Questions for Queenstown Lakes District Council candidates

Queenstown remained the second most popular place for foreigners to buy. Photo: Getty
Queenstown. Photo: Getty
What do the candidates in the 2019 local body election stand for? The Otago Daily Times gave nominees for the Queenstown Lakes District Council the opportunity to answer the following questions:

1    What specifically should Queenstown Lakes District Council do to enable the district
to cope with growth?

2     What are your goals and what should the priorities be for your council?

Penny Clark
Penny Clark
PENNY CLARK

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council

Ward: Wakatipu

Age: 68

Occupation: Hospitality consultant/Councillor

Question 1: QLDC's growth is a twofold situation, with growth from tourism really dominating the residents' perspective over the past three years, but compounded by a 42% increase in migration in six years. To manage this growth we can stop expansion of the Queenstown airport by holding noise boundaries and encouraging use of neighbouring airports.

We should curtail housing sprawl over our landscape and concentrate builds into small denser communities, creating villages with primary schools and facilities to support living in that environment.

Question 2: Taking care of our environment for future generations is a key focus for me in all aspects of decision-making. Part of this is building towards a mode shift in transport and creating infrastructure to handle this with a priority towards our town centre planning. Improve our public transport system and support our arterial road system to include some parking. Supporting a cultural arts centre for downtown will also improve our social growth.

 

Peter Faul
Peter Faul
PETER FAUL

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council

Ward: Wakatipu

Age: 58

Occupation: Managing director

Question 1: Council's 10-year plan has $1 billion in expenditure for key infrastructure. The stress and pressure we feel daily stems from a lack of investment by past councils. Frail stormwater and sewer systems along with clogging roads are clear signs of this. Implementing the 10-year plan will enable us to manage growth better, relieving the pressure that has come with it. We must secure the funding and get this done. This is vital for our community.

Question 2: My goal is to work with councillors to establish a clear vision for our district for the next 30 years - a vision that gives clear direction to all. We must protect our sense of community and the environment, at the same time giving clear and positive signals to future investment to keep our local economy strong. This investment is critical to sustaining our local community. Establishing this vision must be our priority.

 

Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson
CRAIG (FERG) FERGUSON

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council

Ward: Wakatipu

Age: 61

Occupation: Broadcaster

Question 1: Council has committed the largest funding ever into the 10-year plan for infrastructure projects. Council is working hard to cope and get ahead of the curve. How do you stop growth? What are those triggers? The airport issues allowed the community to jump in and have their say. On the back of that, work is being undertaken independently to get a more definitive community feel. We are not the Canterbury Plains.

Question 2: My goals are always to be the best representative for our people across the district. My big guiding principle is the health and wellbeing of our residents and community amenity. I strongly support our smaller communities and would like to see more commitment to their issues. Every issue that comes before us is a priority for me, no matter how big or small. I would like to see council movement around beggars and gangs.

 

Niki Gladding
Niki Gladding
NIKI GLADDING

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council

Ward: Wakatipu

Age: 44

Occupation: Planner/researcher at Aotearoa Water Action

Question 1: Coping's not an option - we must control growth to enable the shift to a low-emissions economy. Enabling all growth and marketing ourselves to the world should stop. We should cap flights. We should use the Rating Act and council's strategies, plans and policies to discourage tourism growth and the use of fossil fuels, energy, water, and materials. And we should incentivise growing trees, crops and low-emissions industries that support climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Question 2: I want to ensure our kids have a future. Council's immediate priorities should be: completing the tasks in the draft climate change plan before the next 10-year plan; limiting tourism growth by capping flights and preventing re-zoning for visitor accommodation; and improving 3-waters infrastructure to ensure compliance with incoming standards for drinking water and freshwater. Funding for amenity-related projects that don't contribute significantly to these priorities should be redirected in the next annual plan.

 

John Glover
John Glover
JOHN GLOVER

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council

Ward: Wakatipu

Age: 58

Occupation: Lodge/restaurant owner-operator

Question 1: Realise that "more" is not better and stand up for its people. Broaden and balance our economy to reduce reliance on tourism. Attract higher-value, higher-productivity employment with better pay and conditions. Deliver an economy where the rewards are spread more evenly. Incentivise jobs that reduce our impact on the environment. Buy and give land so the housing trust can reduce its 600-plus wait list. Provide greater financial assistance to local support agencies.

