By TRACEY ROXBURGH
One of the most highly-anticipated stores in Queenstown will finally open its doors this month.
Bunnings Queenstown’s putting the finishing touches on its $40 million, 8100 square metre
building, on the Frankton Flats, after a protracted process spanning three years.
The Aussie-headquarterd business first applied to council in April, 2017, to build its first Queenstown store on the 1.6-hectare site.
But commissioners declined that in March, 2018, leading Bunnings to appeal the decision
to the Environment Court.
Consent was granted by the court two years ago this week.
And despite the impacts of Covid — which last year saw seven of its New Zealand outlets
close — Bunnings pushed on with the build, beginning site clearance work last May.
The new store, which features the largest trade yard in any of its NZ outlets, is employing just over 100 staff — about 70 of those locals, many of whom lost their jobs last year, and the remainder Bunnings staff who had transferred internally.
Bunnings Queenstown complex manager Liam Dawson, who’s moved down from Blenheim, says staff are ‘‘buzzing’’ about finally opening the doors.
‘‘They can’t wait.
‘‘The team has been working flat out to get the store ready for opening.
‘‘They have put in a massive effort and I’m really proud of what they have achieved over the past few months.’’
Ahead of the store’s opening, Dawson says the Bunnings team has helped out in the community — they’ve built a shed for Happiness House, which provided more office and storage space, built ‘buddy benches’ and a picnic table at Wakatipu High School, installed new shelving for KiwiHarvest to maximise the use of its space, and staff volunteered at Salvation Army for a day, sorting through supplies and making food parcels.
‘‘It was great to be part of these projects and we look forward to providing more assistance to local community groups in the future.’’