Neighbours not happy

SHARE

Queenstown’s Department of Conservation operations manager has admitted there are challenges around managing a popular reserve in the resort.

Speaking at a public meeting on Monday night Geoff Owen addressed residents and users of Tucker Beach just off State Highway 6.

The meeting was prompted after neighbours expressed concern over how the reserve was being used.

Issues included an increase in freedom campers, “fly-tipping” and alleged drug use.

Mr Owen said DoC was listening but stressed it needed to be a “collaboration” between all parties involved.

During a round table discussion, people were asked what DoC should be considering and what users valued most in the reserve.

Ideas included cleaning up the area, protecting wildlife, stopping freedom campers and ensuring it can be used for recreational activities.

Approximately 40 people attended the meeting including representatives from Queenstown Lakes District Council and local police.

Mr Owen said the overall aim is to create a space all users can be proud of.

“I’m not here to look for answers but to understand what the issues are and collect your views … Over time the reserve has been upkept and hasn’t been a [DoC] priority.”

While the majority of the meeting was tame, one resident used colourful language when he criticised activities at Tucker Beach Disc Golf course, run by Queenstown Disc Golf Club.

Kelvin Middleton said the club isn’t adhering to DoC rules and claimed a number of structures were constructed.

“I’ve had a massive amount of people ringing me up not happy with what is going on down there. I think this is the forum to bring it up. I agree there’s got to be things put in place where everyone can use it but gee-whiz people are pissed off with things.”

Queenstown Disc Golf Club chairman Hemi Te Awhitu responded saying it had permission to install baskets on the five hole course.

louises@scene.co.nz