The Queenstown Lakes District Council spent more than
$130,000 during the three-year arbitration process to come to
an agreement over Lakes Leisure's fast hydroslide.
Figures released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday,
following a request under the Local Government Official
Information and Meetings Act 1987, show the council spent
$137,348 on the matter from late 2009 to September 30 this
Of that, $105,492 was spent on legal and arbitration costs,
which peaked in the 2011-12 financial year, when $52,115 was
The remaining $31,856 was attributed to staff costs.
Project manager Ken Gousmett said staff costs were identified
on timesheets by project, "not by task for each project".
"The staff cost attributed to the fast slide arbitration is
salary and overheads, but is not an additional cost to
council as it is already budgeted in full," Mr Gousmett said.
The arbitration notice for the matter was filed in December
2009. However, preparation work began before that and those
costs had been included in figures released to the
The dispute over the safety of the fast hydroslide - one of
two included in the $18 million Alpine Aqualand development
at the Queenstown Events Centre - was resolved in a
public-excluded session of last month's full council meeting.
The slide was closed briefly in December 2008 after 69
patrons reported minor injuries, the majority caused by users
breaking safety rules.
After intermittent closures, it ceased operating in June 2009
after a woman suffered a concussion and shoulder injury while
The Department of Labour investigated the woman's complaint,
but decided in November 2009 not to prosecute.
Following the conclusion of the arbitration - between the
council, on behalf of Lakes Leisure Ltd; Naylor Love, the
building company given the contract to construct the
hydroslide; and Timaru manufacturer Aeromarine Industries
Ltd, a subcontractor responsible for the design, building and
safe operation of the two hydroslides - the fast slide would
be modified to "cater to a wider demographic of users".
In 2009, the ODT quoted Mr Gousmett saying the slide
would be fixed at "no cost to the public, the council or
Alpine Aqualand" as it was under a full 12-month warranty.
However, when asked, Mr Gousmett said the council could not
confirm that was still the case.
"The question goes to the outcome of the arbitration which is
subject to confidentiality."
The council intended to have the fast hydroslide open for the
summer holidays, "we hope before Christmas".