't Auckland - it's Queenstown, where the worst aspects of our growing economic inequality are writ large, as Peter Newport explains.