Council Welcomes Prime Minister’s Funding Announcement
Today’s announcements from Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, look set to provide a significant injection to the Queenstown Lakes District economy.
Mayor Jim Boult welcomed the much-needed investment as a lifeline for many locals and bringing support for hundreds of jobs to the district which had been hard-hit by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank the Prime Minister and her Government, in particular Ministers Davis, Twyford, Parker and Jones, for their support and for recognising the importance of providing the support our community needs and investing in the future of our local economy, with this the first of the CIP funding announcements. There is certainly much more work to be done to ensure we are a truly resilient, diverse and economically sustainable community, but this is a very encouraging and significant step.”
“Until recently our district had the lowest unemployment rate in Aotearoa New Zealand and now we’re facing up to 8,000. That’s why this Council was determined to submit projects for funding that would make a real difference to the community and our economy. And it’s incredibly rewarding to see that the value these projects can deliver is being recognised,” said Mayor Boult.
“The $85M contribution from the Crown Infrastructure Partners is a substantial boost to the transformation of Queenstown’s town centre and potentially enables stage one of the proposed Queenstown arterial road to begin construction within 12 months. These are projects that will bring many benefits for locals and, when they return, international visitors.”
With funding confirmed, the streetscape work in Queenstown town centre will revitalise core areas in the CBD for the benefit of locals and the future return of visitors to the town. It is anticipated that construction will be underway within three months. The Council will engage directly with affected parties for both projects and with the wider community as details are progressed.
Mayor Boult also acknowledged the announcement by Minister Davis of a $25M package from the Department of Conservation waiving tourism-related concession fees until 30 June 2021, welcoming support for the tourism sector which had been the industry most affected in the district.
“We know that in time domestic and international visitors will return to New Zealand, and Queenstown Lakes will always be on the to do list of people who want to see the unique things our country has to offer. Providers in that sector need to be here and ready to welcome them when they do come back,” added Mayor Boult.