The Roys Bay Reserve is among the areas covered by Wanaka's
draft lakefront reserves management plan. Photo by Lucy
The authors of the draft Wanaka Lakefront reserves
management plan were advised to go back to the drawing board
''Weak'', ''too vague'' and showing ''preferential
treatment'' were some of the criticisms levelled at the plan
by submitters at a public hearing in Wanaka.
Of the 13 reserves covered by the plan, Roys Bay in the
Wanaka township - and more specifically a contentious
proposal for a lakefront watersports facility - dominated
Lakefront buildings are allowed in Roys Bay under the draft
plan, subject to the plan's main objectives and normal
resource consent processes.
John Coe said if the proposed plan was adopted, it would be
''particularly destructive'' for Roys Bay, one of New
Zealand's most photographed places.
''It's the start of the end for our waterfront.''
The plan had been ''hijacked'' by watersports facility
advocates who had done months of intensive campaigning, Mr
''To take an area of our town this important for what is
really a limited number of people, I don't think is really
fair or logical.
''Council's objective for the lakefront should be its
preservation in its natural state.''
Loris King said Wanaka was one of the few townships in New
Zealand where ''iconic views'' and the natural foreshore had
remained intact since the land was first settled in the
''It is lost forever if it is violated.''
Quentin Smith said the proposed watersports facility in the
southwestern corner of Roys Bay would be an ''outstanding
legacy'' for the town.
However, the management plan was ''weak'' on specific policy,
Mr Smith said.
''There is nothing in the plan that increases the certainty
of the club ... or even those that oppose the facility or the
land manager as to whether this club should or shouldn't be
allowed in this location.''
Roger Gardiner, speaking for the Wanaka Residents
Association, said there was a ''strong case to go back to the
drawing board'' on the plan's policies, which were ''too
general, too vague, too imprecise''.
The plan drafting process lacked transparency and it was
inappropriate to refer to the watersports club proposal in
the plan, he said.
''Why in the management plan should one interest group get
specific mention over any other? It smacks of preferential
Hearing panel chairwoman Rachel Brown stressed there had been
no ''favours or lobbies from any particular group'' and the
only time she had felt ''bullied'' regarding the plan was by
members of the residents association at a public forum.
Cr Calum MacLeod, also a member of the hearing panel, added
that there had been ''no intent to deceive'' in drafting the
Don Robertson, also representing the Hawea Community
Association and Guardians of Lake Hawea, said allowing the
watersports facility would be ''a case of a very proactive
minority overriding a silent majority'' and set a precedent
for future lakefront development.
A ''highly valuable piece of real estate'' would be lost to a
small group with ''entitleitis''.
Ms Brown said the existing plan set a precedent in 1991 by
allowing the Log Cabin building, yacht club and marina on
''The thin edge of the wedge has happened,'' Mr Robertson
''But let's not expand it ... there is a very strong feeling
that there are enough buildings in the reserves.''
The hearing continues today.