Wanaka's millennium pathway part of waterfront redevelopment

A reboot of the millennium pathway will retain it in concept designs for stage two of the lakefront development plan approved last week by the Wanaka Community Board.

Board chairman Barry Bruce said it had been an ongoing process since the development was initially discussed in 2016.

Since then, various options had been devised and community input had been received through drop-in sessions and written and verbal submissions from residents, he said.

One of the challenges during discussion about redevelopment was the 650m trail of 2000 tiles called the millennium pathway.

Mr Bruce said the tiles would be removed, as the original clay tiles had not weathered well and many were broken.

There were also some errors and this information would be updated and expanded when the tiles were replaced with a more robust material.

Liz Hall, of Wanaka, was a community development officer during millennium preparations and was a key part of the project completed in November 2001.

The millennium pathway had been the subject of concern for her since 2016, when some options for redesign of the lakefront did not include the pathway.

She organised a petition to retain the tiles and presented more than 1700 signatures to the council last February.

Eventually, the petition number rose to more than 4400 and Mrs Hall thanked all who had signed.

Two segments of the walkway were removed in March last year, as part of a trial to see if it was possible to shift the tiles.

Although some tiles were lifted, ultimately the trial was not successful and plans were put on hold in April 2019 as issues relating to parking and the millennium path remained unresolved.

The new plans met with Mrs Hall’s approval.

She would be one of the members of a community working group for planning of the new path along with Mr Bruce, council parks officer Diana Manson, Upper Clutha Historical Records Society president Graham Dickson and Mt Aspiring College history teacher Ed Waddington.

Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce says stage two of the lakefront development plan has...
Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce says stage two of the lakefront development plan has received extensive community input. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON

Their objective was to honour and protect the original legacy of the millennium path and its content.

Mrs Hall said she was was glad the council had listened.

‘‘I think they have done a pretty good job.’’

The lakefront was all about the view, being able to walk and cycle and the water sports, she said.

‘‘They haven’t got all those silly little gardens in the plans; they are making it natural.’’

Mr Bruce said the plan addressed old car parks that were on gravel and full of potholes.

‘‘That becomes a nice grassed area.’’

Car parking would be along Ardmore St facing the lake.

A promenade walkway and cycleway would run along the foreshore.

‘‘It won’t be just blocked with cars in a row. It will have corridors with some nice view lines through to see the lake.’’

Another issue to be dealt with was ‘‘large campervans which we used to see en masse creating a white wall’’.

The campervans would be directed elsewhere, where they could take advantage of recently developed parking opposite the Wanaka showgrounds in Mt Aspiring Rd, or further along towards the Wanaka Rotary Playground, he said.

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