"It's sad": Reporter Mark Price isn't a fan of some of the design elements in City Hall's "draft spatial plan"

Mark Price

To acknowledge the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s new, 108-page-long ‘‘draft spatial plan’’, Mountain Scene has given me space for just 400 words.

Thanks, Tracey. [You’re welcome, Ed.]

The plan sets out the big-picture future for the district over the next 30 years.

It’s tempting to take the picky path and note the document’s clogged with pages of data-gobbling photographs of a landscape we’re all thoroughly familiar with.

It’s tempting to point out its annoying planner jargon – the ‘‘transformational shifts’’, the ‘‘overarching goals’’, and ‘‘travel demand initiatives’’.

And, it’s sad it has clip art children of the future playing on clip art digital grass surrounded by clip art four-storey blocks of flats.

But, picky aside — for the moment — there’s no doubt a big-picture plan was needed.

And, thanks mostly to staff at the council, NZ Transport Agency, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Kai Tahu, we now have a draft (pencil sketch?) of that big picture.

Via the consultation process, the public can have a go at making changes, though how much luck they have will depend on how many are singing from the same hymn book.

You can bet some residents of Hawea will kick up about the township being lumped with expansion onto farmland to the south.

But they’ve been kicking up about that for years, and it’s done them no good.

Wanaka residents would seem to have little to argue with — expansion towards the Cardrona Valley looking fairly logical; and there’s even talk of public transport.

If there is to be strife, it’s more likely to be over what happens on the Frankton Flats.

The plan reinforces the council’s existing perspective on airports (i.e. expansion of Queenstown and Wanaka airports), and doesn’t acknowledge the radical close-Queenstown-Airport option put up by some residents.

In fact, apart from cramming more people into existing residential areas (expanding them just a bit), you could call the spatial plan the ‘carry on as normal plan’.

It can be found at: — submissions close tomorrow.

While you’re there, look out for the council’s 435-page, 10-year draft plan – also being consulted on – bearing in mind it’ll play second fiddle to the spatial plan.

And, if you still have the will for even more planning documents, Otago Regional Council’s also awaiting your comment on the 155 pages of its 10-year plan.