The Queenstown Lakes District Council will consider whether
to accommodate its holiday park managers for a longer stay at
a hearing this week.
A proposal to grant private camp operator Council Camps
Revitalised Ltd (CCR) minimum 15-year leases over Wanaka Lake
View, Glendhu Bay Lakeside, Queenstown Lake View and
Arrowtown Born of Gold holiday parks has attracted mostly
CCR, comprised of experienced holiday park operators Erna and
Antonius Spijkerbosch, of Queenstown, and Agerta Hofsteenge
and Rudolf Sanders, of Wanaka, was awarded a three-year
management contract by the council in November which included
an option to negotiate a long-term lease.
Mr Sanders said at the time the company directors had ''great
plans'' for developing the camping grounds but making any
major capital investment under the three-year contract would
be too risky.
In April, the council resolved to proceed with long-term
lease negotiations to ''improve the return to the ratepayers
and reduce potential future liabilities'' and to consult
publicly on the proposal.
The long-term lease period would be 15 years or longer,
during which time CCR could lease the land and buildings in
return for an annual rental fee.
It is also proposed the council sell the parks' business
component, including equipment and chattels, to the operator.
Eight of the 10 submissions received by the council supported
the proposal, although some advised caution.
Nigel Sadlier said effective long-term management of the
camping grounds would require the ability to control or
restrict non-guest access and the council should therefore
carefully consider the reserve status of the land in relation
to the safety and security of paying guests.
Wanaka couple Stuart and Coleen Landsborough supported
long-term leases provided the council could protect the
standard of the camps' facilities.
''These campgrounds should not operate as anything else but
campgrounds and should be kept as 'Kiwi Park' and/or `Holiday
Park' standard to keep them as affordable as possible,
especially for New Zealanders on holiday.''
Jacksons Fruit Ltd, owner of the freehold of the competing
Wanaka Top 10 Holiday Park, gave support to the proposal,
subject to strict lease terms which would ensure ''full
transparency applies and that ratepayers can not be unfairly
disadvantaged in the future''.
CCR's current lease had been ''relatively short'' and the
council should consider whether it was too soon to enter into
a long-term contract, as well as the appropriateness of
having all parks under one operator, Jacksons Fruit director
Russell Ibbotson said.
Diana Cocks, of Wanaka, said the parks in Queenstown and
Wanaka had been ''allowed to languish'', as insufficient
council funds had been spent on improvements.
In less than a year, CCR had proved it was capable of
revitalising the parks, but the current short-term
arrangement did not encourage development of the businesses
to their full potential.
A lease of at least 25 years should apply, Mrs Cocks said.
Lesley Anderson believed a long-term lease would benefit only
the parks' operator, not ratepayers, particularly at the
Glendhu Bay camp where the reserve extended to the lake edge.
''What of the Queen's Chain and the rights of ratepayers to
be allowed to access the lake shore? ... Although there is a
small area for day visitors at Glendhu Bay, the nicest part
of the bay is taken over by the campground. And are day
visitors allowed there? I have heard otherwise.''
Graham Dickson, of Wanaka, said the proposal was contrary to
the purpose of the Reserves Act, the purpose of which was to
provide recreational opportunities, not income for the
He, too, had concerns about the public losing access rights
to reserves where the parks were located.
A hearing on the camping ground lease proposal will take
place in Wanaka this Thursday.