An architect's impression of the proposed Wanaka
Watersports Facility. Image supplied.
Another battle over buildings on Wanaka's lakefront is
looming, as those behind a proposed watersports facility step
up their campaign to garner public support.
The Wanaka Watersports Facility Trust, which wants to build a
420sq m facility for lake users in the southwestern corner of
Roys Bay, launched its fundraising ''Foundation Club'' in
Wanaka last night.
The trust is urging multisport athletes, swimmers, rowers and
recreational beach users to donate to the Foundation Club or
make submissions supporting the facility to the Queenstown
Lakes District Council's draft Wanaka lakefront reserves
However, objections to the building, which is expected to
cost between $750,000 and $1 million, are also being raised
through the plan's public consultation process, which closes
on June 6.
The chairman of the watersports trust, Michael Sidey, said
the Foundation Club aimed to raise $25,000 to pay for
professional services needed to progress the project such as
architects, planners and lawyers.
Trustees had contributed $7000 to start the fund.
He said Wanaka had produced champion multisport athletes,
Maadi Cup medallists and ''record-breaking'' lake swimmers,
yet there was no suitable lakeside facility for those people,
or for recreational beach users.
''This facility will ultimately have a positive flow-on
effect to the local economy; it supports Wanaka's growing
multisport destination industry.
''It's a big thing for Wanaka to try and build something
that's on the lake, we understand all that, so that's the
reason we're doing it the best we can and that's the reason
for the Foundation Club.''
The trust was formed last September after the Wanaka Rowing
Club tried unsuccessfully over several years to find a
suitable lakeside site to build a boat shed.
Eight different sites were considered and ultimately
rejected, in part because of opposition from lakefront
Some of those original objectors told the Otago Daily Times
yesterday they were submitting against the latest proposal,
including Lyall Shearer and Grant Proudfoot, of Timaru, who
both own properties in Mt Aspiring Rd.
Mr Shearer said while the watersports facility was no longer
proposed in front of his holiday home, he was still opposed
to ''built form'' on the lakefront.
Mr Proudfoot, a former Timaru Rowing Club secretary, agreed
no buildings should be allowed on the lakefront west of the
town centre to Glendhu Bay and any building close to
residential properties was ''a recipe for disaster'', as it
would always attract objections.
''Council should actually be getting someone completely
independent ... to suggest what the best sites would be,
without any axes to grind, if you like, or interests in the
Additionally, the sometimes shallow southwestern corner of
the bay was impractical for launching rowing boats and for
swimmers, there was potential for collisions with skiffs
piloted by rear-facing rowers.
The trust had ruled out building the complex near the Wanaka
Showgrounds because of the dangers of crossing the road,
particularly as Wanaka grew and traffic increased, Mr Sidey
An animation video of the
trust's planned facility created by Dunedin's Ian Taylor, of
Animation Research Ltd, was screened at last night's function
to ''show the reality of what we're trying to achieve and,
hopefully, assist the argument'', Mr Sidey said.