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Hawea Store And Kitchen Owners Aren't Going Anywhere

The Hāwea Store and Kitchen owners Hamish and Erica Mackay want to reassure the Hawea community that whatever the expansion of the Lake Hāwea commercial zone may entail, they are here to stay.

The couple have spent four years growing their business and are adamant that nothing has been “set in stone” regarding the fate of their grocery store and cafe - situated on the corner of Capell Avenue and Parry Crescent.

The Mackays have signed an ‘affected party approval’ consenting to a proposal by Lake Hāwea Holdings Ltd - owned by Wanaka businessman Matt Laming - which has submitted a resource consent application to the Queenstown Lakes District Council seeking to redevelop the Capell Avenue site for “a comprehensive complex of commercial, retail, office and visitor accommodation use”.

Mr Mackay says that no decision has been made to demolish the building.

“We are separate entities agreeing to work together for the best outcome for the community. We want to reassure our staff and customers that we are not going anywhere. As one of the few long-standing employers in Hawea, we have provided jobs to locals and visitors to the region and New Zealand alike, for many years now, and the continuity of those jobs is important to us.”

“Our commitment to improving our existing business and offerings remains a huge part of what we are doing,” he says.

Mrs Mackay adds that they have been in talks with Mr Laming for several years and that signing the affected party approval document was solely to “start the ball rolling” for the resource consent application and that “nothing is set in stone.”

“We have grown to love this community and we are fully aware of the tension around any development here. We feel strongly about maintaining real transparency around any future plans for the people who live here and for our staff.”

“Whatever happens with the development, we intend to maintain our footprint on this site. Until consent is issued, we simply don’t have a timeframe.”

“We recognise that the Hāwea Store and Kitchen store exists very much as a meeting place for the community. We enjoy feeding the hungry builders, ravenous hikers and local families with their weekly favourites. We love providing a space for the mums and bubs coffee groups, birthday parties, and anniversaries. Over our time here we have come to realise that our little store is more than a local grocer, restaurant and bar. It is the hub and the heart of Hawea and that is something we are intent on preserving,” Mrs Mackay concludes.

Mr Laming says that the proposed two-storey development, which includes a ground floor level restaurant, cinema, six retail spaces, supermarket, medical clinic, and access to parking for eight visitor accommodation units, can only be “good for the community.”

“We are excited to be able to potentially offer these services to Hawea residents and we are working respectfully with the existing business on the site. We have always been up-front with Hamish and Erica and none of us are trying to hide anything from the community.”

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