Claim poll shows airport opposition

Michael Ross
Michael Ross
A 775-strong poll showed it was not just a small group of ''grumpy residents'' opposed to development of Wanaka Airport, Wanaka Stakeholders Group chairman Michael Ross said yesterday.

Instead, it showed opposition across the board.

The online poll asked: ''Do you think Wanaka would be a less desirable place to live and visit if it was in the shadow of a large-scale airport?''

Results released by the group showed 77% believed it would and 23% believed it would not.

''There is a clear majority of people within our community who are strongly concerned about the proposal for the airport,'' Mr Ross said.

The size of the poll also showed politicians, both local and national, the stakeholders group represented a ''reasonable proportion of the community and it can therefore speak with some authority''.

''So, we are not just a bunch of silver-headed, grumpy people living in one particular street in Wanaka.

''It's fairly mainstream.''

He believed those ''still strongly supportive'' of the Queenstown Airport Corporation proposal to develop Wanaka Airport did not ''fully appreciate'' the effect on Wanaka of having a jet-capable airport.

''Some people don't immediately join the dots up on that and just simply think of the convenience of being able to fly directly to Auckland or wherever.

''The concern is what it's going to do to the environment; what it's going to do to our infrastructure; what it's going to do to congestion.''

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