The expansion of airports and the acceptance of too much tourism and population growth were the main points criticized by the public in their contributions to the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s draft spatial plan.
Of nearly 100 online filings on Friday, none other than Queenstown Airport Corporation and the Tourist Industry Association supported the expansion of Queenstown and Wanaka Airports.
The space plan, entitled “Grow Well Whaiora”, was created by staff from the council, two government departments and Kai Tahu to guide developments in the district over the next 30 years.
It should be noted that airport development is on a “conceptual level” and further work and community consultation is required.
Terri Anderson, who lives in Frankton, submitted community feedback that had already “firmly said no to the airport expansion”.
Lilia Andrade of Frankton opposed the proposed growth of Queenstown Airport, which “does not improve any of the four well-beings mandated by the council and does not meet a reasonable definition of the growth well”.
Bruce Bassett, representative of the Tourism Industry Association, said the plan was “very easy” for airports and aviation, noting that increases in visitor numbers and residents would require “a corresponding growth in air connectivity”.
“It seems to us that there is more clarity on demand and dual [Queenstown-Wanaka] Airport visions need to be included in the spatial plan as flight services play an important role in connectivity. “
Nat Craig, a resident of Wanaka, questioned whether the proposal for a double airport was even included in the plan, as it had been “largely” rejected by the residents of Upper Clutha.
And Love Wakatipu Inc representative Cath Gilmour criticized the lack of consideration for the idea of moving Queenstown Airport out of Frankton – “Perhaps the saddest part of this floor plan, however, is the fact that the broader floor plan team didn’t take advantage of this opportunity to Trigger [or] forcing a wider debate about how best to use the hole in the middle of Frankton, “she said.
Trevor Tattersfield questioned another aspect of the plan – the desire to make public transportation, walking and cycling “everyone’s first travel choice”.
“It’s not going to happen.
“It’s just not achievable and an unrealistic goal.”
The hearings are taking place in Queenstown today and in Wanaka tomorrow.
The final plan is due to go to the council in June.