Aspiring Campervan Park owner Richard Hutchison, with the
felled Queenstown Lakes District Council sign and his own
''illegal'' sign. Photo by Mark Price.
A Wanaka holiday park owner yesterday blasted the
Queenstown Lakes District Council over the time it took to fix
a felled signpost.
Richard Hutchison owns the Aspiring Campervan Park in
Studholme Rd and relies on the blue and white council-owned
sign to show tourists where to turn off Mt Aspiring Rd.
The sign was vandalised on New Year's Day, and Mr Hutchison
told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he contacted the
home of deputy mayor Lyal Cocks, who lives nearby.
Mr Hutchison said it took until yesterday morning for the
signpost to be re-erected.
Mr Cocks told the ODT when Mr Hutchison rang his home
he was at the Wanaka rodeo, but passed on the message to
council staff the following day.
The signpost was fixed yesterday - the first day of the new
''I did the best I could for him, and it was fixed first
thing Monday morning.''
Mr Hutchison said while he was waiting for the signpost to be
re-erected he placed his own sign at the intersection.
However, he was paid a visit by a council employee who told
him he was liable for a $20,000 fine.
Mr Hutchison said he believed the council was doing
''everything possible to put me out of business''.
Mr Cocks said the council was ''definitely not trying to shut
down any businesses''.
Mr Hutchison's sign did not comply with the district plan and
if he wanted the policy changed he needed to work through the
review of the plan, Mr Cocks said.
Mr Hutchison said in the 16 years he had been in business, he
had several times taken issue with the council over its
''crazy'' signage policies which he considered out of date
and out of step with the rest of the world.
He considered signs should have the names of accommodation
''Having no names is ridiculous.''
He described the generic blue and white signs as ''absolutely
ludicrous'' and ''tourist unfriendly''.
Mr Cocks said the debate over signs had gone on for years.
''If you go to Las Vegas, their rules are totally different
to ours. Does Wanaka want to be like Las Vegas?''Mr Cocks
said he could ''write a book'' on the debate that had taken
place over signage.