Airport survey raises concerns

Michael Ross
Michael Ross
The group opposed to Wanaka Airport being developed for commercial jets has taken issue with consultants MartinJenkins over its online survey about the future of air services to the Lakes District.

MartinJenkins is carrying out public consultation for airport majority owner the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

The Wanaka Stakeholders Group yesterday wrote to principal consultant Jason Leung-Wai saying it, and other community groups, were ‘‘very concerned’’ at the design and implementation of the company’s research, including its online survey.

Group chairman Michael Ross said there was no ability to spot when individuals had answered questions multiple times.

As well, he said, anti-virus protection company Norton Antivirus had identified the survey as ‘‘a known dangerous web page’’ and recommended people did not visit it.

He also claimed the questions were seen by members of his group to be ‘‘ambiguous’’, ‘‘vague’’, ‘‘loaded’’ or ‘‘misleading’’.

‘‘There is genuine confusion and deep frustration.

‘‘This online survey does not meet even entry-level best practice standards for a consultative exercise of this importance.

‘‘Trust in the process is very, very low.’’

In a press release, Mayor Jim Boult urged the public to take part in the online survey.

‘‘The process under way is not formal consultation.

‘‘Rather, it is a conversation to shape formal consultation in the future.’’

The council declined to respond yesterday.


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