Remarkables Park Ltd co-director Alastair Porter addresses
Queenstown Lakes district councillors yesterday. Photos by
Blair Pattinson/Rapa Images.
As the Queenstown Lakes District Council voted
unanimously yesterday to keep the dream of a convention centre
for the CBD alive, a private developer vowed to lodge consent
for a competing centre in Frankton by year's end.
Remarkables Park co-director Alastair Porter yesterday
announced plans to build a convention centre at Remarkables
Park in Frankton, on the eve of a decision by the Queenstown
Lakes District Council whether to go ahead with a $50 million
proposal on the Lakeview site.
Councillors yesterday voted in support of the Lakeview
convention centre proposal, resolving the council would lead
the development, subject to Government funding and the
council approving a master plan, business plan and a
preferred rating model to fund the council's contribution.
Mr Porter, speaking during the public forum before the
meeting, insisted Frankton was the best place for a centre.
He claimed he would have ''no problem with competing with any
other convention centre, including one based in the CBD''.
He informed the council he hoped a resource consent
application for his centre would be lodged by the end of the
year. Construction could start next year, for opening in
He said he hoped the council would not oppose his
He was questioned by the Otago Daily Times on Monday
night about why he released a media statement at 4.51pm the
day before the 1pm meeting. He said he only realised last
week it was a do-or-die meeting.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden during yesterday's
special council meeting.
Yesterday, he was again questioned about the timing, this
time by Wanaka ward councillor Leigh Overton, Mr Porter saying
his statement was not released earlier because he had also been
distracted by the America's Cup on TV over the weekend.
Mr Porter has said he advised the council in January he
intended to go ahead with plans for a Remarkables Park
convention centre. Yesterday, the Otago Daily Times
reported Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden as saying Mr
Porter had not mentioned his centre plans to her or the
council since January.
Councillors were not swayed by Mr Porter's assertions he had
the money, interested third parties and the fully zoned land
and were, instead, adamant to advance a centre in Queenstown.
Wanaka ward councillor Jude Battson referred to Frankton as
being a bronze level site for a convention centre, whereas
Queenstown was gold.
After each councillor spoke supporting the recommendation, Ms
van Uden said it was important to remember an unconditional
commitment was not being given but rather a ''milestone along
the path''. Yesterday's decision would not ''burden'' the
Council staff have now been directed to provide the council
with a master plan for the Lakeview site and undertake a
ratings impact analysis by the end of November.
The ''worst-case cost estimate'' would amount to about $145
per ratepayer, but the report noted ''very little detailed
work has been done on rating options''.
The council has previously announced SkyCity Entertainment
Group as the preferred operator, but no decisions about the
operator were made at yesterday's meeting.