I have really enjoyed the last three years, learnt so much. I stood last time because I felt Queenstown was at a crossroads, make or break.
I felt moaning about it was not an acceptable option. I wanted to try and preserve some of Queenstown as we had known it – unique, beautiful, fun, inspiring – despite its massive problems. I love this place. I believe with work it can be that again. I have been here long enough to have seen this cycle before.
Unfortunately, we are going through a phase where opportunists, see it as cash cow and don’t care about the consequences to the community or environment. This needs to be stopped.
For Queenstown to be amazing again, we need to build a healthy, happy and involved community who feel their contribution is important, who are treated fairly, paid fairly and live in safe, secure accommodation.
We must start to respect and preserve our environment. If we don’t, we will loose what we came here for. It will not be a cheap solution, so we should not be shy to charge visitors who want to share this special place. We must back community groups who are putting their energy into this.
I believe we need to slow growth so that infrastructure can catch up. We need a strong plan (the current council is working hard at this) so that development is not haphazard.
Development must be mindful of the environment, so that current problems are not perpetuated or repeated.
I believe we need to refocus, build a unique cultural and community experience. Quality not quantity tourism. Aim to promote the environment. This is not to say there isn’t place for adventure tourism, but we need to respect the region that has made it possible. Queenstown needs to mature and grow a strong heart that we can be proud of. This means we need to put some real energy and money into developing a new town centre, a home for the arts and culture of this town.
Ten years from now I believe transport in NZ will have changed radically – we all know that things cannot continue as is. We need to make bold progressive plans to remodel transport into the town centre.
We need a team of strong people with a range of backgrounds who are prepared to work towards a common goal. I believe that I can offer that style of thinking.