Simon and Danni Stewart say if Wanaka's distinctive ''log
cabin'' (at rear) is removed from the lakefront, as
proposed in the draft Wanaka Lakefront Reserves Management
Plan, it would destroy their business, which operates from
the building. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Losing Wanaka's distinctive ''log cabin'' building from
the lakefront would spell disaster for Simon Stewart's
business, he told the Wanaka Community Board yesterday.
Mr Stewart made an emotional plea to the board during its
public forum to leave the log cabin where it is, so his and
wife Danni's company Lakeland Adventures could continue its
The business runs recreational water activities from the log
cabin, which is owned by the couple.
However, their long-term lease of the reserve land on which
the building sits expires in mid-2017.
Under the Queenstown Lakes District Council's draft Wanaka
Lakefront Reserves Management Plan, now out for public
consultation, the council would investigate opportunities to
create more open space in the area opposite the town's retail
This would include removing commercial facilities from the
Roys Bay Reserve that could otherwise occupy non-reserve land
at the end of existing leases or licence terms.
The policy would directly impact the log cabin, which was
built in 1998. Other smaller buildings occupied the lakefront
site for many decades before that.
The Stewarts have owned the business for about nine years.
''I'm pleading. I want to continue there. History would
finish if there was not a supporting building for the
waterfront,'' Mr Stewart told the board.
''I'm a bit emotional about it ... I'm sorry. I need that
building there ... I have more to lose than any other person
being the only business on the foreshore. Can council just
cut me off at the knees?''
Lakeland Adventures has consent to continue operating beyond
the lease end date, but the Stewarts say the log cabin is
crucial to the business as dozens of kayaks, aqua bikes and
other water ''toys'' are stored in the building.
''If we lose that building, then I might as well pack up and
go and the only other options would be to sell most of the
business and run a few kayaks from trailers ...
"Does the council want that? I doubt that because I would be
going for the biggest truck and trailer I could manage and my
consents say I could.''
Board chairwoman Rachel Brown urged Mr Stewart to make a
submission on the draft plan, which he said he planned to do.
She stressed the plan was a ''working document'' still under
discussion and it was the board's challenge to engage the
public as much as possible.
QLDC general manager operations Ruth Stokes told the Otago
Daily Times it would not be appropriate to comment on Mr
Stewart's situation with the draft plan now under
''The consultation process gives everyone the opportunity to
put their views and concerns to the council,'' she said.
The consultation period was recently extended by a month to
June 6 with a hearing to follow.
The Lake Wanaka i-SITE Visitor Information Centre was also
based in the log cabin until it moved to larger premises late