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About 80 people and council staff attended the first of seven workshops being held around the district in the Armstrong Room at the Lake Wanaka Centre on Monday night.
Mayor Jim Boult told the participants the spatial plan would provide the framework ''in which our district as a whole will grow well up to 2050 and beyond''.
He said it was ''probably the most important planning exercise carried out in the history of the Queenstown Lakes District Council''.
Working in partnership with central government and Kai Tahu, ''this was bigger in scope than anything we have ever done before'', Mr Boult said.
Queenstown continued to be the fastest-growing district in New Zealand and the spatial plan would become the basis of the council's future development strategy, a requirement of a high-growth council, council spatial plan team leader Anita Vanstone said.
''We are growing but what we want to ensure is that we do it well.
''Tonight is about learning from our past mistakes, being visionary and planning for a more sustainable future that is resilient to climate change and the pursuit of wellbeing, which captures the essence of what spatial planning is about,'' Ms Vanstone said.
The spatial plan was not a tool to limit growth, she said.
It would identify existing and future urban areas as well as looking at places of investment and areas to protect and enhance, she said.
The workshop involved two exercises, participants being asked to ''contemplate what was important to them in the future'' and to look at different ''grow-well scenarios for the future''.
Ms Vanstone said she wanted to make it clear the council did not already have a draft spatial plan, the whole purpose of the workshops was to feed into a draft.
The draft spatial plan was planned to be released for formal consultation in autumn next year.
Spatial plan process
- Seven steps in the spatial plan process:
- Partnership early work.
- Early engagement-community facilitated workshops and feedback.
- Draft spatial released.
- Formal consultation — community drop-in sessions.
- Spatial plan released.
- Put to council and partners for adoption.
Upcoming QLDC spatial plan community workshops:
- Frankton, today, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Remarkables Primary School, 49 Lake Ave, Frankton.
- Queenstown, November 11, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Queenstown Memorial Centre.
- Kingston, November 13, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Kingston Golf Club, 32 Gloucester St, Kingston.
- Glenorchy, November 21, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Glenorchy Town Hall, Mull St, Glenorchy.
- Hawea, November 25, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Lake Hawea Community Centre, 28 Myra St, Hawea.
- Luggate, November 27, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Warbirds & Wheels, 11 Lloyd Dunn Ave, Wanaka.