Tribe and Queenstown council in $25m hot pools talks

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Maori tribe Ngai Tahu wants to make a bigger splash on Queenstown’s tourism scene with a $25 million hot pools complex.

Today’s announcement says Ngai Tahu Tourism is in early discussions with the resort council over leasing 0.75 hectares of prime public land in the Lakeview site on Man Street.

The Lakeview site is being pushed by Queenstown Lakes District Council as the preferred home for a $50m convention centre proposal, possibly linked to a casino-hotel complex to be built by SkyCity Entertainment Group.

In today’s announcement, Ngai Tahu Tourism regional boss David Kennedy says “ongoing negotiations would centre around working in with the convention centre site”.

The announcement says the council will discuss the proposal at its scheduled meeting on Thursday.

Ngai Tahu’s proposed development would include about 12 large public hot pools, four smaller private hot pools, changing facilities, a health spa, reception and retail building, and a café-restaurant.

Annual patronage is projected at 300,000 to 350,000 customers.

Ngai Tahu is already a major property and tourism player in the resort.

Its tourism operations include Shotover Jet, Dart River Jet and Hollyford Track Guided Walks while its property portfolio features Queenstown’s courthouse and police station, plus the large Post Office Precinct complex in the heart of the CBD.

The tribe already operates Glacier Hot Pools at Franz Josef on the West Coast.