Queenstown deserves seat at ORC table – mayor


Queenstown’s mayor says it’s about time the district had a guaranteed seat at the Otago Regional Council table.
Queenstown Lakes mayor Vanessa van Uden boldly called for the spot, saying today (Thursday) it’s about time ORC representation acknowledged Queenstown Lakes was one of New Zealand’s fastest growing areas. 

“With all due respect to the sitting members, neither of whom resides in the Lakes District, it’s time we had a bum on a seat around the regional council table.” 

Van Uden was speaking via teleconference to a representation review hearing on the matter in Dunedin. 

Historically, ORC has had two candidates from the Dunstan region, which combines Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes. 

“We propose the Dunstan constituency be split in two with the creation of a new constituency, the Wakatipu constituency,” Van Uden says, adding the existing situation is neither effective or fair. 

“The ORC Representation Review is a perfect opportunity for this to be addressed,” Van Uden says. 

Queenstown residents pay rates to ORC for environmental services as well as a portion for the new $200-million plus roofed stadium. 

Van Uden says the equation was not rocket science, giving a Dunstan population of more than 30,500 two representatives and a Wakatipu population of 16,600, one representative. 

“Even then this is a sub-optimal proposal because the numbers means Arrowtown needs to continue to be in the Dunstan ward together with Wanaka and Central Otago District Council communities but it will be a vast improvement on fair representation and Arrowtowners will have more ready access with a Wakatipu regional council representative,” she says.