The Queenstown Lakes District Council has proposed the
development of 94 nose-in car parks along the Brownston St
frontage (pictured) of Pembroke Park, in Wanaka. This would
require using some of the reserve land. Photo by Lucy
Loris King explains that the latest proposals to encroach
on Wanaka's Pembroke Park is one in a long line of such
Sadly, Pembroke Park in Wanaka is in the news again.
For many new residents now residing in Wanaka, this will be a
complete mystery, so I feel compelled to explain.
The large park in the heart of Wanaka called Pembroke Park is
owned by the Crown and is classified as a recreation reserve
under the Reserves Act .
Under the Reserves Act only parking that is directly related
to the recreational activity can be located on the reserve.
The park is administered by the Queenstown Lakes District
Council under an appointment to control and manage. One of
the management objectives is to preserve in perpetuity
Pembroke Park as a recreational area for the enjoyment of the
people of Wanaka and visitors.
The Pembroke Park management plan is the document which is
supposed to give the community certainty about the function
and the management of the reserve. The land was once held by
the New Zealand Electricity Department pending possible
control of Lake Wanaka for hydroelectric purposes, and in
1967, although the park was still in the control of the NZED,
its administration was transferred to the Wanaka Islands
In 1971 the control and management of the park was
transferred to the council of the day.
1. In 1978 the Lake County Council decided that the area
should be zoned to permit the erection of a community centre
but with the council being the only support, and much
opposition, it was abandoned.
2. In 1985 the Lake County Council again tried to build a new
community hall on Pembroke Park, with one councillor telling
the committee they would ''need public support as that is
where it went wrong last time''. Again public opposition was
3. In 1995 the Queenstown Lakes District Council tried to
rezone the reserve so the community complex could be built on
the reserve but this time, with 781 objections against, the
commissioner appointed to hear submissions ruled that there
be no changes to the designation to allow the community
complex to be built on the park.
4. In 2000, with building on the park out of the question,
the council eyed up the reserve as a car park for the town
and, in contravention of the rules governing recreational
reserves, the Queenstown Lakes District Council constructed
136 car parks on the Dungarvon St end of Pembroke Park. This
serves as a car park for the CBD.
5. As if this is not enough, the council is now trying to
justify encroaching into Pembroke Park along areas of
Brownston St, to provide more parking, by saying it is for
park users, and is ''giving'' Pembroke Park strips of road
reserve which come right to the edge of the road. These are
completely unsuitable as reserve land. This parking on
Pembroke Park cannot be justified as being for park users as
there are options for ample on-street parking, without any
more incursions into Pembroke Park.
Perhaps some people will now understand what a travesty has
been committed. What rightfully belongs to all people has, in
some cases, been taken and, in other cases, is still under
constant threat by the body appointed to protect it.
Although in the past, developers were required to provide
parking for new developments in the CBD, some years ago this
provision was removed from the district plan and, without
forward planning to provide for car parking for the central
town area, it appears our reserves are now seen as an
inexpensive, easy option.
- Loris King, of Wanaka, has been campaigning against
encroachment on Pembroke Park for 40 years.