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Board members yesterday voted to adopt the first stage of the Wanaka lakefront development plan at Eely Point, which included space for the centre near the existing scout den.
Coastguard Wanaka director Gerry Clemens said he was "pleased not only with the outcome but also with the process."
Discussions with the board about a new centre had been under way since March 2017, he said.
"The matter has been well considered both by the public submission process as well as the community board."
The coastguard now leases premises at the A&P showgrounds and Mr Clemens said at the height of summer, deployment times were often well over an hour.
A new centre at Eely Point would at least halve those times, he said.
"The decision is not positive just for Coastguard Wanaka but also for the community at large and visitors to the Wanaka lakes district."
Community board chairman Quentin Smith said the board had "put in a lot of effort and considered a lot of sites" before settling on the location for the centre at Eely Point.
The centre would still need to go through a notified land lease process and apply for resource consent, he said.
Mr Clemens believed the lease application and notification process would likely take until early next year, and hoped the centre would be built and operational the following summer.
Other changes outlined in the Eely Point plan included the development of a boat ramp and floating jetty, a playground, a disc golf course, a lookout and the removal of vehicle access around part of the point.
About 100 people provided feedback on draft plans released in December.
QLDC parks officer Diana Manson said "all feedback was taken into account" when developing the final plan.
Mr Smith said funding to implement the plan would need to be allocated in future annual and ten-year plans.