Transport, growth among plan topics

Lawyer James Gardner-Hopkins, speaking on behalf of several Cardrona residents, makes a...
Lawyer James Gardner-Hopkins, speaking on behalf of several Cardrona residents, makes a submission to the Queenstown Lakes District Council at its 10-year plan hearing in Wanaka this week. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
A lack of transport planning, inadequate infrastructure funding and no planning for growth were just three of the issues raised by submitters at the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s 10-year plan hearing in Wanaka this week.

Hawea Community Association chairwoman Cherilyn Walthew said the township was growing rapidly but there was no provision for public transport in the plan.

"Most of the population of Hawea work in Wanaka. We really have no other option except to travel to Wanaka by car," Ms Walthew said.

Another submitter, Active Transport Wanaka spokesman Simon Telfer, reminded councillors he made a submission three years ago surrounded by 20 children all asking for investment in safe cycling infrastructure.

One of those children was his daughter, who was in year 3 at the time, and based on this plan would be in year 10 by the time there was a safe, protected cycleway in Wanaka, Mr Telfer said.

The council’s climate reference group chairwoman, Bridget Legnavsky, said the group was very concerned the council had "deprioritised" active and public transport and had not accounted for the carbon impact of its policies and work programmes.

She urged the council to invest in its climate response.

Wanaka developer Alan Dippie warned the council needed to plan carefully for growth in the town.

"Since Covid 19, we have been getting inquiries from all sorts of places.

"I don’t know if we are going to be the Switzerland of the southern hemisphere when the world opens back up again ... but Wanaka is going to grow faster than most places."

Wanaka businessman Peter Marshall said the council’s population growth projections for Wanaka were wrong.

"We are going to explode in the next 10 years in the Upper Clutha. If you don’t see that then you have a bucket of sand in front of you and you are ostriches."

Given the regional growth due to Covid-19 repatriation of New Zealanders plus potential large employment industries coming to the Upper Clutha, it would not be unreasonable to look at 8% growth, Mr Marshall said.

Several Cardrona residents made submissions in person while others were represented by lawyer James Gardner-Hopkins on the council’s plans to replace the existing Cardrona water supply schemes.

Mr Gardner-Hopkins said it appeared the council had prematurely entered into a joint venture with a private developer.

"There has been no disclosure of the financial terms of the agreement making a joint venture conditional on funding through the 10-year plan process [which] suggests it is all a done deal.

"At the same time Cardrona residents were told it was in their best interests to join the scheme on the basis that the current water supply was non-compliant."

"That has been found not to be the case," Mr Gardner-Hopkins said.

More than 500 submissions, 311 from the Upper Clutha, were made on the plan.

Councillors will debate and vote on amendments to the plan before it comes into effect on July 1.

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