Waterfront plans disconcert businessman

Wanaka's wharf has a noticeable slump in the middle.
Wanaka's wharf has a noticeable slump in the middle.
Talk of a new wharf on Lake Wanaka extending out into the lake from the town's main street, Helwick St, is causing waves with the main commercial user of the town's existing wharf.

Simon Stewart would not disclose to the Otago Daily Times this week who was proposing the new wharf.

However, he believed the suggested location would be too shallow and too exposed to cross-winds.

Mr Stewart, owns Lake Wanaka Cruises, Lakeland Adventures and Clutha River Jet Boats and operates jetboats, kayaks and the large Dual Image cruise boat from the wharf area.

He also holds the lease on the ''log cabin'' building next to the wharf and is concerned its future might be in doubt when his lease expires in July 2017.

Mr Stewart said no-one had consulted him about plans for the wharf or for the log cabin, and that had made him ''somewhat suspicious''.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council had been planning to publicly notify its draft Wanaka Foreshore Management Plan last month. However, general manager operations Ruth Stokes amended that to March or April next year, partly because of the volume of suggestions from the public.

This week, Ms Stokes declined to reveal details of the suggestions.

''This informal feedback came in several forms and is being considered now, along with options for ways in which we could address some of the points that have been put forward.

Lake Wanaka Cruises owner Simon Stewart is concerned about the future of the wharf. Photos by Mark Price.
Lake Wanaka Cruises owner Simon Stewart is concerned about the future of the wharf. Photos by Mark Price.
''The next stage will be public notification of a draft management plan early next year, and at that stage we'll call for formal submissions.

''Those will be made public at the end of the submission process,'' Ms Stokes said.

Mr Stewart said his biggest concern would be if the wharf was taken away.

Although the piles were still in good repair, the deck needed upgrading and it was notvery ''user-friendly''.

He pointed out areas of his boat's hull that had been damaged as it washed or blew against the piles and one of his staff indicated loose fittings on the wharf, disused electrical cables and a gap in planking which he believed could injure a child.

The wharf has a noticeable slump in the middle.

It is submerged at times when the lake is high.

Mr Stewart said he could operate off the beach, without using a wharf, but it was difficult in windy conditions and the removal of trees left him with nothing to tie his boat to.

- mark.price@odt.co.nz