Consultants are warning the Queenstown Lakes District
Council against pruning costs to the point where its proposed
convention centre becomes ''a box''.
Last week, the councillors voted 5-3 in favour of progressing
the council's convention centre. Opposed were Wanaka
councillors Calum MacLeod and Ella Lawton, along with
Wakatipu ward councillor Cath Gilmour.
In favour were Wakatipu councillors Alexa Forbes, Craig
Ferguson, Merv Aoake, Arrowtown's Lex Perkins and Wanaka's
Absent from that meeting were Mel Gazzard and Simon
The issue of costs was discussed at the meeting and chief
executive Adam Feeley said there were several options open to
the council to manage costs. One was to stage development,
another was to look at ''value management'' by removing some
of the ''nice to haves''.
Last Friday, Mr Feeley said he met consultants, including
quantity surveyors, representatives of a convention company
and members of the design team, to discuss several matters,
including ''cost and scale''.
While it was possible to remove some design elements from the
proposed centre to lower the costs, there was a danger of
presenting ''the same proposition as ... Remarkables Park''.
''[The advice we've received is they] could not advise us to
take cost out in a way that we end up with a box.''
Remarkables Park Ltd co-director Alastair Porter lodged
consent for a conference centre at a Frankton site earlier
last week, submitting it could be processed on a non-notified
When asked, Mr Feeley said it did not have to be an
''either-or'' because the centres were likely to attract
''It [the RPL proposal] might be a smaller venue, it will
certainly be a different type of venue ... it's probably
unlikely that they would jointly operate.
''The reality is ... it's fundamental for us [the council] to
compete against a Cairns or a Darwin ... that we're of a
competitive standard to Auckland.
''I suspect with Lakeview going ahead RPL would be astute
enough to go out and find a bit of the market where we're not