A remarkable gift

Remarkables Station owners Jillian and Dick Jardine, pictured with trust chairman Bruce Wills ...
Remarkables Station owners Jillian and Dick Jardine, pictured with trust chairman Bruce Wills (left) and their dog, Geordie, are giving 900ha of the property to the QEII National Trust. PHOTOS: GUY WILLIAMS/SUPPLIED
The best farmers do not take from the land; they merely look after it — and, ideally, enhance it — then hand it on to somebody else to do the same thing.

In that spirit, the Jardine family of Queenstown is a shining light for others in the rural community.

Remarkables Station owners Jillian and Dick Jardine created quite the stir yesterday when they announced they were giving away almost all of their high country station.

Diego Maradona. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Diego Maradona. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Some 900 hectares of freehold land will be passed to the QEII National Trust in 2022, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Jardine family’s ownership of the land, and preserved in perpetuity, becoming the trust’s first working farm.

No subdivisions, no commercial developments, no more buildings on an area of pristine rural goodness. Just the protection of the area’s native biodeversity and, hopefully, more opportunities in the future for public access.

"Having QEII as the caretaker of this property gives us the comfort and assurance to proudly pass over this gift for all New Zealand to enjoy and appreciate," Mr Jardine said.

It is an extraordinary act of philanthropy, of selflessness, of concern for the future of an unspoiled treasure in New Zealand’s adventure playground.

There are enough fancy houses and commercial buildings and roads and golf courses in the Lakes district; how wonderful to see a local family recognise the benefit the community can gain from protecting a large patch of land from development.

The Jardines deserve our thanks.

AND ANOTHER THING

Worshipped in his native Argentina, idolised in Italy, deified in Spain, and loved around the world. Diego Maradona transcended the beautiful game, and his death from a heart attack yesterday at the age of 60 has united the football community in grief, and sent Argentina into three days of national mourning.

His charisma, class and sheer, mind-bending ability with the ball carved out a legacy matched only, perhaps, by the likes of Pele, Messi and Di Stefano.

The impish genius inspired Argentina to the 1986 World Cup, scoring one of the greatest individual goals in the sport’s history and earning a lifelong status in his home nation as "Pibe de Oro", or "Golden Boy".

Various scandals, including the "Hand of God" and drug busts, will never supplant memories of the magic he wove with a ball at his feet.

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