Queenstown’s council has come under fire for using 20 holiday park chalets to store documents during a housing crisis.
Community rabble-rouser Basil Walker says the units at Lakeview Holiday Park could provide accommodation for young workers or families in need - ”they’re not much, but better than sleeping in a crowded bedroom, in a car, or sleeping rough. Council could gift them to the Salvation Army”.
The breeze-block chalets don’t have toilets or kitchens but there are two large adjacent buildings which could be recommissioned with facilities, Walker says.
Council boss Mike Theelen pours cold water on the idea.
He says the chalets were decommissioned 10 years ago because it would have cost too much to refurbish and maintain them.
Theelen says they won’t provide a “cost-effective response” to accommodation needs.
Last month, veteran local hotelier Penny Clark suggested shipping container units be placed on Lakeview to provide staff accommodation and stop the resort grinding to a halt.
Walker says the boxes, containing Queenstown council (QLDC) documents dating back more than a dozen years, could instead be placed in the containers and people housed in the chalets.
“They are available right now but no one from QLDC has the inclination to actually do something positive.”
Lakeview was earmarked for the proposed $70 million convention centre, with council ending the leases for hut-owners, forcing them to remove their huts or hand them over.
Council’s renting the remaining huts.
Theelen says “future re-development” is the council’s priority.
Bringing the facilities up to code would be expensive and lengthy, he says. The council is tackling housing affordability by rezoning, special housing areas and “mechanisms such as the Queenstown Housing Trust”.