Planning Queenstown’s future

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Queenstown Lakes residents need to “take control of the future” and help decide what they want the district to look like in 30 years’ time, Mayor Jim Boult says.

In a media statement today, Mr Boult said now the council’s 10-year plan had been approved, his attention had turned to the “bigger question” of resident’s hopes and aspirations for the district out to 2050.

It comes two weeks after Queenstown Airport announced plans to significantly expand its noise boundaries into large residential areas and almost double the aircraft movements the present boundaries allow, by 2045.

Mr Boult said he convened a “small and diverse set of thinkers” yesterday to consider the issues as a first step.

The next step was to bring together a “broad and highly representative forum of people from across the district and beyond” to engage the whole community on a set of potential objectives for the future.

“I envisage this work will cover many issues, including where and how we live, how we move around the district, what will be the economic drivers and, importantly whether there is a finite number of visitors we can host in the district without detracting from the amenity and environmental values we all treasure.”

There were many international case studies to draw on as to how to avoid the “unbridled ruination of premier destinations”.

He hoped the work would “transcend individuals, agendas, and politics and affiliations”.

“I want the legacy of today’s community to enable the community of 2050 and beyond to continue to hold a passion and love for this incredible environment, this incredible place,” he said.

Council communications and engagement manager Naell Crosby-Roe said Mr Boult would meet with a probably larger group of people next month.

That was likely to be followed a couple of months later by a broad forum of people from across the community.