Coastguard site relies on public support

Boat launching area at Eely Point, Wanaka. Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

Coastguard Wanaka Lakes is hoping that it will be granted its new home at Eely Point following a period of public feedback on the reserve’s future.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has opened up the draft of its Eely Point recreational reserve development report, which currently only lists the Coastguard as a possible facility on the site, to feedback from the public.

Coastguard Wanaka Lakes president Jonathan Walmisley said the team “totally acknowledged” the consultation process and hoped the public would support the idea of a facility at Eely Point.

“To date, we have had really good support from members of the community and the likes of the Upper Clutha Environmental Society. We’re hoping that the support continues, otherwise we’re back to the drawing board and we’ve wasted the vast sum of money which we raised through raffles etc. to get us to this point,” Jonathan said.

Coastguard currently has a rescue boat operating on an informal basis from a building on the A&P Showgrounds but has been on the hunt for a new location for more than a year.

When Coastguard first approached QLDC about a new site last November, nine sites were looked at, all of which were discounted for various reasons, including a site on Riverbank Road for contaminated ground and the marina site because it was too busy.

“For operational reasons, i.e. the speed of deployment, a site on the east side of Roys Bay is preferred because we don’t have to cross the town, which in the summertime can take us ages,” Jonathan said.

Since Eely Point was selected as Coastguard’s preferred site late last year a design, landscape report, traffic management report and a services report have been provided to QLDC, which decided in September that a decision couldn’t be made until the Eely Point review was complete.

Queenstown Lakes District harbourmaster Marty Black said the site was the logical place for the Coastguard facility and that it was needed sooner rather than later.

Property advisor for APL Property Ltd Dan Cruickshank said that Council appreciated Eely Point was Coastguard’s preferred site and had taken its guidance into account.

Public feedback closes at 5pm on Friday, January 19 and can be left online at QLDC’s website or emailed to services@qldc.govt.nz.

There are information displays about the draft report at Wanaka Library and QLDC’s Ardmore Street offices.

Cover image: Boat launching area at Eely Point,  Wanaka. Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun


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