Residents group in decline

The fate of the Wanaka Residents Association will be decided at its annual meeting on February 22  when members will vote on a motion to disband.

Committee members decided at a meeting on Monday  night to put the motion to the members. Rapid development of the town and struggles to attract younger members were  cited as reasons.

Association treasurer Roger Gardiner said it was a disappointing development but  it had become a struggle to find new members and fill committee positions.

"We would like encourage anyone who wants to be part of the association and become committee members and carry the organisation to come forward."

Mr Gardiner said he expected smaller, more specific groups would take up the work done by the residents association.

"That’s exactly what I will be doing looking to get involved in more neighbourhood-type groups."

Wanaka Community Board deputy chairman Quentin Smith said the situation with the residents association was unfortunate but concerns of residents in Wanaka would still be heard.

Mr Smith is also the community board’s representative on the residents association.

There was now an opportunity for smaller groups or "new blood" to fill the void which would be left by the residents association.

"In a few years, as the town develops, we might see a situation where we have a Mt Iron and Meadow Stone association representing those specific needs."

In the meantime, the community board would continue to champion the needs of Wanaka residents and there were smaller community groups already active in the town.

"If you look around in Wanaka, we already have smaller groups dedicated to things like protecting the Bullock Creek Wetlands or the lakefront which will continue on doing the work a residents association would."

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