Queenstown developer Alastair Porter says there was no reason
why his company could not have reached an agreement with
neighbour Queenstown Airport over the location of a new air
park, but the agreement would have been a compromise.
The co-director of Remarkables Park Ltd was cross-examined in
the Environment Court on the first day yesterday of the
hearing about the notice of requirement lodged by the
Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) to alter the existing
The notice involves the airport's proposal ''of national
significance'' to move the precinct for fixed-wing aircraft,
helicopters and corporate jets from its existing site
southwest of the runway to a larger southeast greenfield site
of 19ha, designated ''Lot 6''.
The lot is a portion of the 150ha owned and being developed
into a town centre by Remarkables Park, which maintains the
airport does not need the land and wants the notice of
requirement cancelled by the court.
Judge Jane Borthwick and commissioners David Bunting and Ross
Dunlop are hearing evidence this week on whether QAC
consulted with Remarkables Park over the acquisition of Lot
Judge Borthwick and commissioners are also presiding over the
Environment Court hearing about land zoning on the Frankton
Agreements over land swaps between the two parties were
Remarkables Park counsel Royden Somerville, of Dunedin, told
the court QAC did not assess its own non-designated land for
some, or all aviation park services, before looking at
private land and going through the notice of requirement
Land to the north of the runway was acquired for airport
purposes, Dr Somerville said.
QAC ''ignored'' its contractural commitments to Remarkables
Park in its notice documents.
Remarkables Park expected Lot 6 to be a ''buffer zone''
between the airport and activities in the park which would be
sensitive to aircraft noise.
The company set aside the 19ha for recreational pursuits,
such as golf, or agricultural use.
If the court declines to cancel the notice, Dr Somerville
asked for an adjournment so the parties could mediate an
QAC counsel Matthew Casey, of Auckland, drew Mr Porter's
attention to a clause in a crosswind runway relocation deal
which provided for the future variation of the airport layout
to be agreed by all parties.
Mr Porter said Remarkables Park always acted in good faith
and approached QAC on every occasion.
''In every other incident since 1997 we have managed to find
a negotiated agreement and we haven't achieved an agreement
here,'' Mr Porter told the court.
Frankton residents, particularly those living in Douglas St
near the existing precinct, welcomed the move at an
information evening about aircraft noise mitigation packages
held by airport managers last week.
The hearing in Queenstown, with Air New Zealand and the
Queenstown Lakes District Council also represented, is
scheduled to continue this week.