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Recovery Taskforces Taking Shape

Some of the brightest minds in the Queenstown Lakes District met for the second time on 29 April to kick start the Community and Economic Recovery taskforces.

The taskforce steering group was announced by Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult in early April as a way to bring together some of the community’s leading thinkers. It is one facet of a wider approach to the district’s recovery programme.

A range of people from diverse backgrounds form the steering group, which is shaping the terms of reference and membership of both taskforces. This group consist of the Mayor and individuals with a broad range of expertise. This includes business and community leaders and those with experience in strategy development, sustainability and our environment, central and local government, arts and culture, finance, start-ups, and Iwi. Steering group members are representative of the whole district, ensuring perspectives from both Queenstown-Wakatipu and the Upper Clutha are included.

Together the team will assemble big thinkers, innovators and experts in their field to set a course for achieving the aspirational goals of Vision Beyond 2050, while also working on some short term initiatives. Of key importance will be ensuring alignment with the Climate Action Plan and its initiatives, and providing opportunities for the community to be actively involved in shaping our future economy.

Mayor Jim Boult said the inputs from the steering group to date had been excellent, and although it had needed to navigate some complex situations a way forward was emerging.

“The steering group represents a wide range of backgrounds from across the Queenstown Lakes. Discussions to date have generated some excellent ideas and the vast experience of the collective will bring forward Community Recovery and Economy Recovery Taskforces, which will be instrumental to ensuring the district restores and enhances its pre-Covid community and economic wellbeing.”

“Once formed, the work of the taskforces will be to explore and provide innovative ideas for the future of the whole community.”

“We expect to be able to announce the steering group’s findings and recommendations in the near future, as well as membership and the objectives of the taskforces,” said Mayor Boult.

Once established, the taskforces will be supported by Council but led by the community. They will reflect the holistic wellbeing of the district’s communities including social, economic, environmental and cultural aspects.

So far, Council has received hundreds of ideas for community and economic recovery which the taskforce, once developed, will have a hand in evaluating.

“There have been many ideas suggested to the Mayor, and via other channels, and we know there are other groups looking at similar ways of generating innovation here. We are thankful for the enthusiasm and commitment being shown and are working to respond to the suggestions we’ve received,” said QLDC Economic Development Manager, Peter Harris.

“At the same time we are working on how best to gather, funnel and evaluate these ideas to combat the challenges our community faces.”

An update on the taskforce and how ideas will be managed will be released as soon as more information is available.

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