Councillor backs Northlake residents against hotel

The Northlake subdivision. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
The Northlake subdivision. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
Queenstown Lakes District Councillor Quentin Smith has sided with Northlake special zone residents opposed to a new hotel.

Public submissions on Northlake's resource consent application for a 113-room hotel closed with the council on Thursday.

In his submission, headed "please receive this submission on behalf of the silenced residents of Northlake", Mr Smith said he was acting as a "resident and layperson" rather than as a councillor and chairman of the Wanaka Community Board.

Under Northlake's sale and purchase agreement's "no objection" clause, buyers of sections agree they "will not object to or lodge any submission against any planning proposal".

And, they must give "unqualified" written approval to any planning application.

Mr Smith said the principal of natural justice was "at the core" of the Resource Management Act and the New Zealand legal system.

He considered the Northlake covenant "not only ethically questionable but also potentially unlawful".

He suggested the council should not "have regard to any covenant and also in turn should disregard any affected party approval".

He believed the principles of natural justice would override any covenant or agreement if tested in court.

Mr Smith was opposed to the hotel development "in its entirety" and considered it undermined the purpose of the Northlake special zone and the character of its community.

"This proposal is well outside the scope of what was anticipated by the zone."

He called on the council to "uphold the integrity" of the Northlake zone and "protect the residents of Northlake ... particularly those that are silenced".

Northlake did not respond to requests for comment.

Other submissions from anonymous Northlake residents are understood to have been presented to the council by the new Wanaka Community Supporting Our Northlake Neighbours Inc.

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