Lakeview halted over centre funding worries


Funding issues with a council-backed $70 million convention centre for Queenstown have derailed a wider development above the CBD.

On Thursday, councillors voted unanimously to halt progress on the wider Lakeview development until external funding for the centre is locked in.

It’s an embarrassing admission for the council, which said in its recently released 10-year plan that a centre might be open as soon as 2018.

The council is relying on income from the Lakeview development to offset ratepayers’ contribution to the centre.

The Lakeview development might include hotels, apartments and proposals for a market square and hot pools.

Council strategic manager Paul Speedy recommended negotiations be stopped over Lakeview’s development until there is ‘‘sufficient certainty or otherwise’’ over the resort’s proposed convention centre.

The council has asked for government funding for the centre and has, or will, put its hand out to Community Trust of Southland, Central Lakes Trust and the Lottery Grants Board.

Speedy says the Lakeview project is already slightly behind schedule.

Last month, Queenstown’s mayor Vanessa van Uden said funding was the centre’s number one issue. She hinted the council might draft in extra help, if needed, to secure funding.

Van Uden says it’s not reasonable for ratepayers to fund it alone.

Cynics might now question the future of the council-backed centre, considering it still has funding issues four years after the council created a working committee to consider the idea.