Kawarau Falls gets new project manager

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Queenstown’s troubled Kawarau Falls Station development could be on surer footing now a project management company’s been put in charge.

A construction source says Auckland-based McConnell Property will run the project, five months after its two development companies were placed in receivership.

The billion-dollar hotel/resort complex, on Kelvin Peninsula, was placed in receivership by the Bank of Scotland, however it’s continued to fund the construction of stage one.

McConnell Property’s appointment is “a positive thing”, the source says.

“It must give you confidence that the bank’s thinking a little bit longer-term, even though it hasn’t made a formal announcement on the continued funding through to completion.

“Hopefully we’ll get a little bit of improvement in some of the decision-making timeframe.”

The source says the stage one deadline – previously pencilled in for the end of this year – has been extended till early 2010.

McConnell Property, one of New Zealand’s largest masterplan developers, is part of the McConnell Group, as is main Kawarau Falls contractor Hawkins Construction.

Mountain Scene was unable to contact KordaMentha receiver Brendon Gibson yesterday.