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The affordable housing champion and the tribal tourism giant were confirmed by the council yesterday as its "preferred participants" out of seven expressions of interests lodged after the council publicly revisited the land at the top of Man St, known as Lakeview, in August for the first time since 2007.
Council finance general manager and deputy chief executive Stewart Burns said yesterday the two proposals came closest to fulfilling the objectives for part of Lakeview.
"At this stage we can confirm that the trust is looking at developing a portion of the site for community housing, while for commercial reasons Ngai Tahu has asked that its proposal - which would also take up only a portion of the site - continues to be in confidence," Mr Burns said.
"We are still some way off entering into any kind of agreement with either party."
While Ngai Tahu Tourism Southern regional general manager David Kennedy, of Queenstown, declined to describe its proposal yesterday, housing trust chairman David Cole, of Queenstown, yesterday said details were yet to be fleshed out.
"The site is already residential. There have been cabins up there for a long time and we think there's an opportunity to smarten up a very attractive site in close proximity to the town," Mr Cole said.
"We're responding to our survey we did this year that identified the need for quality accommodation with long-term secured tenure for people working in our town.
"This represents a good opportunity to cater for them."
Mr Cole said housing would not be the sole use of Lakeview. He said he did not see competition evolving between the trust and iwi subsidiary as the council was looking for a collaborative strategy.
Mr Burns said most of Lakeview would remain undeveloped at the moment and would be reconsidered in the future when market conditions were more favourable.
"Proceeding with discussions on the two proposals allows council to sort out how it will finalise the structure plan that makes cohesive use of the whole site," he said.