‘Bring on the bonanza’

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust boss Julie Scott says delivery of the housing bonanza Mountain Scene revealed last week can’t happen soon enough.

Almost 360 residential units are either on the way, or in the works, across four separate developments, plus another 29 residential lots are planned at Hanley’s Farm in its 13th stage.

The largest of the proposals is from 5 Mile 226 Ltd, which wants to construct 226 two-bedroom stand-alone residential units at Frankton Flats’ Hall St, of which 126 would be sold to the open market, and the rest staying with Auckland developer Kurt Gibbons as long-term rentals.

Ngai Tahu Property’s Te Pa Tahuna development, on Gorge Rd, has been given consent to build the next 66 one- and two-bedroom units, No.1 Hansen Rd Ltd’s asking to put two more storeys on top of its carpark development, at Hansen Rd, to create 32 worker accommodation units, in addition to the 554 planned on land next door, and King Enterprises Ltd Partnership wants to build a 35-unit residential development in Shotover Country, with a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom properties.

While Scott says none of the proposals will see a "direct benefit" to her trust, in terms of contributions, "indirectly, there’s a massive benefit to us as a stakeholder in the community".

"When you think about all that affordable housing that’s coming on stream, that’s fantastic, and if that’s going to take pressure off our waiting list, and off the general community, then it’s a great outcome, so we’re really pleased to see it happening."

That waitlist, at March 31, was 1212 households, 83% of those based in Queenstown, the remainder in Upper Clutha.

"In the last couple of years it’s gone up hugely — since we came out of Covid, it’s gone gangbusters."

Meantime, Scott says the trust’s own housing development, Arrowtown’s Tewa Banks, at Jopp St, is well under way.

The first 15 of 68 one-, two- and three-bedders are under construction — seven of those tagged for seniors — with the first residents expected to move in later this year.

The 3.68ha site was transferred to the trust, for $1, in 2022, after councillors first approved the proposal in April, 2019.

About 45 homes are expected to be sold into the trust’s secure home programme, through which the trust retains ownership of the properties, while households purchase the right to occupy at the cost of house construction, excluding land.

Households then pay an annual ground rental to the trust, set below market value.


‘Developer wanting to help with affordable housing’

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust’s chief executive commends the Spence Park developers for offering to give the trust 5% of the sections they create.

"That’s the general philosophy of the inclusionary housing plan change ... that’s what they offered up," says Julie Scott, whose trust’s signed a heads of agreement with the Anna Hutchinson Family Trust.

"They willingly came to us and said, ‘look, we’ve got this piece of land’. My understanding is they can subdivide it into 12 sections as of right, and they’d be big lifestyle blocks ... but they want to do something for the community, and so they see it as valuable being included in the Ladies Mile masterplan.

"When you look at it and when you stand on the site, it really makes sense this would be included in the Ladies Mile grand scheme of things, because it connects between the Lower Shotover and the broader Ladies Mile area, so it provides that transport link, etc, for non-vehicle transport."

Scott says they’ve also discussed opportunities beyond just the inclusionary housing contribution which could involve both parties doing a comprehensive, higher-density development together.

"We understand it can be contentious when new land development is proposed, but ultimately we’ve got a serious housing issue in the district."