Question 2: Goals - A community that lives within its environmental means. Ensuring opportunities remain for our children. Increasing local food production. Public transport good enough to get us out of cars. Decision-making that benefits existing communities. Reduced waiting lists for housing. Priorities - improved governance and collaborative decision-making around the council table. Accelerated implementation of climate action plan. Review of district economic strategy. Community focus in long-term plan. Improve public transport services.

 

Glyn Lewers
Glyn Lewers
GLYN LEWERS

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wakatipu.

Age: 41.

Occupation: Civil/structural engineer.

Question 1: The main focus that QLDC can have in coping with growth is to deliver on the 10-year infrastructure plan. My background in asset management and infrastructure delivery while working in a resource-constrained environment gives me the experience and knowledge to ensure infrastructure delivery is implemented. I will seriously question any proposal to defer infrastructure projects, as any delay reduces our district's potential to increase our productivity, and benefit from growth.

Question 2: The main goal I have and the priority for the council are finding effective transport solutions to the Lakes district. In my capacity as chairman of the Frankton Community Association and a practising engineer, I am involved in several Queenstown transport-related business cases with our partners, ORC and NZTA. I have the technical knowledge and established relationships with our partners that will aid in delivering effective transport solutions.

 

John MacDonald
John MacDonald
JOHN MACDONALD

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wakatipu.

Age: 61.

Occupation: Councillor/independent chairman.

Question 1: Complete the spatial plan, which is currently being developed to define where we should grow, then plan and develop the infrastructure where we will need it, roading, public transport, water, and wastewater connections into the current systems.

Implement the master planning we have done and develop higher-density living near where jobs are and on public transport routes. Implement mechanisms to provide a percentage of developers' land to the housing trust for perpetually affordable worker accommodation.

Question 2: My goals for the coming council is to continue the work we have started get planning and infrastructure ahead of the game, to make decisions that align with our beyond 2050 vision; to implement and even enhance our climate change strategy; to decide what sustainable growth is and to figure out how to maintain it. Priorities are structural plan, infrastructure, affordable housing, diversify the economy, develop better public transport maintain our environment.

 

AJ Mason
AJ Mason
AJ MASON

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Queenstown-Wakatipu.

Age: Declined to provide age.

Occupation: Technology strategist.

Question 1: Rather than "cope with growth" we must employ demand for greatest benefit, least detriment.

Employ residential demand to change where and how we build: not urban sprawl but low-impact, affordable homes close to amenities - e.g. walking/cycling/busing to work/shops/schools is not only possible but preferable.

Employ visitor demand for greatest revenue growth alongside greatest impact reduction - fewer visitors staying longer, spending more.

We must embrace the power of emerging technologies to accomplish both.

Question 2: Climate change and its consequences will dominate our future: Council's purpose must be to support our place and people against its challenges and towards its opportunities. We must transition to a new economy that works for all, with expanded opportunities, less environmental impact, and protection against old-style tourism's instabilities.

Council must harness the best new science and systems to improve quality of life, including world class infrastructure, thriving cultural sector, and championing a living wage.

 

DR VALERIE MILLER

No response received by publication deadline.

 

GRANT SCANNELL

No response received by publication deadline.

 

Barry Bruce
Barry Bruce
BARRY BRUCE

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wanaka.

Age: 66.

Occupation: Business owner.

Question 1: Good planning and good infrastructure is good for people.

Although growth projections have clearly forecast substantial growth QLDC and related authorities (e.g. NZTA and ORC ) have been too slow to implement required infrastructure.

To date the planning process seems to be reactive to needs and problems, after they occur.

Unfortunately these delays result in inconvenience, congestion, often higher costs and a feeling of frustration by residents and visitors.

We need timely planning and infrastructure in place before capacity problems occur.

Question 2: My objectives for our communities are to focus on getting the basics right first, including better than adequate parking, roading including walking and cycle ways. Easy access to the town centre and lakefront for all, including senior citizens and young families. We need a truly collaborative and consultative process for forward planning to ensure the community's wishes are met. My involvement with "Shaping Our Future" has equipped me with a good understanding of future focus planning and how communities can influence the decision-makers.

 

Lincoln Haworth
Lincoln Haworth
LINCOLN HAWORTH

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wanaka.

Age: 28.

Occupation: Ski technician.

