Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


WSG responds to Mayor's letter about Wanaka Airport

Dear Jim

Thank you for your detailed letter.

We are deeply disappointed at your response, which we note is your first public response to Wanaka Stakeholders Group in the 10 months we have been asking to be involved in consultation around the proposed redevelopment of Wanaka Airport. We note that it takes a letter to government ministers, including the Prime Minister, to actually elicit a public response from you. On the up side, at least you have responded at last. So thank you for that.

We are not anti growth, and we wholeheartedly support the important place that Wanaka has in the southern lakes tourism mix. We fully support the existing general aviation activities at our Wanaka Airport and would welcome the redevelopment of a new terminal to service local demand and turbo prop services as we enjoyed previously.

But to suggest that we take the next leap to a fully jet capable airport with all the significant ancillary services that would be needed to support that $400m development is currently a step too far. To get this “dual airport” project – as currently proposed – over the line for the Upper Clutha community will require a much more inclusive community consultation. Regrettably this has not happened. If it had been done properly – we wouldn’t be having this dialogue now. The consultation needs to be driven not by QAC – but by the very Council who represents us and owns 75% of this CCTO.

Your letter is full of bluster. Despite a number of assurances to the Wanaka Community, those assurances have absolutely no detail behind them. Each time we’ve asked for substantive information, directly or via public forums, our requests have been declined by you and your colleagues. So how can we have any confidence that there is any legitimate basis for your assurances?

For example, despite numerous requests for ongoing details of the lease agreement between QLDC and QAC in relation to Wanaka Airport, you have flatly refused to disclose this. This is a 100 year lease which defines and shapes how a community asset can be used, yet the very community which owns the asset has no idea of the conditions contained in that important document. In the 2016 Statement of Proposal, it was stated that “the Council would retain ultimate control of the direction of the airport through mechanisms retained in the lease and, because QAC is a CCTO, through the Letter of Expectation/Statement of Intent process. The council involvement through these means would provide a way in which the Wanaka community could continue to have a say in the future direction of the airport.” Thus, the lease is a fundamental element in the consultative process and without transparency around the terms of the lease, how on earth can you claim to have consulted with, or been open to, the community affected?

Quite frankly Jim, your letter shows once and for all the failure of QLDC to consult with the Wanaka community meaningfully, and you clearly have no intention to do so in the future. The consultation processes you refer to have been largely delegated to QAC, and their efforts have been inadequate, misleading and selective.

Our member base of 1,500 people, and growing by the hour, are feeling completely unheard, disenfranchised and bypassed. Our members are saying to us that they just will not just let this happen to the Upper Clutha community.

We are optimistic that at your next meeting, our elected representatives will demonstrate to us that they are hearing the concerns from across the district on QAC’s failings with the proposed Statement of Intent. Thus far – it has to be said – QLDC has failed to assert its important influence in setting the strategic direction of QAC. For example, the noise boundary issue in Queenstown. So how can we have any confidence that our Council will take the upper hand in considering the needs of our community against the commercial imperatives of QAC, and doing what is right for our future?

We do not intend to answer the specifics in your letter today, but we certainly will do at the appropriate time.

We look forward to seeing you and your councillors at your full Council meeting in Wanaka next week.

Yours sincerely


Michael Ross

Chair, Wanaka Stakeholders Group Inc.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, lest he be carried away in the slavering jaws of Jack Tame…. but this was mere incompetence, not malice. At the same time the President of the United States was (a) falsely accusing one of his media critics of murder, and (b) threatening to shut down Twitter for attaching a warning label to Trump’s attempt at poisoning the electoral process by falsely claiming that postal voting has led to extensive voter fraud... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes

The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>


Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>






InfoPages News Channels