Assurance draft plan 'enabling'

The draft Wanaka lakefront reserves management plan will be an ''enabling'' rather than ''restrictive'' document, the Wanaka Community Board heard yesterday.

Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager operations Ruth Stokes fielded questions from board members regarding the plan as they weighed up whether to approve its draft version for public notification.

Cr Ella Lawton said more time was needed for board members to consider the plan before putting it out to the public as it was a ''really important document that we don't know a lot about''.

She queried how the plan would fit into the forthcoming district plan review and whether it would take precedence over the current district plan.

Mrs Stokes said the Reserves Act required all management plans to be continually reviewed and while the draft lakefront reserves management plan would provide clarity on whether various activities and facilities could occur on each reserve, they would still be subject to other regulations such as the district plan.

''The policies prevailing for each of the reserves are more enabling rather than restrictive,'' Mrs Stokes said.

''More a principle-based plan that gives you an idea of what you can expect to see happen on the reserve ... it doesn't nail it down in stone.''

Cr Calum MacLeod agreed with Cr Lawton that a document that was ''going to exist for decades'' should not be publicly notified until more discussion by the board.

''I'd rather make a good decision than a hasty decision,'' he said.

Mrs Stokes assured him the plan would not be notified as it was.

Amendments would be made first by board members at a workshop.

Cr Lyal Cocks said public input on the draft plan should not be further delayed.

''If we can give it in principle support for public notification after the workshop, I'd support that, because I'm just concerned this is going on and on ... we need to get on with it.''

Chairwoman Rachel Brown commended the authors of the draft plan - Parks and Recreation Infrastructure Consultants Ltd - for including an appendix of public suggestions for the plan and specifying which policies in the plan responded to each suggestion.

''That's really robust democracy,'' Ms Brown said.

The community board resolved to adopt the draft plan for public notification subject to amendments made at a board workshop, likely to be held on March 25, with final sign-off by Ms Brown and Mrs Stokes.

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz