Group wants to film bike park users

A company wanting to station photographers at various points in the Queenstown Bike Park within the Ben Lomond Forest has sought permission from the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Yesterday, the council heard trail users were split between those who supported the idea and those who did not.

Dan Egerton, of APL Property Ltd, prepared a report on behalf of Sports Cameras Ltd which outlined the proposal and the concerns.

"The operation will involve a single staff member positioning himself at predetermined locations within the forest at various times of the day where they will take photographs and videos of people riding within the park," Mr Egerton said in the report.

The photographs would then be available to purchase. A small kiosk would be set up and it was noted there could be an issue around whether a commercial kiosk would impede on the public's enjoyment of the reserve.

Concerns had also been raised about the photographer being a distraction for riders and the subsequent potential for accidents to occur.

"There is also the issue that members of the public should be able to reasonably expect that they should be able to have the free and unimpeded enjoyment of a recreation reserve. Having a photographer taking photographs unexpected, unrequested and at will is a limitation of that."

When considering the Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill Reserve management plan, Mr Egerton said the main discussion point was whether the proposal was "necessary to enable the public to obtain the benefit and enjoyment of the reserve or for the convenience of the persons using the reserve".

"It is unlikely that this proposal could in any way be considered necessary, however, it could be construed that the proposal is for the convenience of persons using the reserve," Mr Egerton said.

Councillors agreed the proposal should be discussed with the Queenstown Bike Park Users' Group and, pending the results of the consultation, could be discussed again by councillors.