Queenstown council prepared for growth

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Queenstown Lakes District Council is confident it can handle a predicted population splurge. 

Statistics New Zealand this week revealed that Queenstown Lakes has the highest growth rate in the country of 2.2 per cent, along with Selwyn, near Christchurch. 

“For more than a decade this council has recognised that it needs to be ahead of the game and understand growth in order to ensure its infrastructure is adequately planned,” acting chief executive Stewart Burns says. 

“Our own forecasting tells us we are looking at a 21.2 per cent increase by the year 2021 and we have planned for that in terms of infrastructure and the wider picture of sustainable growth management. 

“It is also a tool that allows is to determine the level of development contribution to ensure we can keep pace with growth. 

“The other factor we have to provide sufficient infrastructure for is that of peak day population, which occurs at times like New Year’s Eve.” 

Burns says Statistics NZ projections don’t include a visitor component. 

Council projects a peak day population of about 90,000 this year rising to 108,970 in 2021. 

“We have had to ensure that we have the infrastructure to cater to not only a growing resident population but also the fluctuating visitor factor,” Burns says.