Draft plan seen as redundant

Mayor Jim Boult
Mayor Jim Boult
Public submissions from Wanaka residents on the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s annual plan will be heard in the town today, with the effects of Covid-19 being a significant factor.

The draft plan was written pre-Covid 19, Mayor Jim Boult introducing it as a plan for growth with the council needing to deliver on commitments ‘‘as well as continuing to be agile’’.

Wanaka resident Grant Bisset is one of those calling for agility.

‘‘My submission is that the annual plan and [proposed district plan] were drafted for a different world than we now live in and therefore should be revisited.’’

Neville Harris described it as ‘‘irrelevant and not fit for purpose’’.

‘‘Council must now rewrite the whole document.’’

Christel Bohm was of the same mind.

‘‘The annual plan is largely based on income from tourism, which is now non-existent.’’

Roger Gardiner, of the Wanaka Central Business District Property Owners Group, called on the council to investigate rates relief for the worst-affected Wanaka businesses.

‘‘To do nothing will mean an unreasonable cost burden will be imposed on a business sector already on its knees.’’

Vivien Eyers said the council should abandon plans to develop Wanaka Airport and Ian Hall saw opportunities for the council to ‘‘re-examine planned expenditure and to demonstrate a clear focus on the basic services’’.

‘‘There will be no public acceptance of unnecessary expenditure.’’

Mark Hervey recalled stories of the Great Depression — ‘‘a time when clothes were mended, nails were straightened, vegetables were grown in the garden — nothing was wasted.

‘‘We must face this reality.’’

Several submitters called for the council to reduce staff, or cut wages.

Queenstown submissions will be heard tomorrow.


- Mark Price

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