Wanaka demands its fair share

Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

Submissions on the draft Ten Year Plan

An overwhelming number of submissions received by the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) reflected what a lot of Wanaka residents have been saying for quite some time, “we want our fair share of rates spent in Wanaka.”

A total of 586 submissions were received with around 290 submissions from the Wanaka Ward.

There were at least 62 submitters who thought allocation of funding between Queenstown and Wanaka was disproportionate and unfair and needed to be addressed.

There was overwhelming support for the development of a Wanaka Masterplan in 2018 with around 250 submitters, including some from Queenstown, in support.

Many of the Wanaka submitters wanted safe local cycleways for their children travelling to school and felt that there should be an underpass or overpass on SH84 to make it safer for children to get to the proposed new primary school at Three Parks.

Others said waiting four years to start building Wanaka cycleways as opposed to 2018 in Queenstown was unfair.

Distribution of resources was of a major concern to submitters and in particular, the $23.5m allocated for Queenstown active transport versus $1.5m in Wanaka.

Ten submitters felt that Lake Wanaka Tourism (LWT) had become ineffective. In their submissions, it said, “due to the massive growth in tourism worldwide, LWT is having less of an influence on the number of tourists coming to the region. Of specific concern is that LWT clearly has little influence on the type of visitor that is coming to the region given the declining average night stay.”

They submitted that LWT funding should be put into tourism infrastructure instead.

“The community has already raised concerns at the minimal number of tourism-related infrastructure projects in the 10 Year Plan,” the submission said.

Richard Burdon said the region was facing enormous growth and development pressures and the focus for the next ten years needed to ensure sustainability and being aware of the environment.

He noted a huge number of issues that required upgrading including improved parking across the district, infrastructure upgrades, and many roading issues to meet the proposed 150,000 district-wide peak population projected for 2028.

  •   •  Full submissions and a summary can be found online here

One couple cited roading and the number of new subdivisions being built in Wanaka as being an issue. Others raised concerns about Aubrey Road, Anderson Road roundabout, Ballantyne Road and congestion and parking issues in the CBD. Speed limit zones were also high on the agenda for some submitters.

Steve Hanrahan of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) said council’s planning needed to consider the needs of visitors and residents so that the community can reap the benefits of the visitor economy.

“Tourism growth presents both challenges and opportunities. The visitor economy is a major driver of regional prosperity but the costs and benefits of increased tourism do not always fall evenly. Any form of national or local tourism tax or levy must be fair, efficient and ring-fenced for tourism-related investments,” Steve said.

He said TIA successfully advocated for the Tourism Infrastructure Fund resulting in a $100m fund for local and mixed-use infrastructure and encouraged QLDC to apply to the fund for projects like new carparks, toilets, and visitor facilities and ensure the Long-term Plan accurately reflects the infrastructure needs of tourism.

Clayton Fraser submitted that the timeframe for allocation of funds for Cardrona’s wastewater treatment scheme need to be moved forward.

“The township needs a solution now, not in seven years. The council promised a solution in 2013 following the norovirus outbreak and this was scheduled to be completed by now.”

Around ten submitters held the same view.

QLDC Mayor Jim Boult thanked everyone who took the time to get involved in this important process.

“We’ve received some really thoughtful feedback from every part of our district which is great and assists us in deliberating and finalising our bold plan for the future.”

“It’s encouraging to see the level of support for the programmes proposed in this draft plan. It’s a credit to the significant time and effort that has been invested by elected members and QLDC officers in understanding the communities’ needs and reflecting them in an unprecedented ambitious plan for the district,” said Mayor Boult.

With regard to submitters comments that rate spend was biased towards Queenstown, a council spokesperson said, “ In terms of rates spend, the council has clearly defined policies that confirm how capital projects and services are funded, and where that funding comes from. This details the primary principle that Wakatipu developments and services are funded from within the Wakatipu Ward and Upper Clutha developments and services and funded from within the Wanaka Ward.

Details of the Revenue & Funding Policy and the Rates & Charges for 2018/2019 are available [online] in Volume 2 of the draft Ten Year Plan 2018-28.”

Submission hearings are scheduled for May 15-16 with councillors deliberations to follow on May 18.

A final Ten Year Plan will be adopted by the council at its meeting on June 28.

  •   •  Full submissions and a summary can be found online here

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