Staff village proposed

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Queenstown’s affordable rental accommodation squeeze is taking its toll on one of the resort’s biggest employers.

Tourism heavyweight Real Journeys is proposing to build a staff village at Walter Peak, providing housing for up to 50 people.

It’s lodged a resource consent application for accommodation to house permanent and seasonal workers at Walter Peak – on the other side of Lake Wakatipu, where the TSS Earnslaw journeys to.

It will enable the company to retain staff and reduce overall staff costs.

“At present there is the lack of affordable rental accommodation in Queenstown which makes living and working in Queenstown long-term unsustainable for many,” the application reads.

The company hasn’t come up with a final design for the village, as it wants to undertake a design and tender process.

But it does envisage a mix of buildings to create a “village feel”, which could include one-bedroom units to eight-bedroom units as well as communal facilities.

There will also be two managers’ houses which will contain three bedrooms. The company – which also owns the Earnslaw, Cardrona skifield and various other tourism businesses – plans the buildings to be sustainable, potentially solar-powered and well insulated. The plans feature up to 24 parking spaces.

“The development of the staff village provides the opportunity for staff to live on site, reducing daily travel times across the lake and accordingly decreasing the overall length of the work day for employees.”

Real Journeys staff boss Kevin Sharpe says: “Real Journeys wants to provide core staff with accommodation at Walter Peak in the same way we provide it for our teams in Milford Sound.”

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz