Consent decision for Thiel's luxury lodge delayed by Covid

The area in red marks the facade of Peter Thiel's proposed house at Damper Bay. IMAGE SUPPLIED...
The area in red marks the facade of Peter Thiel's proposed house at Damper Bay. IMAGE SUPPLIED JULIAN HAWORTH
A case of Covid will delay a decision on whether US entrepreneur Peter Thiel can build a luxury lodge on the outskirts of Wanaka.

The resource consent decision was expected this week, but the independent hearing commissioners, Wendy Baker and Glyn Llewers, have granted an extension of 15 working days so that commission chairman Ian Munro and his household can recover from Covid.

The hearing was closed on July 7, after evidence was presented by the applicant, Second Star Ltd, a company associated with Mr Thiel, and by opposers John May and Upper Clutha Environmental Society spokesman Julian Haworth.

The statutory timeframe to release a decision is 15 working days.

The Resource Management Act provides for extensions if the commissioners are satisfied one is warranted.

A memorandum lodged by Mr Munro on behalf of the commission with the Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday said Mr Munro’s family caught Covid-19 in the week of July 18.

The disease spread through his household and his ability to complete his duties had resulted in an "unavoidable delay that the other commissioners have not been able to reasonably compensate on such short notice".

"A modest extension to make up this time will not unreasonably impact any person affected by the waiver of limits; will allow the commissioners to properly and adequately assess the effects of the proposal; and will not result in an unreasonable delay," the memorandum said.

Mr Munro said the commissioners did not foresee the full extension period would need to be used.





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