Boult will seek another term as mayor, says more to do

Jim Boult
Jim Boult
The Queenstown Lakes mayor has announced he will seek a second term, and says he has more work to do.

Jim Boult cited spatial planning and accommodation, including worker accommodation, as two things not yet "adequately addressed''.

The introduction of a $2 public transport network and the non-binding referendum on a local visitor levy were pitched as highlights.

However, 600 families waiting for affordable housing in the district was "simply not good enough''.

While the council had approved a master plan for Ladies Mile land, which opened it up for housing, proposals for three special housing areas - which would have resulted in more than 560 residential units being constructed - were rejected earlier this year.

Mr Boult said he was "very comfortable'' with that decision and did not see it as a lost opportunity.

"The issue there related to the amount of traffic on Ladies Mile, the amount of traffic on the Shotover Bridge, and we just couldn't go ahead with any further development in that area until NZTA [NZ Transport Agency] came up with a solution to it.

"But if I come back to the overall issue of how ordinary people get to live in a house in the district, I think the Secure Homes product is the best thing in New Zealand, full stop, on this issue.''

That was a result of Mr Boult's mayoral housing task force in 2017, under which the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust retained full ownership of a property and the household bought the right to occupy it at the cost of housing construction, excluding land, and paid an annual ground rent to the trust.

Other big issues included water quality, the future of Queenstown and Wanaka airports, health services, and arts and cultural facilities.

Further "bold changes'' were required to the public transport network and the roading supporting it.

While his highlights included last Friday's referendum result - Mr Boult said he would have sought re-election even if the result had been different - challenges included the "pace of change''.

"We've got enormous change happening in the district ... but it is frustrating, coming from a business background, to understand how there is a slower process to achieve what we want in local government, and that's not to criticise anyone, that is just the nature of the beast.''

Mr Boult has been taken to the High Court over the collapse of Stonewood Homes NZ, of which he was a director. He said that was a "civil issue'' which had not affected his ability to do his job until now, and would not in the future.

Nominations for this year's local body elections, being held on October 12, close at noon on August 16.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

Comments

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