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A Queenstown Lakes District Council planner has recommended all the proposed changes to the Ski Area Sub Zones, submitted to the proposed district plan, be opposed.
Five of the district’s skifields, The Remarkables, Treble Cone, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak and the Soho Ski Area asked for extensions to the zones.
Ski Area Sub Zones or SASZ are areas which enable the development of fields and related activities where the effects of those activities are expected to be minor.
The four zones are located at Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona — which includes the Cardrona Alpine Resort and Soho Ski Area.
As well as the five skifields, Mount Cardrona Station Ltd and Anderson Branch Creek Ltd asked for changes within the Cardrona SASZ.
A hearing on the submissions was held earlier this month.
In her evidence, the council’s senior policy planner, Kim Banks, recommended all of the proposals be rejected.
Those proposals which extended below the snowline, such as the one from the Cardrona Alpine Resort, would broaden the purpose of the SASZ and enable a range of non-ski activities, such as mountain biking, Ms Banks said.
The SASZ was unable to cater to the complexity of broader tourism offerings outside of normal ski activities, she said.
Cardrona Alpine Resort general manager Bridget Legnavsky said the resort’s submission was nothing out of the ordinary and was made to ensure the resort would be able to grow.
NZSki’s chief executive, Paul Anderson said the company’s submissions for both The Remarkables and Treble Cone skifields were about tidying up areas where they might be operating outside the SASZ.
In the case of the Remarkables, there was already activity outside the sub-zone and NZski wanted to make sure it was able to continue its normal operations in these areas.
"We are of the view that if the ski area zone was extended it would tidy things for up for us, such as being able to groom in those areas outside the sub-zone where we already currently operate".
Mr Anderson said there was a difference of opinion between the council’s planners and Ski New Zealand’s, on what was permitted outside the SASZ.
"We just are trying to make sure we are allowed to continue to do what we are already doing."
Separate submissions were made by Soho Ski Area, Treble Cone and Mt Cardrona Station asking for provisions to be made which would allow the building of passenger lift system in both the Cardrona and Treble Cone SASZ.
The council already allowed for lift systems outside of the SASZ so it was not necessary for it to be included in the proposed district plan, Ms Banks found.