We live in an amazing part of the world. Queenstown's natural capital has been augmented over time by innovative and inspirational people, who had the courage and creativity to challenge the accepted norms.
Through their ideas and innovations, their investments and involvements, they have set the foundations for the future, created an environment which sees tourists flock from all corners of the globe in ever-increasing numbers to experience what our backyard has to offer.
This vibrant atmosphere is underpinned by a wonderful and often selfless community spirit.
This spirit belies the often publicised excesses and overt enjoyments that may be seen to threaten our reputation and pigeonhole us as a destination for rabidly partying backpackers or snobby elitists.
Our uniqueness breeds a richness of diversity, making Queenstown one of very few places so many different segments of society co-exist in relative harmony.
Creating a true melting pot of cultures, a global village, a veritable contradiction of complexity and vibrancy, adding to what makes this the greatest place on earth.
On the other side of the ledger we have severe challenges which threaten to derail us and are slowly squeezing the lifeblood from our region.
The very clarity of vision and boldness shown by the individuals and businesses that have driven our development as a world-class resort have been glaringly missing by our political leadership in recent years.
While we have many groups of inspiring and engaged people with vision, in practice we have no official vision.
Our council has been like a one-legged duck circling the pond aimlessly for over a decade, a possum in the headlights of growth - frozen in fear and inactivity.
They're squabbling over irrelevancies - like over road names - instead of building world-class infrastructure and making the bold choices our entrepreneurs are known for.
We have no clear political vision, nothing to manage growth in a way which creates a future that respects and represents all of the equally important groups of people that make up the mosaic of the Wakatipu.
Our transport strategy is laughable and highlights the complete lack of a vision for our future which is being propagated at all levels of public office.
It's not a council's job to build houses, create jobs, fund events and meddle with the private endeavour of individuals.
It does, however, need to show leadership to pull together the vision of its community into a cohesive and clear plan, setting the background conditions for our amazing people to create a wonderful future for Queenstown.
As much as some of our councillors are bloody good, hard-working community-minded individuals, as a group they have failed.
We can no longer afford to have meek and rudderless leadership.
I'm excited by the prospect of Jim Boult potentially running for mayor but he needs the support of other inspirational and visionary leaders to form a strong, united council and release the shackles of feebleness to lead us forward.
We need to get shit done before we kill our golden egg-laying goose.
Mark writes a regular column for the Mountain Scene to view the original click HERE
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