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
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
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.