SHARE
Proposed route: A map shows the proposed new arterial route, circumventing Queenstown's CBD, to be built in three stages

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

Queenstown’s council says demolition of the Queenstown Memorial Centre won’t happen until an alternative venue is secured.

City Hall’s applied to the government for resource consent and a notice of requirement for its arterials project under the Covid-19 Recovery (fast-track consenting) Act 2020 after  that project, and the Queenstown CBD upgrade, secured $85 million in government funding.

The council’s applied to the government for consent and to authorise construction and use of an urban arterial route from Melbourne Street to the intersection with the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road.

In time that’ll require the demolition of the Memorial Centre, which has raised the ire of users.

The centre was reopened in March, 2013, following a $3.1 million upgrade.

In December City Hall announced it would spend more than $250,000 from the government’s provincial development unit to upgrade it again.

At that stage, council media man Jack Barlow said the earliest the building — also home to Queenstown’s Returned and Services’ Association — would be demolished was 2027.

In its report to the government, the council says there was ‘‘interest’’ in the removal of the centre and concerns about the loss of the facility in the town centre.

‘‘For many there was an attachment to the current space and concerns regarding the use of ratepayer money and private donations to invest in its recent refurbishment to then demolish the facility.’’

The report says the council intends to establish a replacement facility, or facilities.

Details of that, and the potential timing, are still to be determined.

‘‘Accordingly, a designation condition is recommended stating demolition of the Memorial Centre cannot occur prior to an alternative venue(s) being secured.’’

Meantime, a report with the application says the Queenstown Lakes generated 11% of  national tourism GDP in 2019 and was ‘‘the primary attractor of visitors to New Zealand’’.

‘‘Hence, Queenstown Lakes’ recovery is integral to the recovery of the national tourism industry, as well as NZ’s reputation on the global stage.’’

According to an economic assessment, the value-add impact of the arterials project is $99.3m, with over 1100 full-time equivalent jobs during the design and construction phase.

Comments to the government on the arterials project close today.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz