Growth puts pressure on

Changes to the Local Government Act and ''almost unparalleled'' growth in the Queenstown Lakes district have made a review of three council-controlled organisations more pressing, the district's mayor says.

Vanessa van Uden yesterday confirmed a comprehensive operations review would be undertaken from January 27. Staff were advised yesterday.

The population over the next 15 years is predicted to more than double the average daily figure of 35,000 and the peak daily population of 68,000, she said, and the council had a responsibility to provide a range of services at the least possible cost to ratepayers.

The review terms of reference state an objective ''to ensure that QLDC has the right people, in the right places and right numbers, with the right skills and experiences, and supported by the right organisational structure, who are focused on the right activities''.

The council's new chief executive, Adam Feeley, told last week's Destination Queenstown quarterly update the council needed to ''go back to basics'' to determine what the right particulars were.

The review would comprise three components:

organisational reviews of QLDC activities, and of Lakes Environmental, plus a review of the corporate and support services of Lakes Leisure.

The operational services of Lakes Leisure and the Queenstown Airport Corporation are excluded from review.

The review's primary focus includes infrastructure services, communications, regulatory services, such as consents, parking, liquor licensing and libraries. It will also look at secondary issues: community housing, toilets, cemeteries, forestry, waterways and district promotion. A property management review will be a separate chief executive project.

The review team comprises Peter Winder (chairman), Shirley Flaherty (project director and reviewer) along with John Kyle, Warren Warfield and Mike West (reviewers).

In March the Government announced its intention to alter the legislative framework under which councils operate.

Ms van Uden said the purpose of local government ''and the scope of core services have been fundamentally changed'' and the council needed to ensure its activities matched expectations under new law.

The review was a clear expectation for Mr Feeley, who started as chief executive in October, Ms van Uden said.