Mountain Scene has done a second article in a week attacking National candidate Todd Barclay, labelling him clueless because he couldn’t answer some questions in a quiz they gave him.
It’s fair enough to criticise him for his background, but this article is rather nasty and I think very unfair. The motivation seems to be pique that Barclay won the nomination over Queenstown local Mark Wilson – who is a columnist for Mountain Scene. That’s a rather big conflict of interest for Mountain Scene.
It is worth pointing out that unlike some parties, electorate decisions are made by local party members – not head office. Todd Barclay won because a majority of the 150 local delegates thought he was the best candidate.
Anyway let’s look at the quiz they gave him, that saw him labelled clueless, and I’d ask readers how many of them could do much better.
MOUNTAIN SCENE: Name the Queenstown knight who owns a controlling interest in NZ Ski.
TODD BARCLAY: “Ah, it’s not Sir Eion Edgar, is it?” (WRONG)
It’s Sir John Davies, but I had no idea about that. I guess this is known somewhat in Queenstown, but Clutha-Southland is not just Queenstown. Barclay is from Gore.
MS: Who owns Millbrook Resort?
BARCLAY: “No, I’m not sure.”
I stayed there a few weeks ago, and I don’t know the answer to that one. I know it is a Japanese man but could not name him – and doubt many people could.
MS: Name Queenstown Lakes District Council’s boss.
BARCLAY: “I don’t know the answer to that question – but I will find out. There are about eight or nine local bodies in the electorate and I don’t know who everybody is yet.”
I follow local body politics a lot. I can’t name the Wellington City Council CEO even though I have read about him a few times. How many people can name the local Council CEO?
MS: What’s the name of Lake Wakatipu’s famed steamship?
BARCLAY: “The Earnslaw.” (CORRECT)
MS: Who owns Shotover Jet?
BARCLAY: “No, I don’t know.”
Once I read the answer (Ngai Tahu) it rang a bell, but again how many people would know this?
MS: Name our local mayor.
BARCLAY: “Geddes, is it? I’m not sure, I’m sorry.” (WRONG)
Now on this one I do agree an MP should know the name of the local Mayors. But he’s been a candidate for around two days and the electorate includes eight territorial authorities (Waitaki, Queenstown-Lakes, Central Otago, Dunedin (possibly), Clutha, Southland, Gore and Invercargill).
MS: Name Queenstown’s two closest skifields.
BARCLAY: “Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.” (CORRECT)
MS: Who owns Queenstown’s two casinos?
BARCLAY: “SkyCity.” (CORRECT)
MS: Where’s Queenstown’s Hilton Hotel?
BARCLAY: “Just beside the Kawarau [Falls] Bridge.” (CORRECT)
MS: How many lanes does that bridge have?
BARCLAY: “One.” (CORRECT)
I don’t think the answers are at all clueless.