OPINION: A focus on things that last

SHARE

It’s probably a little too late to wish everyone who I haven’t run into personally a very happy new year, however I’ll do it anyway!

A mixed bag for this month’s column and I hope there’s something in here for everyone.

Over the Christmas and New Year period I attended a number of social and sporting events. I couldn’t help noticing the wide spectrum of sustainable practices. Some used plastic cups, plates and cutlery, others bamboo and some paper. Some encouraged you to buy and reuse your cup and others were happy for single use of a plastic vessel every time you came back to the bar or food stall.

QLDC very much encourages events organisers to use sustainable practices. Given the mountain of plastic around the world looking for a way to be reused (or worse, ending up in landfill), I think it’s something that we all need to be very aware of. In particular, a tip of the hat to ‘Dishrupt’, the Sustainable Queenstown initiative providing metal plates which are reusable and have a virtually eternal life.

I do think that in the future, council will put greater emphasis on the sustainability practices of those organising events – giving priority to events which are environmentally responsible.

You will all of course know that it is Waitangi Day on February 6. This year, the Queenstown Lakes district is proud to host the 2019 Ngai Tahu Treaty of Waitangi Commemorations at the Queenstown Recreation Ground.

All in the district are invited to join us to celebrate and enjoy New Zealand’s special day. We will do things a little differently than most districts – as we usually do. The day will begin with a gathering at Earnslaw Park and a procession by a number of cultural groups to the Rec Ground.

This will be followed by a powhiri at 11am. Following some speeches, there will be food stalls open from noon and cultural performances by a number of the ethnic groups who make up our fabulous community. I very much hope that you can join us for what will be a great celebration of our diverse and colourful community.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of opening the new Arrowtown Community Centre. What an outstanding facility! If you haven’t seen it, do take time to go and have a look. The opening ceremony recognised the individuals behind the project and those who contributed funding. In particular, though, a very big well done to Simon Spark, Murray Bennett and councillor Scott Stevens for their perseverance and dedication to this worthy project.

The result is something that will provide a home for both the Arrowtown Rugby Club and Arrowtown Scout Group, and a facility for all in the community to enjoy. It’s a great example of what can be achieved by small and special communities like that of Arrowtown. Congratulations to everyone involved.

Finally, I’ve noted considerably less congestion on Ladies Mile over the summer holiday period. I’m putting this down to the lack of school traffic, and unfortunately things are likely to go back to where they were pre-Christmas as soon as school reopens. We are engaging with NZTA for a long-term fix to the issue but I also think that matters will markedly improve once the roadworks at the Tucker Beach Road intersection are completed. Personally, I can’t wait.

Jim Boult is Queenstown’s mayor