New Queenstown bungy site proposal

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A QUEENSTOWN adventure tourism pioneer proposing fundraising bungy jumps off a new site faces potential rebound from neighbours.

AJ Hackett Bungy is consulting with Arrow Junction neighbours on plans to open an Edgar Bridge jump site 40 metres above the Arrow River, on a maximum of seven days a year, to raise money for the Queenstown Trails Trust for track maintenance.

The trust built the suspension bridge – named after local investor/philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar – as part of its 100km-plus Wakatipu trails network.

AJ Hackett Bungy recently extended its sponsorship agreement with the trust.

According to AJ Hackett Bungy’s draft resource consent application, jumping would take place from a purpose-built jump deck about three metres below the bridge, accessed through a trapdoor in the bridge deck. After a leap of about 40 metres, jumpers would be winched back onto the jump deck. The company says there’d be a maximum of 12 jumpers per hour, and 200 per day.

AJ Hackett boss David Mitchell says jump days would probably tie in with events like the off-road Motatapu, which the trails trust now owns, and the Queenstown Bike Festival.

Some residents in nearby Morven Ferry Road are already voicing concerns.

Anna-Marie Chin says the major concern is traffic movements and carparking.

“I don’t think it’s been addressed very successfully,” Chin says.

“And the impact they’re suggesting on the walking track is going to be much greater on those seven days than they’re suggesting, I would have thought.

“It’s interesting that that’s what they want to do when they’ve got their main [Kawarau] bridge one-and-a-half to two kilometres down the road.”

In response to Chin’s last point, Mitchell says “fair comment”.

“The reality is we use [Kawarau] for commercial jumping whereas these would be for specific events.”

Mitchell says his company intends meeting with affected parties.

“The proposed use is within the district plan, but at the end of the day, it’s a fundraiser, it’s not our core business.

“We’d love to do it, we think it would add a lot of excitement, but if there’s going to be resistance, we’re certainly not going to try to push against the will of people.”