Labour floats plan to make Mount Cook ‘taller than Everest’

Labour believes New Zealand’s tallest mountain could stand to be a whole lot taller.

Labour believes New Zealand’s tallest mountain could stand to be a whole lot taller.

To coincide with the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Mount Everest, Labour has announced that if elected into power at the next general election, it will initiate a radical plan to make New Zealand’s tallest peak the world’s tallest.

Labour’s tourism spokesman Andrew Little revealed the plan at a hastily-called media conference at his New Plymouth electorate office, calling it “a very good idea indeed”.

“For nearly five years, this National government has stood by and let Aoraki/Mount Cook be humiliated by dozens of allegedly taller peaks,” Little said. “A Labour government will make sure this is one humiliation that New Zealand no longer has to… be humiliated by.”

Little said the target would be achieved by excavating a 5100 metre deep trench around Mount Cook’s base, which he illustrated with a sketch on a large piece of butcher paper.

While the plan would not increase the mountain’s height above sea level, it would increase its relative topographic prominence to 8854 metres, six metres greater than that of Mount Everest. Topographic prominence is the measure between its summit and the lowest contour line surrounding it, Little explained, noting that he learned this while browsing Wikipedia.

Little predicted the increase would draw “lots” of tourists to New Zealand, and would provide opportunities for local climbing enthusiasts, who would no longer have to go anywhere else because “there’d be no point. We’d have the best mountain.”

Little punctuated this point by writing “best mountain” in big capital letters on the butcher paper.

When asked about the environmental cost, Little admitted that the trench would destroy “an untold area of the local landscape,” but that this would be offset by the mountain’s new status as a natural wonder.

When asked about Labour’s plan, Tourism Minister John Key expressed scepticism.

“Yeah, well, I think it’ll be pretty obvious to most New Zealanders that it’s not a realistic option,” he said. “The country just can’t sustain the promotion an attraction that size requires, and we already have Ohakune’s giant carrot, and the big L&P bottle, and that big fish down south somewhere. Adding a big mountain to that, I just don’t think is within our means.”

Little said that in addition to creating the world’s tallest peak, the project would also create one of the world’s biggest artificial holes. However, he suggested that the country shouldn’t focus on this aspect.

“It might detract from Australia’s reputation as one of the world’s biggest holes,” he said.

Little then noted that this was a joke, and spent the next seventeen minutes explaining to reporters why it was funny.