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"It's a red-letter day," Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said when he turned the first sod on major street renovations in the resort, which will cost $60 million.

Upgrades have been in the pipeline for many years, but it was $35 million of shovel-ready funding from the Government in the wake of Covid-19 that finally got the project off the ground.

The mayor was accompanied by Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager infrastructure Peter Hansby and Matt Matahaere from Otakou Runaka, who led a blessing.

Mr Boult, two weeks on from knee surgery, then performed a ceremonial first dig in Beach St, which construction firm HEB was to begin renovating over the next three months.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult puts shovel to earth yesterday when launching a major town...
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult puts shovel to earth yesterday when launching a major town upgrade in Beach St. PHOTO: MATTHEW MCKEW
The new-look road was to benefit from storm drainage, plants and street furniture, with the aim of improving aesthetics while accommodating more pedestrians and cyclists.

Brecon St, Rees St, Parks St and Hotops Rise were also set to receive a makeover as part of the project. Council funds would cover the remaining costs.

 

Mr Boult said it was "a great time to do this", as visitor numbers to Queenstown were low. He admitted there would be some disruption for businesses, but added "you’ve just got to get on and do it".

"I’m over the moon. This is enormously important to us. It’s the first step in a number of projects, and great timing to create employment and put some economic fizz into the district."

The mayor said the council wanted to see $300 million worth of projects started to put "some fire in the belly" during a tough time, and thanked the Government for the money received so far.

A total of $85 million for shovel-ready projects has been handed to Queenstown to date; $50 million has been allocated for new arterial routes into the town.

The council was still awaiting news on other applications, including for a $151 million upgrade to the Queenstown Events Centre.

matthew.mckew@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

might be proven wrong on this but HEB construction ltd appears to be a France owned company, not sure i have seen them working in the district before either.

surely a reasonable policy would be to 'buy local' rather than tendering worldwide

The ultimate holding company is from France with two directors from there and 2 from NZ. The registered office is a NZ one.

But agree why are they giving work of this nature to a North Island company rather than a local company?

@ODT wouldn't that be something to research with QLDC, while there ask them why Wanaka's roading (CBD area) has not had anything done (other than patching holes which doesn't last) for at least the last 17 yrs its like driving on a corrugated dirt road in some places!!

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