‘Poor relatives’ call for funding

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Glenorchy residents are crying out for more council funding, saying they feel like the “poor relations” of the Queenstown Lakes District.

The need for a plan to tackle the town’s infrastructure issues and growing tourism pressures was highlighted during recent hearings on the council’s long term plan.

Glenorchy Community Association chairman John Glover says there’s been a “huge explosion” of tourists in the past couple of years, which has been “a real eye opener”.

Instead of taking a piecemeal approach to addressing things like parking and traffic congestion, he wants the council to fund a more strategic approach.

“We actually need to step back and say ‘what is the big picture’.”

Glenorchy residents do a lot of “self-help” when it comes to funding projects, he says. When they do ask for funding it’s a last resort.

“People in Queenstown would be horrified if they were expected to do what we do.”

He’s not anti-tourist, he says. He just wants the right kind of visitor.

That means people who were there to appreciate the environment and believed in sustainability, he says.

Sustainable Glenorchy’s Trish Fraser says the town is becoming “quite chaotic” during the peak season.

“All the infrastructure is totally under stress.”

She wants a plan to address parking, footpaths, and road safety.

Council senior comms advisor Rebecca Pitts says the council is “acutely aware of the challenges Glenorchy and our other smaller communities are facing as a result of visitor and resident growth”.

“The council will be looking at a programme of works to help address the challenges and provide some relief for these communities.”

The 10-Year Plan will be adopted by the council on 28 June.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz