Advice heeded over sports steering group

Calum MacLeod.
Calum MacLeod.
Perception was ''actually more important than the reality'', Cr Cath Gilmour said during a discussion by the Queenstown Lakes District Council on whether to select a councillor as chairman for the steering group for the proposed Wanaka sports facility.

Ultimately, it came down to Mayor Vanessa van Uden's deciding vote after five councillors wanted Cr Calum MacLeod as chairman and the other five voted for community representative and existing chairman Duncan Good.

Cr Lyal Cocks said it was always the ''idea'' to have ''an independent person'' as chairman.

Cr Gilmour added it seemed ''to be accepted so far'' Mr Good was independent of the council, which was ''better for council''.

The councillors who would rather Cr MacLeod chair the group cited his popularity at the recent local government election and his passion for the $16.5 million project.

After announcing her decision to vote for Mr Good, Ms van Uden said it came down to perception.

''I think we need to be very careful about this being perceived as completely independent with no preconceived ideas.''

The other confirmed members of the group, which was established in 2011, are: community representative Jonathan Walmisley, Crs Calum MacLeod and Ella Lawton, council parks and commercial manager Mike Weaver, project manager Ant Beale, Wanaka Community Board representative Ross McRobie and Upper Clutha sports community representative Bronwyn Coers.