Skifield book to be launched in winter

A short press release from the board of the Treble Cone Skifield yesterday afternoon appears to have headed off a stoush over the distribution of a book on the skifield's history.

Two thousand three hundred copies of the glossy hardback coffee-table book Treble Cone are sitting in a garage in Wanaka.

Former chairman of the company Nat Craig told the Otago Daily Times this week he believed board chairman John Darby had banned the book from being distributed.

The book was Mr Craig's ''brainchild'' and had taken eight years to produce at a cost of $80,000.

Mr Craig said he was ''perplexed'' about the reason why it was not being distributed.

However, yesterday's press release from Mr Darby's office, attributed to board member David Hogg, said the book would be released at a special media event this winter ''at a time to coincide with the ski area opening''.

''Considerable local interest in obtaining copies of the book suggests that a subsequent print run may be required.''

The book covers the 47-year history of the skifield.

It was written by former journalist Matt Conway and published by Wanaka photographer Gilbert van Reenen.

Before yesterday's board press release, Mr Craig said Mr Darby was facing ''shareholder unrest and potential legal action'' over his ''mysterious decision'' to ban the book.

He described the book as a company asset with ''tremendous value'' to the skifield which Mr Darby, ''although the majority shareholder, had no right to simply lock away''.

Mr Craig said legal action was a possibility and the Financial Markets Authority could be asked to investigate.

Mr Darby, a Queenstown developer, did not respond directly to ODT inquiries, but denied to Mountain Scene editor Ryan Keen he was blocking the book.

''We wouldn't spend $80,000 and block it. I find the whole thing a bit bizarre. It's not the case.

''This is a good example of someone acting on rumour and innuendo.''

Mr Darby said he had not seen the book but ''by all accounts'' it was ''wonderful''.

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