Question 1: Density is not being pushed in the QLDC. Only small slivers of land are zoned for high-density [housing] and they're in high-value areas where apartments sit empty most of the time. In the meantime we're building huge amounts of semi-rural sprawl that is increasing our traffic, infrastructure and environmental problems. We must also begin to send clear signals through the market that the council expects efficient use of land and a responsible approach to growth.

Question 2: The council should prioritise giving everyone who is going to have a jet flying over their head their fair say over whether Wanaka Airport operates jet flights. The approach taken so far has been to cut community out of the process completely.

My goal is ensure that the Wanaka Community Board acts as a serious advocate for the interests of the community. More than 2700 people have already financially committed to opposing the operation of jet flights from Wanaka Airport.

 

Calum MacLeod
Calum MacLeod
CALUM MACLEOD

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wanaka.

Age: 58.

Occupation: Self-employed.

Question 1: The Seven Ps! Proper prior planning prevents pretty poor performance!

Council has approved the district's largest ever 10-year plan. QLDC's visitor levy proposal would enable deferred projects, accelerate projects, fund alternative projects and increase capacity to deliver projects for both our local and visitor communities. Our economic development strategy's vision is to protect and enhance our district's unique environment, provide a higher value more diverse economy, higher-value jobs and industries, higher quality urban environments.

Question 2: Mine -

Embedding QLDC's climate change plan. Completing the economic Impact and social impact assessments for Queenstown and Wanaka Airports. Effectively engaging with our community and together informing our airport's ongoing development. Advancing the draft Wanaka town centre master plan. Completing the Wanaka lakefront development plan. Ensure our LTP is delivered efficiently and cost effectively. Implementing QLDC's waste minimisation strategy. Completing the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust's catchment water management plan.

QLDC's -

Vibrant communities, enduring landscapes, bold leadership

 

Niamh Shaw
Niamh Shaw
NIAMH SHAW

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wanaka.

Age: 47.

Occupation: Project manager.

Question 1: Council needs to change its mindset. The relentless "growth is good" approach increasingly negatively impacts the residents of our communities. Council must prioritise sustainable growth that mitigates climate change, emphasises the social wellbeing of those of us who live here, and protects our environment. Specifically: continue addressing infrastructure issues especially wastewater; don't give away our excellent visitor experiences free of charge; and although I love the freedom camping concept, it is spectacularly failing our district.

Question 2: Consistent, accessible information for the public, allied with genuine consultation and engagement that enables us to have meaningful input into the future of our district.

Much of the recent dissatisfaction within the community is due to the council's lack of transparency. So many issues that have divided us - e.g. the plans for both airports, the town centre master plan - could have been avoided with better planning, accessible information for all stakeholders, appropriate community engagement and consultation.

 

Quentin Smith
Quentin Smith
QUENTIN SMITH

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wanaka.

Age: 42.

Occupation: Councillor/self-employed.

Question 1: The most important factors in cope management are well informed strategic planning and timely investment. We need to move away from reactive response to proactively planning for our future. It shouldn't be growth at all cost, it must be within the constraints and capabilities of our environment and community.

Question 2: Dealing with the impacts of growth on our community remains the biggest challenge for Wanaka. Securing investment in community facilities, services and infrastructure both within council and from external sources is a critical need for the next three years. Well-informed, community consulted and timely decision-making is a major challenge for our community that is feeling the pains of tourism and residential growth. We must put our community first and represent their needs above all others.

 

Cherilyn Walthew
Cherilyn Walthew
CHERILYN WALTHEW

Council: Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Ward: Wanaka.

Age: 44.

Occupation: Independent HR business partner/organic gardner.

Question 1: Growth should be driven by community demand, not outside interests. Growth should be managed in line with our environmental responsibilities, maintenance of residents' quality of life and, to provide a superior visitor experience, with community consultation at the forefront of any decisions. I believe we should actively support businesses and growth that take these aspects into consideration to provide both the Kiwi dream for residents and the "clean green" Kiwi experience for visitors.

Question 2: The council is failing to put enough emphasis on the list of growing environmental concerns. The lack of infrastructure, regular pollution of our countryside and waterways, along with development decisions driven by outside interests, is having a negative impact on residents, and the "experience" we offer our visitors. We must take direction from our communities about the type of developments they want, rather than focusing on large growth projects. Visitors appreciate authentic experiences.

 

 

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