Penny Clark: Why I’m standing for Queenstown

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My past three years as a councillor have not dimmed my enthusiasm, passion and energy for our community. We are seriously starting to make progress on some big projects in the Lakes district, yet we have much to do.

I have had a chance in my last term to re-evaluate our communities’ priorities and understand the big projects that are required to support us for the future sustainability of our district.

Our commitment and respect for our environment is critical in moving forward with our climate policy and decision making.

We have a 2050 aspiration for our people, done by the people.

The vision for transport requires us to be bold. We need to create living spaces with density, develop viable public transport without fossil fuels, and create routes for walking, cycling and scootering for those that are able.

Our downtown area will become an exciting place to be with our arts and cultural centres, our council offices and park areas along with hot pools to name but a few. This will have the heart of our community in its centre. Not forgetting we need a place for our cars, for the immediate future, to enable our arterial route to be more than a plan on paper. This will come as a cost, we will need support from NZTA, the government, our overdrafts and our visitors.

Growth needs to be managed and we need infrastructure to support where we are at the moment.

Fortunately, the world travellers are forecast to slow slightly to enable us to catch up in the immediate future. We must remember a huge percentage of our growth is created from our extra residents and their requirements.

Our airport needs to live within its noise boundaries and look to technology for our future, and have Wanaka share some elements of the domestic routes in the long term.

Our regional council needs to understand we cannot look after our environment on our own, our water needs help, we do not need diesel-driven buses emitting fuel into our stormwater. We need help with our pests, from goats to rabbits, possums to stoats, along with broom and gorse. We want the next generation listening to the dawn chorus, our children, our visitors.

The environment is all our responsibility for the future, for our climate we need to give it the priority it deserves.