'Get real': Warren Cooper

“WE were sorry we were not home to greet you when you called.

‘‘Your note describing your growing frustration as you searched for a carpark deserves a response, as does your description of downtown Queenstown looking like a World War 2  bomb site.

‘‘If we had been here to greet you, I’d have said, ‘Welcome to Queenstown — the capital of Coneland. We trust the high-vis army was kind to you’.’’

What we have here in Queenstown is the Prime Minister buying votes with our money, sprinkling fairy dust.

I don’t blame City Hall being sucked in by the shovel-ready bait, but by no stretch of the imagination were we ‘‘shovel-ready’’.

We were, in reality, jumping on a gravy train, as are the two main contractors who, having
been locked in a fight for business survival for decades, are now comfortable working together on a cost-plus basis, and probably creaming it.

The extraordinary procedures occurring in Beach Street continue — surely there must be a harder way to do it?

The tortured shopkeepers are within a living hell.

‘Shovel-ready’, they call it.

Nothing in any contemporary dictionary about it — maybe a nickname for a funeral director or an itinerant grave-digger.

Clearly the pandemic has brought some extraordinary changes to the governance roles and practices of local government.

The 10-year plan is now fatally flawed.

Month-by-month it be comes more obsolete.

For instance, for four years our council has promoted its intention to build two multi-storeyed carparks in Queenstown.

Last month in Mountain Scene we learned council carpark buildings were not a starter.

Not a word from His Worship, who was possibly parked on Ladies Mile.

As a community, we have been witness to 10 years of complete neglect in regard to
carparking in the CBD.

Indeed, the council’s frontal attack on car users continues.

Having been associated with the provision of each of the council carparks, I have been witness to council’s attack on motor vehicles with increasing concern.

As a result of my past experience in community engagement, I can claim some knowledge about the basic community demands — namely water, sewerage, roads, footpaths,  reserves, libraries.

Our council has not failed in these essentials.

However, City Hall’s present tribe in occupation has totally bombed out on two essential ingredients: access and carparking.

I can’t remember a time during my life in Queenstown when the public have known so little about council activities.

Take for instance Lakeview — our major financial asset.

What did QLDC sell it for?

Where is the money?

What will it be spent on?

Come on, give us the facts.

Why are we left in the dark?

What are the plans for carparking now that the carpark buildings have been chopped?

Do you still intend to pursue the nonsense that motorists will park their cars in the wop-wops and catch the bus or cycle into town?

C’mon, get real.

Your policies, unless unchallenged, will cause both misery and commercial collapse.

Warren Cooper is a former Queenstown Borough and Queenstown Lakes mayor and National cabinet minister