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In defence of Airbnb

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Last updated 05:00, November 19 2017

As many as 14 per cent of homes in the Queenstown district are listed as Airbnb properties, while longer term-rentals are in short supply.

OPINION: The first time I stayed in an Airbnb, I never wanted to book a hotel again. I find the bowing and scraping of service workers awkward, and resent paying through the nose for pointless fripperies. Besides being way cheaper, staying in someone's home is much more intimate.

Give me dog-eared paperbacks and old board games over sterile hotel decor any day, and a kitchen where I can cook my own food, rather than overpriced room service. There's something intimate about the whole peer-to-peer experience. It's like being at home, to the point where you sweep the floor and tidy up before you leave.

This new "sharing economy" feels like second nature to Kiwis, perhaps because we've been loaning baches to one another for yonks. These new online platforms have only made it easier, and more visible – to the point where the powers-that-be are threatening to spoil the fun.

Richard Meadows: Airbnb is part of a great democratising force, sweeping away the stagnant industry giants with their........

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