2026 date for Wānaka McDonald’s

Photo: ODT files
McDonald's is eyeing a 2026 opening for its controversial Wānaka restaurant, an Overseas Investment Office decision shows.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has granted McDonald’s Restaurants (New Zealand) Ltd consent for the "acquisition of approximately 0.3 hectares of land".

"Consent has been granted because the application met the investor test and the non-residential use test," a decision published on the Land Information New Zealand (Linz) website says.

"The applicant intends to build a new McDonald’s restaurant on the land. The restaurant is expected to be operational by 2026."

McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) is owned by US McDonald’s Corp.

The announcement of a McDonald’s was divisive.

An online petition calling for the plans to be scrapped garnered more than 5400 signatures.

Mt Iron Junction Ltd, the listed vendor, is the owner of a parcel of land on the corner of State Highways 6 and 84 and the location McDonald’s included in its resource consent application with the Queenstown Lakes District Council in November.

The OIO’s approval paves the way for McDonald’s to press forward with its application, which has been on hold at the company’s request since last year.

The original application included plans for a 445sq m restaurant and drive-through that would operate around the clock.