Queenstown the way I’d like it

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OPINION: After 33 years I’m now a local, I’m told, and with that apparently comes the freedom to pen a personal wish list about the way the Wakatipu works…or doesn’t work.

Pedestrianise the CBD

Tourists love to amble around our narrow, downtown streets so let them do so traffic-free. Fast-track the Man Street bypass, build a giant multi-storey carpark on the under-used Rec Ground and ban vehicles from the town
centre - apart from delivery vans before 7.30am and courtesy golf carts for the disabled.

Cure Frankton traffic chaos

There are early signs of Auckland-like congestion at the Frankton roundabout. What clot permitted the BP
and Terrace Junction developments? Successive councils have fuelled growth but failed to upgrade roads. Let’s buy and bowl the fading Frankton Village complex to create a clearway.

Attack the airport

Jet pilots convincingly tell us the runway here is dangerous – too short and too narrow. And overseas flights are confined to short-haul jets from Aussie. With the right airport we could take big jets direct from Asia and the States and become an entry airport like Auckland or Christchurch. So let’s either build a big airport on Queenstown Hill as Sir Eoin Edgar advocates or upgrade the wide-open Wanaka Airport.

One decent casino…

…instead of two glorified pokie parlours, thank you Nigel Morrison of SkyCity.

Save the near-extinct Kiwi

Kiwi frontliners have gradually vanished from local hotels and the malaise has now spread to restaurants, supermarkets and bars. All workers should be paid a living wage - that’s a living-in-Queenstown wage, not the New Zealand minimum. NZers will then return and our finest foreign guest workers will be encouraged to stay permanently as my Japanese wife has.

Put bar barons in their place

Let’s ignore the plaintive cries about `pre-loaded’ patrons. If liquor licences are worth anything pre-pissed patrons need to be turned away. Bar barons should also noise-insulate their premises – as many Queenstown Hill residents already do, I’ll wager.

My final plea

I don’t particularly like restrictive development controls. But as far as Queenstown is concerned, the only thing growth-fuelling has really achieved is to attract swarms of hit-and-run developers. Let our growth come naturally, councillors – as it will, because we’re one of the world’s top resorts in one of the world’s loveliest countries.

FRANK MARVIN, the Scene’s former long-time publisher and co-owner, is a part-time writer for the paper